What we have once enjoyed deeplywe can never lose. All that we lovedeeply becomes a part of us. - Helen Keller
What is Grief? Griefis a reaction to a major loss. It is most often an unhappy and painful emotion. Everyone reacts differently to grief. Itcan be said that there are five stages of grief.
The Five Stages of Grief In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” 1- Denial, disbelief, numbness 2- Anger, blaming others 3- Bargaining (for instance "If I am cured of this cancer, I will never smoke again.") 4- Depressed mood, sadness, and crying 5- Acceptance, coming to terms
When is there Grief? Many people believe that you can only experience Grief and Loss when a death occurs. In fact, a person can experience grief and Loss when there is a life changing event such as a move, a change in job, the end of a relationship or the diagnosis of a medical condition.
Grief and Alzheimer’s Diseaseo It can be called the “Long Goodbye” as grief begins once the diagnosis is made.o The person with Alzheimer’s is grieving about the life they will no longer be able to lead.o The caregiver is grieving about the loss of the life they planned and the loss of the person they know.o The Five Stages of Grief can occur during the entire time that a person has or is caring for a person with Alzheimer’s and again once the person passes away.o Support along the way is key to surviving this period of grief.
Surviving Griefo Understand that it is a normal process of our emotions.o Speak with your doctor if you’re concerned that your grief is interfering with your every day life or taking what you consider to be “ too long.” Depression can follow grief.o Seek support from family, friends and professionals.
Have Reasonable expectations As everyone grieves differently, it can take one person days and another months or years to move through their grief. You may want to consider going out of your comfort zone (support groups, religion, yoga, new hobby, etc.)
Prevention Grief should be respected and accepted. It’sa natural and healthy way to move through the loss and change in life. Once you have been through grief and loss you can be a good support to those around you that will one day experience their own loss.
“There is something you must alwaysremember. You are braver than youbelieve, stronger than you seem, andsmarter than you think.” ~ Winnie the Pooh
Presented June 13, 2012 at thePartners in Caring Caregiver Town Hall Forum Coronado, CaliforniaDawn Carnerie DeStefani, BSW, is Director ofPrograms & Services for The Glenner Memory Care Centers. www..glenner.org