Losing your senior loved one may be something that you have prepared for over months or years. However, even if your loved one lived a long life or had a gradual decline, the experience of a loss can be intensely difficult.
Your emotions may be the most extreme you have ever experienced if you have lost someone with whom you were very close.
Friends may comfort you, telling you that time will heal your pain, but a sense of loss may follow you despite the passage of time. The grief over the loss of a spouse, parent or other close loved one may be something that is present at some level for the rest of your life.
Many who lose a senior loved one arrive at the experience unprepared for the wave of sadness and loneliness that follows. A fear of death and the mystery surrounding it may prevent you from contemplating how deep those emotions might run.
Preparing for a senior loved one’s death may help Family Caregivers cope with the loss when it occurs. The following are some suggestions for making the most of the time with your loved one.
Relive happy moments together. Even if your senior loved one is struggling with dementia or another condition that makes it hard to have normal conversations, you may be able to talk over old times with them. Discussing happy moments of childhood with a parent or the early days of married life with a spouse can become sweet times of communion and a nice way to say goodbye.
Give them permission to go. Communicating with your loved one that it is okay for them to pass over into death is a way to help caregivers cope. The knowledge that you have released your loved one into the end of suffering or prolonged waiting can help you experience some peace.
Tell your loved one how you are feeling. Even if you are not normally an emotive person, telling your loved one that you are sad that they are going can be healing for both of you. Tell them of your feelings for them. Awareness that an expression of love has brought comfort to a parent or spouse can help caregivers cope when the goodbye is final.
Even sudden partings can be sweet. If your loved one has died suddenly, do not be afraid to voice out loud how much you miss them or the things you wish you had said. If your relationship was not perfect, it is not too late to offer forgiveness or apology. Whether your loved one hears you or not, it can be healing for you to voice what you are feeling.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with grief at the loss of your loved one, don’t be afraid to reach out to a support group or talk with a counselor. These resources can help Family Caregivers cope as they experience emotions that may feel overpowering.
If you need help connecting with the right resources, contact Freudenthal Home Health. Here to provide all services and support connected with caregiving at home, Freudenthal Home Health can link you to help in your time of grief.