[caption id="attachment_2318" align="alignright" width="295"] Margo Rose and her friend Mildred[/caption] It can be very awkward knowing what to do during a visit with someone who is in frail condition. I know this from experience since once a week I have been going to see my 98 year old friend Mildred who is blind and recovering fro
There are situations that can further complicate our ability to mourn a loss. My heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with the pain of caring about a person who is alive, yet unavailable as a result of psychological or memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s. Perhaps you want to help keep someone you love safe and feel powerless to do so.
Humans tend to crave clarity, simplicity. In circumstances like these, many of the common emotions of grief, like sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and regret, may be even stronger and harder to manage. When can one begin to mourn the “loss” of a parent who no longer remembers that you are their child? If an elderly parent is incapacitated following a stroke or because of Parkinson’s Disease, when does the “mourning period” begin and end?
Empathy for situations like these came to me while standing in my little sister’s apartment immediately following her suicide. Though it was surreal and incredibly sad, at least we knew what had happened, that her death had been intentional and—at least physically—she died in peace.
As I went about removing her belongings, I found tiny, hand-written notes placed around her apartment on little, blue pieces of paper. She had written, “The iPod charger needs to be jiggled sometimes.” “This jewelry belonged to Mom; I think the emeralds are real.” There was so much information and a clear suicide note saying how much she loved us and that she was sorry to cause us so much pain.
In those moments, surrounded by proof that she was dead and information about what had happened, my heart burst open with sympathy for people who do not have those luxuries. Amidst the overwhelming sadness, waves of calm came over me as I realized how lucky we were that this chapter of our lives was closing.
This post has less actual “advice” than most that I typically write for my site, Body Aware Grieving. Truly I am just honoring those who are suffering from unclear losses and stresses that are hard to put to rest. Be as kind to yourself as possible if you are grieving the loss of someone, even if they are still living.
Take a break from wondering what more you can—or could—have done. Realize that even if the person you love is alive, you can begin grieving for them if that helps you feel a sense of peace and sanity. Allow yourself to have the common reactions to grief: anger, guilt, sadness, confusion, rejection, and frustration. There are no wrong ways to grieve, no timeframe when you should be done. Know that there are other people in a wide range of circumstances that are confused and worried also; you are not alone.
Though you may be concerned about a loved one’s problems, remember that you are in need of healing and recovery too.
Best wishes to you.
June 21, 2016
Margo Rose is a fitness trainer, author, and upcoming radio show host. She has created a system of self-care called Body Aware Grieving that helps people avoid accidents, injuries, and stress-related setbacks during times of loss or grief.
Margo Rose’s first book: Body Aware Grieving, A Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Caring for Your Health During Sad Times is now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Body-Aware-Grieving-Fitness-Trainers/dp/0692459189/ …
More info, blog and podcasts on her website: http://www.bodyawaregrieving.com/
For bulk discounts on books, or personalized consulting Margo can be reached by email: http://www.bodyawaregrieving.com/contact/
Follow her on Facebook: https://facebook.com/BodyAwareGrieving …
There are situations that can further complicate our ability to mourn a loss. My heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with the pain of caring about a person who is alive, yet unavailable as a result of psychological or memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s. Perhaps you want to help keep someone you love safe and feel powerle
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