Supporting someone losing a loved one

  • Posts: 2
    02/06/2015  11:20

    I just thought I would share some of my experience, as I remember feeling very alone and would have appreciated a community like this one.

     

    My partner lost his mother to cancer when we were both at university. Throughout our second year at uni we would spend each weekend travelling back and forth to visit her, either in hospital, at home, or finally in a hospice. She passed away during our end of year exams - the uni forced my fiancĂ© to sit an exam the day after his mother died. (Needless to say, he didn't pass it!)

     

    My priority throughout her illness was always to be there for my partner as he struggled with depression throughout her illness and after her death. He wanted me by his side throughout and I know that helped him. It did at times make me worry that I was intruding on what should have been private family time. I was often unsure whether it was appropriate for me to be present - particularly towards the end at the hospice. 

     

    I often think that terminal illness has a huge ripple effect - the person with the illness is at the centre, and the effects spread out through their network like ripples on a pond. Although I was on the edge of this, I found I often felt very alone as I tried to support my partner and his family, and I in turn needed support.

     

    For anyone experiencing anything similar, and trying to be strong for people they love - please know that it is OK to struggle and need support!

  • QA Host - Posts: 4
    02/06/2015  14:31

    You describe this well as the ripple effect and many of the carers that we work with also use this for their own situations. Understanding that feeling this way and needing support is normal is vitally important.

    Sharing your feelings with someone who will not try to fix or judge, but just listen, is invaluable and can also help you sort out emotions and gain perspective.

     

     

    Susan C

    Marie Curie

    Caring for Carers Project

  • Posts: 2
    02/06/2015  19:06

    This is so true. It can be so tiring and draining supporting someone, else even if you would never consider not offering this support. Being that next step away can sometimes make you feel like others need help more so you don't ask for it. Asking for support is vital however. Sometimes external support can really help so you get another opinion. Also, taking time for yourself, even if it is a ten minute coffee break listening to the radio can give you a boost you need. 

  • QA Host - Posts: 4
    03/06/2015  11:12

    Lucy the people I am working with carer who are caring for someone living with a terminal illness and they have found that our session 'Time for Me' using the principles and simple techniques of mindfulness have helped them with the feelings they experience around anxiety, stress and mental tiredness. When you are caring for someone it is not so easy to find that time for yourself and the benefit of applying a mindful approach can be experienced with just five minutes within your busy day.

     

     

     

     

    Susan C

    Marie Curie

    Caring for Carers Project

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