Published on March 27, 2018

Tips for helping caregivers grieve

There’s no right or wrong way to grieve.

Caregiver with doctor“All of us mourn in our own way,” says Sister Rayleen Giannotti, RSM, Vice President of Mission Integration, Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia.

You may feel shocked, really sad or even angry that your loved one has died. Or you might feel lost, especially if your life revolved around caregiving. On the other hand, you might also feel at least some relief now that the challenges of taking care of your loved one are over.

All these feelings are normal. “Whatever you feel, give yourself permission to feel it,” says Sister Rayleen. “That can help you heal.” These tips may help too:

Be patient. Mourning takes time. It’s common to feel a roller coaster of emotions for a while.

Reach out. Don’t hesitate to let caring friends and family know if you need to talk. But if it’s too painful to talk about the changes you’re going through, that’s OK too. You might feel better doing something as simple as taking a walk or expressing your feelings in a journal.

Know when to get help. If you feel overwhelmed or stuck in your grief, let your doctor know or consider professional help from a therapist.

Take care of yourself. Do your best to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep.