Saturday, 25 October 2014

UBC Day 26 - Dealing with the loss - Tips for Carers

Dealing with the Loss

Welcome to day 26, How do you or have you dealt with loss, and what understanding can come from it?  

When we lose a loved one, it is hard to believe that they are gone, they were there one day and then the next they are not.  They go suddenly or they could go after having been ill for a while and you watch them drift away from you.  I experienced both types, an emptiness resides within you and there isn't a day that goes by when you don’t think of them, you go over thoughts, things you could have said, memories, laughter, I would trade it for another day spent with them.

In the space of 3 years, I lost my best friend, Barbara to a brain hemorrhage, and my brother Robert to Myeloma Cancer.  I often feel that in both relationships with them there were so many things that I took for granted never giving a thought that I would possibly go through days like this.
At times I get that feeling of loss when I am with my mum, because she no longer quite remembers who I am.  She says my name as if she is referring to someone else that she knows and never addresses me as Amanda.  She can’t tell me of her memories of me as a child or the motherhood pearls of wisdom gained through experience.  This loss is different isn't it, she is still here, still breathing, interacting in her own way.

As I watched videos of mum in the early days of the dementia, I see that she was be so outgoing – much more than when we were children and we gained a different side to her personality.  She was always up for doing something new and had an adventurous spirit.  She laughed more, danced more and during this time she talked a lot about dad, sharing those tales of their first meeting.  Mum helped me deal with the loss of my dad passing even after all those years, and she talked about him all the time, talking about where and when they met and her eyes would light up as she told the story, it was great to see, this kept the memories alive and helped to focus on the good times. I realized that I took her for granted even then, thinking that she would never get any worse not seeing the corners that she was turning in her mind as the dementia took hold.

The biggest lesson that I learn about loss is that you must make the most of all the relationships you have, don’t wait another day to tell someone that you love them, or call someone up that you were thinking about.  We never know when we will lose those nearest and dearest to us and we have to make the most of them while they are around.

For now, recognize that there will be many stages that you will need to deal with and you need to take it one day at a time valuing each and every moment.  Don’t take any of your relationships for granted.

You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.


  1. Hi Amanda - sorry I wanted to comment and then thought I'd wait til I had some time .. now not so much either. I'll keep this handy to re-read .. as I know you've had and are having lots to deal with .. re sudden loss, sudden/short time before your loss occurred and then the lingering slow but unsteady loss through Alzheimers ...

    You've really expressed it well here ... with many thoughts - most definitely appreciate and love those near and dear to you .. Hilary

  2. Bother - what I meant to add .. was the way you've illustrated this post - with the snipped out phrases and words and the scrunched up pieces .. so appropriate for Dementia .... sorry got that muddled too - Hilary


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