Care Alliance Ireland have developed The Way Ahead which aims to support former carers as they enter a new phase in their lives. The booklet outlines options for returning to paid work, volunteering or further education, as well as online supports and counselling services. The booklet is available free of charge to organisations and to former family carers.
The Irish Hospice Foundation has published several bereavement leaflets about different types of grief and what to expect/how to cope. They can be downloaded free of charge.
Link: Bereavement Leaflets
Understanding Grief (IRE)
Grief is a natural process of reaction and adjustment to loss and change. When we lose someone or something that is important to us, we grieve. There are many types of losses – loss of health, loss of employment, marital breakdown, divorce and death – and the reactions we have after a loss may be very different. Every significant loss challenges us to find ways of coping with the changes that absence brings.
Link: Understanding Grief
Grief is our natural response to loss. Learning to live in the world without the persone who died is the work of grieving. The death of someone close often comes as a shock, even if you expected it. You can't really prepare yourself for the impact it will have on your life.
It can be a confusing time following a death and difficult to know what you need to do first, especially if this is the first time you are experiencing it. There are many procedures that will need to be undertaken. What needs to happen first will depend on the circumstances of the death and whether the person died in hospital, at home, a public place or overseas. This will also affect the type of documentation that you will be given.
Most young people will have been bereaved of someone close to them (a parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, teacher) by the time they are 16. Many will cope well with their loss, but all will need the support of those around them.
Barnardos has developed information and resource materials on bereavement:
- Parenting Positively - Coping with Death - for children
- Parenting Positively Helping teenagers to cope with Death
- Death - Helping Children Understand
- Death - Helping Teenagers
When caring ends or changes
Looking after someone may be a large part of your life, but it is inevitable that your caring role will change over time. This may be because the person you cared for has recovered and no longer needs care, they can no longer be cared for at home, or because they have died. Whatever your situation, it is important to realise that you are not alone. It will be difficult, but you can find help and support. ‘When caring ends or changes’ is for carers who are experiencing significant change in their lives. It outlines the support available and the steps you can take to help you through each situation.
The ‘The Final Journey’ Reflective Memoir has been created by Sabina Mason, who worked as a nurse within an Intensive Care Unit. The memoir is designed for people to write about their experience of someone close to them dying. The end of life is a traumatic experience and grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. Inevitably, the grieving process and healing process takes time. The memoir journal is used to bridge the gap between your loss and how they are feeling right now. Did you make sense of the death or loss at the time?” and “How do you interpret the loss now?”
As writer Tara DaPra eloquently observes in her essay “Writing Memoir and Writing for Therapy:” “Perhaps the only recompense for tragedy—for death and loss of innocence—is the chance to create some measure of beauty. The marvel of a well-crafted sentence—finding just the right diction and syntax—is a small triumph over pain, a way to create order in the world.”
Inside the memoir journal a photo can be inserted and through writing about your feelings it will guide you to answer some questions you might have. You will find poems, as it can also offer a way of coming to terms with your loss. People can write to their deceased loved ones in total privacy, or opt to share their writing with family and close friends.