In the vein of My Stroke of Insight, a bereaved parent and healthcare consultant blends searingly intimate personal stories with emerging research ti present an entirely new way to understand the unique and profound form of Living Grief experienced by caregivers of those with long-term progressive illness - and offers an urgently needed model for person-centered policies and interventions that effectively alleviate re-activating trauma in patients, families, and healthcare professionals.
Living Grief Overview:
After losing her daughter, Sophia, to a chronic complex illness, Bev Pomeroy set out on a gut-wrenching journey of healing only to find herself at the intersection of trauma and grief. Along the way, Pomeroy discovered that her grief began long before Sophia’s death and that their experience, good or bad, was directly influenced by interactions with the very health care providers and systems that were meant to help.
In the same way that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross gave language to the stages of grief experienced after a loved one has passed, Pomeroy helps us understand a different kind of loss. Through her powerful personal story, groundbreaking research, and case studies, readers learn how to identify and navigate the stages of living grief–the ongoing and often traumatic cycles of loss when caring for someone with a long-term condition.
Now a patient-oriented researcher and an award-winning healthcare advocate, Pomeroy brings together three decades of working in the healthcare system with her 16 years as Sophia’s caregiver to offer a new way forward for person-centered care. By naming and understanding the cycles of living grief (willingness, the fall, reckoning, and denial), this book helps to bridge the missing link between healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers to create a renewed sense of connection and compassion between these communities.
Research has shown that family caregivers can experience anxiety, distress, and depression at levels greater than or equal to patients. Now more than ever, as medical interventions and technologies continue to extend our lives, our communities and healthcare systems need a shared methodology to care for those with significant prolonged illness in a way that mitigates harm for everyone involved.
Rather than seeing the caregiving journey as us versus the medical world, Pomeroy argues we need to begin seeing this experience as relational; who is the patient to you and to me? What are the priorities of care versus cure, and when we disagree, aren’t we just fighting the same battle? A battle that shows up as healthcare harm: trauma, bias and stigma, inadequate legislation, misguided policies, burnout, and poor health outcomes.
Whether taking care of an aging parent, a loved one with a long term condition, or seeking to better support patients and their caregivers, Living Grief is a necessary and timely guide to creating a combined language for mutual support. Coupling mindful self-compassion with a trauma informed approach, Pomeroy shows us how we can activate higher compassion and resiliency in our healthcare journeys, benefiting those who work within the system–and those who rely on it.