Grief of HealthFor those experiencing grief of health related issues
Grief is an ongoing process of adjusting to that loss and making meaning out of life again. Grief is complex and multidimensional and is as unique as one’s fingerprint.Kathy Cherven
for Adults, Adolescents, and Children
for up to 8 family members
Grieving the death of a child
4+ week loss-specific groups
Whether by car accident, work related injury, sports injury, or any other unexpected injury that permanently changes the way in which life was experienced requires an adjustment to the limits caused by the event.
When there is a change in physical ability and appearance, the person’s self-esteem, self-image, and identity can be affected. Along with the therapies to regain what can be, the person needs to grieve the parts of him/her that are changed forever.
Think of the individual who was completely mobile and then experience a spinal cord injury that has left him/her wheelchair bound. Can a productive and happy life be experienced from then on? If the grieving was allowed and emotional processing supported, chances are there will be quality of life.
It takes time and support to adapt to the changes experienced and that is achieved by grieving what is lost and adapting to the present.
When a person hears the news they have cancer their whole world changes from within and out. Not only is the person facing their own immortality, the entire circle of family and friends experience the uncertainty of life also.
The challenge with having cancer is that many times the emotional reactions are not addressed because the person is told to keep a positive mindset and therefore, both the person w cancer and everyone else “stuffs” their emotions in re to their experience and their fears for the future.
While it is true that it is important to be positive, to do so the emotions associated with such a life-changing event is equally important.
When a parent develops Alzheimers, a little part of them dies almost every day, so we grieve as we slowly watch them lose their identity. Oftentimes, adult children become the caregivers assuming additional responsibilities of decisions for the parent and if there was not a Living Will made by the parent indicating their wishes should there be a life or death decision, then the burden falls on the healthy spouse or the adult children. There can also be family conflict when there is a difference of opinion on decisions to be made.
With the focus on caregiving for the parent, the emotional components are often not addressed causing a more complicated grief when that parent dies. It is important for the family and caregiver to be able to express their concerns and acknowledge the grief they are experiencing in re to their parent’s decline.
The above are just a few of the health-related losses that occur throughout life and as most can adapt as the changes occur, others need additional support for reassurance and validation of the challenges they are faced with.