Resources for the Caregiving Spouse
Dietrich Stroeh - January 16, 2017 07:06 PM
Winter can be a tough time for any reason. Bad weather and dashed holiday expectations are a few of the reasons why people get the winter blues. Caregivers who grieve the loss of the loved one they cared for can have multiple layers of sadness and depression to deal with. For example:
• Exhaustion from tirelessly caring for a loved one.
• A sense of powerlessness about your spouse’s health and well-being.
I know, first hand, as my wife’s caretaker, how tough the holidays can be for all involved and how deep the grief can be when you can no longer share the season’s greetings with a loved one who has passed on.
I learned of my wife Margaret’s Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer at Christmas time. We didn’t tell anyone until after the holiday had passed. I respected her wish that the family enjoy our annual tradition. She wanted them to enjoy our time together just as we always had. Tragically, she died three months after the diagnosis.
Being a widow or widower is particularly challenging for caregivers. We worry if we should have/could have done more to make life easier for the one we cared for. We also feel a sense of relief that he or she is no longer suffering. Then our thoughts turn towards ourselves. Now what? How will we get by without our spouse?
There are no easy answers but I have discovered there are resources out there to help widows and widowers explore possible answers to their questions. Here are three to check out:
Basic Survival Tools
Caregiving Grief and Bereavement?
Online Support Group?
J. Dietrich Stroeh is author of Three Months: A Caregiving Journey from Heartbreak to Healing (FolkHeart Press) and three free e-books. For more information, click Online Support Group.