13th May 2020
Categorised in Mental & Emotional Health
The death of a loved one is not something that anyone wants to have to deal with. In reality, though, it is a fact of life. As we get older, we will be faced with many losses and it is important to know how to navigate the grieving process when the time does come. When carers, in particular, are faced with a loss it may be even more of a confusing and difficult time. Carers who spend most, if not all, of their time caring for their loved one will likely feel lost, sad, or empty when this person passes away. The carer may go on to feel confused when ti comes to what they should do with their life now that they are no longer caring. The question is, who cares for the carer when their loved one passes on? And how can understanding what grief is help people get through this process?
What is grief?
Grief is the emotional response that we get when we experience a loss of something that we love. While this can include things like the loss of a job or a divorce, grief is typically associated with the death of a loved one. The loss of a loved one can understandably cause an intense amount of pain, sadness, and emptiness for many people. Coping with the death of someone that you love and care about will likely be one of the most difficult things that you will ever have to do. Many people, in one way or another, will go through the five stages of grief in order to process and cope with life without that particular loved one.
The 5 Stages of Grief
During this stage of grief, people tend to block out the world and the things going on around them in order to cope with their recent loss. The denial stage might make a person say things like “This can’t be happening” or “I’m perfectly fine.”
This stage of grief involves the person feeling angry and infuriated. They may be mad at the person who has passed away for dying, or they may feel angry at the world because it happened. During this stage, people are more likely to say things like “Why is this even happening?” or “How could something like this happen to me/the family/etc?”
During the bargaining stage, people often feel helpless, guilty, and vulnerable. It is during this stage that people feel as though there may have been something they could have done to prolong their loved one’s life. They may say things like “If only we had taken them to the hospital sooner…” or “If only we had gotten a second opinion from another doctor…”.
The fourth stage of grief is when the loss typically tends to really sink in. During this stage, people typically begin to actually mourn and feel the sadness associated with the loss at full force. People who are in this stage of grief may say things like “I’m too sad to do anything” or “I can’t bear to do anything today.”
This final stage of grief involves the person finally coming to terms with the loss. During this stage, people often begin to feel more at peace and calm. The loss that occurred no longer is totally consuming them and they accept that it happened, although they still miss their loved one dearly.
Care for yourself while you’re grieving
After losing the person that you care for, it might be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. Between funeral arrangements, burials, and interacting with family and friends, many people find it to be very difficult to properly grieve. Amidst everything, it is so important that you take the time to care for yourself. Check in with your own feelings and be aware of the emotions that you are going through. If you feel as though the things you are feeling are too unbearable or scary to face alone, reach out for support!
Seek support to help you cope
When you are faced with the loss of a loved one, simply having a support system can make the grieving process much easier. This support can be family, friends, fellow carers, or professionals. It is important to not isolate yourself while grieving, as support from others can truly help you recover much faster from your recent loss! Continue reading to find out how Suffolk Carers Matter can support you in your time of need.