3D Juggling 698: There is More to Grief than Death

It’s 2 weeks before Don Eisenhauer and I do a tour of the UK with his Introduction to Coaching people who are dying and grieving. We are looking forward to seeing people there. Interesting that what he writes here also connects to the webinar Clare is doing in November around Coaching in Transition. Loss is part of every day life and work in so many ways.

Don writes:

“It is so hard to see her like that,” a son told me after I visited his mother whose dementia was progressing. “She no longer knows who I am. Even though she is still alive, the mother I knew has died.”

Grief is expected when a loved one dies. What many don’t realize is that grief reactions often occur even before death. A son grieves the mother he knew even while his mother lives. He may grieve her loss of independence, the social life their family shared, or the memories she no longer retains. He may fear the impending death, or fear the process of dying.

All these reactions are normal, and we must give ourselves permission to feel the many emotions and to find “safe” places to express them. We grieve the mother who has died; at the same time we love and care for the mother who is still alive. This is the pain and privilege of dementia.

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