“When you lose someone that you’ve taken care of, there are many transitions that take place. There may be mixed emotions,” says Meryl Hartstein, Strategic Life Coach, Celebrity Confidence Expert and Founder of Bounce Back Women, Inc. “There may be extreme grieving and loneliness or there may extreme relief. Either way, it’s a strong emotional challenge”
Here, Hartstein offers three ways to pick up the pieces after someone you care for passes:
Get busy, get involved, and focus forward. There is a good chance you’ve put your life on hold. Allow yourself the time to do what you’ve always wanted to. For some joining bereavement groups is a way to begin. For others, they follow their passions and become involved. I suggest giving back. Get involved in charity work. It will take the focus off of your pain and allow you to help others at the same time. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Many people turn their pain into purpose and that is why giving back is so important. By reaching out and helping others, you are actually on a quest to find your passion.
Be social. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the relationships that were in limbo for the time you were caregiving. Enjoy friendships. Allow yourself to laugh. Some may carry guilt after someone passes and find it difficult to have fun as if it’s not acceptable. This is only damaging to the caregiver. They must let go and be able to enjoy their lives. Invite people over and create an amazing meal for them. Start of join a book club is always fulfilling and can open up new relationships. Go to movies and the theater, allow this time to awaken all your senses. You will feel alive again and full or purpose.
Consider your space. Your environment is a place where you need to feel the most at ease. I suggest taking a closer look to your surroundings. You may want to move or to redecorate. If funds are tight, take a small space, even a corner in a room and create a beautiful little area that can make you feel special. It’s important not to get trapped into the stereotypical expectations of age. It is never too late for anything. If you want to start over in any area of your life you should. Be it socially, physically or environmentally. There is a good chance that you have spent many days and months and even years giving care to a loved one. Know that it’s OK to get on with your life now. It’s never too late to follow your dreams.