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Losing the person you care for can mean that you are not only losing someone you love, but your known way of life too. This transition time can be very difficult as you deal with both your grief and sense of purpose in life.

Carers were asked how they managed when their loved one passed away, see below for their responses.

A wife who cared for her husband for nearly 20 years after continuous strokes shared the following:
    Understand that you are not alone and it won’t be easy – accept any support
    It takes a long time and there are many highs and lows but it evens out as time goes on
    Must find someone to talk to (not family as they are grieving too) good friend, social worker etc.
    Learn to enjoy time to yourself and move forward, have a coffee and collect your thoughts
    Have a book and write all the good things in it
    Have a book for problems and issues – and try to problem solve them
    Have a ‘dream’ or a ‘bucket list’ even it you don’t achieve it
    Understand people don’t know what to say to you, so they stay away
    When it happens health problems can kick in because you are very run down and it takes a while to get well again
    Make an importance list with you as number 1

A mother who cared for her daughter for 21 years with a degenerative disability shares this information:
    Allow time to feel the grief
    Be mindful of who you share with
    Give yourself permission to be happy
    When clearing out – package it up but don’t throw it out unless you are sure

A mother who cared for her son for 20 years with severe and multiple disabilities said this:
    Offering support to others helps the healing process
    Have a ritual anniversary of their death or birthday – to remember
    Having friends throughout the caring period who remained supportive helped the grieving process
    It took at least 6 months to adjust from the caring role. I didn’t know what to do with myself!

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