Our expert says:
Sometimes we are actually coping very well with a loss ; sometimes that same appearance is more superficial, and a way of avoiding the deeper feelings, which one will need to process and work through some time. And for the fiercely independent amongst us, such an accident that forces us, even temporarily, to be dependent on someone else,is very hard to bear.
Don't devalue the valuable controbution you are making by being there and listening - often one of the hardest things to get when one really needs it is someone to listen, and especially, as in your case, someone who knows the facts and the person one has lost.
Counselling, if one can find a counselor familiar with helping grief, can be helpful. Such a person might be found through the Cancer Association or local hospice.
YOu need advice from her doc as to how long her current state of dependency is likely to last. Is there a realistic chance of her resuming a physically active life-style ? Or if not, could a situation be devised when she can use her remaining skills of alertness and psychological activity to continue to be useful ?
Have you tried discussing with her what she would prefer in this particular situation ? Part of what galls us is the sensation of having other people make major decisions for us, without even involving us in the discussion.
Being forced to change from someone who is useful and needed to someone who feels useless and unnecessary, redundant, can be the hardest thing to bear.
It may be important to find ways to do for her what she can truly no longer do for herself - and nothing more. Doing for her what she COULD do for herself, or even for others, will be particularly irksome
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