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The grieving process

When you are caring for someone who is affected by IPF, it is natural to feel grief at many points throughout the illness, for instance when your loved one was newly diagnosed or experiences an acute exacerbation of IPF, and not only during the final stages of his/her life. Grief allows you to prepare emotionally for the way ahead and at times, to experience your pain in stages.

The process of grieving is a very individual and personal, and may last for month or even years. You may experience a range of difficult emotions like sadness, depression, anger, guilt or emptiness, and may also be physically, socially, or spiritually affected. These are normal reactions and a natural response to loss.

While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are some suggestions that may help you cope with the pain.

  • Give yourself time to grieve and to heal from your loss.
  • It is important to acknowledge and accept your feelings – both positive and negative.
  • Crying can provide a release! Don’t be afraid to cry; it is an important part of grief.
  • Sharing grief with family and friends or attending a grief support group to talk to others who have had similar losses can help.
  • Do not feel guilty about needing some time alone to cry, sleep or sit quietly.
  • Many people find solace in expressing feelings openly or writing down how they are feeling.
  • Take care of yourself! Try to eat a healthy diet and take time to rest and regain your physical and mental energy.

If at any time you are feeling overwhelmed with your own grief, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Family & Caregivers

Backgrounder: Family & Caregivers

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