Caregivers live on a daily basis with loss. And they have learned to live and survive with monumental losses. Looking at how caregiver’s take in all the emotion and having the strength to help others at the same time is a skill we should all cultivate.
When people lose a loved one there are five stages of grieving, they will need to address. Every day our caregivers help the person they care for struggle through the stages of grieving and as this is happening, a successful caregiver will be grieving also. No two people grieve at the place or for the same stage or in the same way; however caregivers seem to have come close. What is so astonishing is that we as a population have come to expect them to do this. So when a caregiver does not do well physically or emotionally at the end of a caring mission, we are all taken aback. What we should do is provide the support necessary for this person to move through the grieving process.
When a person is unable to work through the grieving process they cannot grow or be productive in their own life. They will only move half way to the next plateau, they will behave in a questionable way when in a group known to them. They will cling to personal possessions and be unable to release some of the feelings they have. There will be times when anger will seem to gush out of them for no reason and there will be times when they laugh at the wrong moment.
Each of us has seen this person in our lives and each of us can help this person. Be available to listen, no judgments or solutions, just listen; be available to provide a hug, hold a hand or cry with them; this is what they need right now. And you are the right person for this job, just be human.