COPD Caregiver Perspectives - Accepting the Diagnosis/Prognosis & Moving On
This is the final post in my ongoing series on the stages of grieving for COPD caregivers. It's been a tough road as you've moved through your grief about your loved one having the terminal illness of COPD. You've experienced tremendous highs and even more intense lows. You've refused to believe the facts, railed against fate, bargained with the universe, and retreated into sad loneliness. But now, you have finally moved through those intense emotions and have emerged on the other side of grief with a more positive attitude.
This stage is called acceptance. You may experience some backsliding into the previous stages at some point, but for the most part, you have resolved yourself to the inevitable. Your loved one will never be the same and you will watch them slowly fade away over time, but you now know that you can handle it together.
Once you find acceptance, you begin to focus on finding practical solutions for the challenges that face you and your loved one. You start to build your life around the reality that is today and realize that you can still have a quality of life for yourself and for your loved one, despite COPD and the pressures of caregiving.
Acceptance doesn't mean you will instantly feel happy again. But you will feel hopeful and begin to even feel joyful again at times, though some sadness may always remain. Still, it won't be that emotionally-wrenching pain you had during the depression stage.
In some ways, acceptance can be thought of as "letting go and moving on." While you will still wish that COPD was not part of your loved one's life, you will not focus on the loss so much as making the best of the time you still have together. In many ways, you may feel at peace with what is happening and what is coming.
One real benefit during this final recovery stage is the realization that life is short and we need to live life fully in the moment.
Remember... you are NOT alone in your grieving. There are many of us COPD caregivers out here. Leave your comments here about how you've coped with the grief of caring for someone with COPD. We'll all try to respond.
Stage 1: Accepting the Changes
Stage 2: Dealing with Denial
Stage 3: Getting Past the Anger
Stage 4: Bargaining For Hope
Stage 5: Dealing With Depression
This Post - Stage 6: Accepting the Diagnosis/Prognosis and Moving On