When a loved one is placed into nursing care, a sense of guilt or relief may accompany more expected feelings, like sadness. Over the months and sometimes years in care, we may see many challenging changes in our loved one.
For those whose loved one has dementia, a different grief may arise, that of a living grief. Learning to love the new person, and letting go of what they once were, is an emotionally draining experience.
Grandchildren may find it difficult to visit the person in hospital, especially if they cannot communicate. Try talking about ‘what grandma did when she was your age’, and to look at old photographs to piece together the loved one’s life.
As life comes to a close, a million thoughts and memories come to us about the life lived and our future without that person. We tend to go into ‘busy mode’ – telephoning people, making funeral arrangements, organising food, and wondering how we are going to survive the weeks, even years, after the death.
At this time, we encourage you to think about yourself as well as your family and friends. This is a time not to be hurried, and to take care of yourself.