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Resources For Grief Blog

Welcome to this online journal for caregivers to the dying or bereaved—important and challenging work, for sure! My goal is to support you by providing inspirational thoughts, pertinent resources, and suggestions for self-care. With appreciation for all you do!
Rebecca

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Grieve the Losses

October 16, 2016

" We burnout, not because we don't care, but because we don't grieve. . .because we have allowed our hearts to become so

filled with loss that we have no room left to care."~Rachel Remen, MD

My 97 year-old Mother died three weeks ago. I had been with her less than 48 hours before she died, and assumed she would still be alive when I visited her in a month. After the initial shock at her sudden passing had worn off, I felt a deep sadness knowing she had been alone when she died. I also felt and continue to feel immensely sad that her last years of life had become so diminished. (I had almost forgotten about her many vibrant years when she entertained guests, wrote stories and poetry, immersed herself in world events, and took a keen interest in her grandchildren.) I am relieved too that the burden of caregiving has now eased for my sister and me.

My emotions have been contradictory and more intense than I expected. Even a sympathetic card or remark can readily generate tears. But, Iím trying to follow the advice I give others: accept and honor whatever the feelings; give them an outlet versus bottling them up. (Iíve witnessed all too often the cost of bottled-up grief, including health problems, overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, non-stop busyness, depression and burnout.) Most often, I give voice to emotions through writing, as Iím doing right now, and by talking with trusted and caring friends. Exercising, particularly yoga, stimulates emotional release as well.

Perhaps some of you can identify with my current journey with grief. Maybe your grief is tied to the death of a family member, friend, or a patient you felt close to. I hope whatever the loss/s you and I experience, we will give the emotions of grief an outlet. Then our hearts will likely have room left to care.

Blessings on the Journey,†

Rebecca Hauder

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