Whether your extended family is large or rather small, you’re all likely to grieve differently. Understanding how those differences might affect you as your senior’s family caregiver can help you to accommodate your other family members.
You Might Feel Frustrated
It’s frustrating when you’re feeling extreme grief and the people around you seem to be going on just like normal. Some of your family members might grieve privately or might have other methods of coping than you have. Still, others might live farther away and don’t necessarily have the same visibility to the situation that you have. If you’re someone who has to talk about your feelings, you might feel frustrated if no one else wants to open up about how they’re feeling.
You Might Feel Alone
Caregiving can be an extremely lonely experience in the best of times. When your senior is nearing the end of her life, you might feel even more alone than you have in the past. Having hospice care providers to help gives you a chance to get a helping hand, but it also allows you to take respite time when you need it. Don’t feel bad about having to take time away to help deal with the emotions you’re experiencing.
You Might Feel Like You Have to Keep it All Together
Depending on how the rest of the family handles grief, you might feel as if you have an obligation to be the one who is in control of everything. If you’re the one who has to keep everything going, you might not be fully acknowledging your grief and other emotions. The problem with that is that emotions don’t just go away when you don’t acknowledge them. They become stronger and take over when you least expect them to do so.
There Is No One “Right” Way to Grieve
The bottom line is that there is no one right way for you or for any of your family members to grieve your loss. You’re allowed to feel however you feel and you’ll need to cope with that in the best way you can. If you’re having difficulty dealing with what is going on, then it’s important to talk to a counselor that you trust.
Remember that you can only help other family members as much as they’ll allow you to help them. Make sure that they have access to tools and resources that can help them to manage their grief in the best way for them.