After caregiving (when a loved one dies)

Someone in our local support group who just lost a parent sent me this article from  Though the article is from, I think the article applies to any caregiving relationship.

The author of the article quotes the author of a book on caregiving:  “Caregiving is a never-ending test of your strength, until one day it stops and the feeling of ‘what do I do now?’ mixed with sadness begins.”

Here are some “tips for transitioning back to your own life after a loved one you’ve been caring for, dies”:

1.  Seek Out Support – A bereavement support group…can be very helpful.

2.  Know that Guilt is Normal – Caregivers commonly feel guilt: guilt that you may have been angry at your loved one for getting sick in the first place; guilt that you didn’t do enough; and guilt that you couldn’t save them. … It is also normal to feel relief when your loved one dies, both because they are no longer suffering and because you no longer have to carry the responsibility of their care.

3.  Take Care of Yourself – When you’re caregiving, it’s all too easy to let your own needs fall to the wayside. … Make that dentist appointment that has been on your to-do list for months, get your haircut, and, while you’re at it, do something a little extravagant for yourself like getting a massage or buying a new handbag.

4.  Welcome the Extra Time – Family, friends, and faith organizations are where most people start to reconnect with the world.

5.  Reach Out to Friends

6. Enjoy Quality Time with Your Spouse

Here’s a link to the article:

After Caregiving: How to Fill the Void
Tips for transitioning back to your own life after a loved one you’ve been caring for, dies.
By Anne Fritz