WHEN THE ROLE OF CAREGIVER ENDS: MANAGING GRIEF
The mourning process affects people differently and refers to how we react when we experience loss. Grief is a normal and inevitable response to loss.
Managing grief well is not about forgetting the person you lost. It is about finding a way to live with the loss and adjust to change. Not everyone responds in the same way and the caregiver is not the only one who feels the loss; the family and friends will too.
Don't isolate yourself, accept the help offered.
Everyone experiences sadness in their own way. You can experience intense feelings like shock, chaos, sadness, anxiety, anger, panic, relief, fear. You may feel confused or think you'll never get over it. Sleep problems, physical symptoms such as tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or pain may be present. Feeling lethargy, little attention to self-care, resorting to alcohol.
Life will have meaning again.
Find your association, health centre or hospital that accompanied you and join the grief management group or local groups of former caregivers to better support you in this process.
Some of the strategies may help:
- Crying is a normal human response to intense feelings.
- Use religious and spiritual beliefs, if useful.
- Spend some time alone and express your feelings in whatever way seems natural to you (e.g. pray, cry, look at photographs).
- Do some physical activity - for many it is a way of distracting yourself from the intensity of grief.
- Think about some self-care ideas (e.g. meditation)
- Pamper yourself with an activity that brings you more comfort.
- Look for support, but it's also good if you feel like being alone.
- Get professional help (e.g. Helpline or health team).
- Read about other people's experiences (e.g. books and articles).
- Get emergency help - NUMBER 112 - if you feel distressed enough to want to hurt yourself or someone else.