Article on caregiver loss and grief

I picked up a copy of Preserving Your Memory magazine today at the doctor’s office.  An article on dealing with loss was worth reading.  Though it’s about dealing with losses when your loved one has dementia, I think the article applies to dealing with losses when your loved one has any sort of medical condition or when you are dealing with any sort of medical condition.

Here are some of the key points made in the article:

* We “now rely more on what we call the ‘dual process model’—where a grieving person tries to live life in the new reality while at the same time coping with a sense of loss…”

* “Grief is not about death, but about loss.”

* “If grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior, then any changes in relationships with people, places, or events can cause the feelings we call grief.”

* The ambiguity of caring for a living, breathing person while grieving the loss of that person’s former self can be overwhelming and confusing.

* Anticipatory grief. In this phase, caregivers grieve in the face of the disease and brace for what’s to come.

The article offers some “tips for healthy grieving.”

Here’s a link to the article, which starts on page 10: 

Loss: The relationship between dementia and grief is a complicated one.
Preserving Your Memory (Magazine)
Winter 2012