Gently does it.
This is my first post for a long time and first public writing since losing my mother two months ago. I have written about my parents before, about their disabilities and about grief, but in the last few years I have learned a whole lot more about being an adult child of a frail elderly parent. There is plenty to share but as it’s very personal and still raw I need to do that carefully.
So here is a start. There is so much about the experience of elderly care that is invisible. For most of us, most days, residential and nursing homes are just buildings that we pass during the course of our busy lives. And care at home is the glimpse of a sign-written vehicle or a uniformed carer letting themselves into a home. None of us want to think about whether our relatives will need this type of care or even whether, in time, we will need it ourselves. It isn’t an attractive subject so it’s easily ignored.
Until it happens to us.
It’s a terribly painful situation to be in, to realise that your elderly parent, who may be frightened or confused, needs care beyond what … Read More »
I haven’t written about losing my father in July and I am not going to now, as the story is not just mine. I have, however, been reflecting on what I’ve learned about grief during the past four months. I spend a lot of time in meditation and this has allowed me to feel what needed to be felt, to experience difficult emotions without resisting them or pushing them away and to reflect on my journey.
When I made this list, I realised it needed to be shared. If this is you, now, please know that you are not alone.
1. Grief can still happen even if your relationship was not close.
2. Even after a long illness, with no hope of recovery, death is a shock.
3. Grief can be a surprisingly physical experience, manifesting as fatigue, acute anxiety or symptoms of illness.
4. There can be a sense of camaraderie amongst the recently bereaved. When they are going through what you are going through, and the taboo is temporarily lifted, there is relief and even joy in shared understanding.
5. Bereaved people don’t want to avoid talking about death – their loss, death in general, their current circumstances. Avoiding bereavement makes it into … Read More »