Grief shows up in many times and ways of our life. People tend to think of grief when a loved one has passed away, and surely that is one of the toughest. The loss of a loved one is intense and comes in so many unexpected waves.
A family caregiver (you) that faces the changes their loved one has gone through is grieving the person they use to know while simultaneously mourning the way their own life used to be.
Grief is also difficult when you realize the life that you once had, or perhaps thought you had has an unexpected void. Breast Cancer Survivors who have lost one or both breast or part of them, diabetes patients that suffer from the lose a limb, or perhaps stroke victims that often lose their speech or other bodily functions. All of these people experience grief that is frequently overlooked and is very necessary to acknowledge.
I met with a friend this week that has lost one of her breasts from cancer and is ready to undergo radiation after finishing the chemo treatments. She spoke about meeting with a counselor and being encouraged to journal about losing her breast. Writing about her grief and perhaps doing a ritual of some sort to mourn the loss.
I suggested that she add grieving about the time she lost, the activities she had planned that were canceled, getting together with friends and family, walking her dog. All things she regularly did that she was unable to do needed to be acknowledged and grieved as well.
Grief is part of life, but acknowledging it is sometimes overlooked. Is there something that you have missed?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk about it. Journal about your feelings. Seek out support through groups or speak with friends and family. Don’t sweep grief under the rug, and it is a valid emotion that needs to be recognized.
Don’t forget, to B-R-E-A-T-H-E. You are never alone.