Although death is the ultimate loss, there are more subtle; hidden but equally devastating losses arising from debilitating medical
conditions like those asbestos associated as the major issues an Asbestos related disease sufferer may have to cope with.
Field Social Workers see;
- Loss of Independence
- Loss of customary lifestyle
- Relinquishment of hopes and dreams
- Fear of more ongoing losses
- Loss of identity once held before becoming sick
- The need to restructure the way one defines oneself and the ways in which one interacts with the world
Some of the things we suggest:
The Remaining Spouse
- Allow yourself to express your feelings
- Allow yourself to grieve for what you have lost
- Suggest attending a support group
- Promote open communication with families
- Educate yourself as much as possible about your condition – assists with a sense of control and self esteem
- Promote the concept that you are more than your condition, which fits in with the well being model of care
Rather than wanting to talk about the primary factual model (i.e. what the loss was and how the loss occurred), the focus of
discussion is more on the impact of the loss on their lives. Typically, they talk of emptiness and desolation and the
re-occurring visual images of final days/weeks and how this is hard to dispel. They talk about not being able to share
with their partner (lost a lifetime of shared experiences) and feeling they won’t be able to do things on their own.
They must face new realities and there is a need to re-invent themselves – reconstruction of a world of meaning is the
central process in grieving.
As a member of the ADSSA
Community you may sometimes be in a position
to listen and help others grieve:
- Share their sorrow – express your feelings
- Don’t offer false comfort
- Seek out caring people
- Postpone major changes
- Offer practical help
- Be patient – you can’t hurry grief
- Encourage professional help
has a dedicated ADSSA
Social Worker to help with any or all of the above.
If you need help with any of the above please call us here and ask to speak with our Social Worker.