When you’re a family caregiver to someone who is near the end of their life, there are a lot of different feelings you’re going to experience. You’re likely to start battling grief long before you truly expect to have to do so. Understanding as much as you can about managing grief and getting help when you need it can be a lot more helpful than you think.
Understand What Grief Is
At its core, grief is a response or reaction to having lost someone or something that was valuable to you. Every person experiences grief differently and every situation is different, too. You may know that you had one reaction to grief in the past, but still be surprised at how grief affects you at another time. There is no one right answer for how to grieve properly.
Grief Affects Everyone Differently
You may handle grief by journaling and talking about how you’re feeling, while other people you’re close to might grieve by shutting down communication and hibernating. Some people even experience grief as physical pain or fatigue. Many people find it difficult to eat. Whatever your expression of grief is, do what you can to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You Can’t Predict or Schedule Grief
It would be great sometimes if you could predict when grief is going to hit or need your full attention. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You’re not able to schedule time for grief and then have it go away again while you handle other things. Many people describe grief as a roller coaster, with the hills and dips gradually lengthening.
Find Ways for You to Cope and to Survive Grief
It’s important that you’re able to find ways to cope with grief, which can mean managing anticipatory grief as well as grief after your loss. Hospice care providers are there to help your family member, but they’re also there to help you and the rest of your family. They can help you to find the resources you need most when you need them. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by eating and sleeping when you’re able to do so.
There’s no way to know in advance how much grief you’re going to experience but having a plan for managing your feelings as well as possible can serve you well. There’s help available, and your senior’s hospice care team can assist you in accessing it.
If you are considering hospice care in Auburn, CA, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at PIC Comfort Care today. Call (530) 885-9948.
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