The Prince George Daily News is pleased to start running a local blog written by Denise Torgerson of Prince George Rotary Hospice. She will write about end of life care and dealing with grief.
Prince George Hospice
It’s not recognized as grief. That’s what I see when I talk to caregivers. They don’t understand that they are already grieving. They say they are tired, or frustrated or angry or sad, but they never call it grieving.
Helping a caregiver come to the understanding that they are grieving, and that they are grieving so many losses over a period of time, helps them to see that they have some control.
If they can label it, name it, they can experience it.
It is hard to admit that grief is present as a caregiver. They feel like they shouldn’t grieve until the end has happened.
What I try to get them to see is that they are not grieving the death, but they are grieving all of the changes in the relationship that have already happened.
Every time we experience loss we grieve. It is a fact.
So, they grieve the change in the relationship, from friend, wife, husband, mother etc – to caregiver. They grieve the loss of friendships, because illness and change can be isolating. They grieve the loss of financial stability. It is very expensive to be sick, even Canada. They grieve the loss of work. They grieve the loss of social activities. These (and more) are the small losses that show up for people as they begin the process of caregiving.
The thing about grief is that it can be exhausting, as can care giving, so it is important to label it, to name it and as a caregiver – to give yourself some time to experience and to process all that is happening.
This is a sacred and difficult journey that will affect all aspects of your daily life. Please dear Caregivers, give yourself a moment to acknowledge your grief and care for yourself as you care for your loved one.