Picking up where we left off, today’s post will deal with the Endings phase of the three-part Transitions Model as introduced by author and consultant William Bridges.
For Bridges, Endings are akin to the grieving process as brought to us by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. A pioneer in near-death studies and ground-breaking author of On Death and Dying, Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief: 1) Denial; 2) Anger; 3) Bargaining; 4) Depression; and 5) Acceptance.
In our eldercare setting, let’s examine Endings from two perspectives.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I would hazard a pretty fair guess that you can connect to my resentful sentiments around February 2010. That’s when I inevitably realized I’d be pressed into an elderly fray I wanted nothing more than to run away from! Remember, as the only child of Un-cope-able Parents (already deeply fatigued by my toxic folks at age 25), I dreaded the loss of my relative freedom since “escaping” through marriage.
Ironically, my parents were rapidly losing their own sense of independence. My mother had been confined for months to a hospital bed with mounting ailments tended at home by a Personal Support Worker prior to her April 2010 passing. My father was overloaded with errands. Throughout 2011, he had several minor vehicular mishaps that resulted in no longer driving by 2012. I appreciate what a grievous loss it was to “surrender” the car keys.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself
In Managing Transitions, Bridges offers reflective questions to promote our advancement through each stage. Here are several. What are you losing as a result of embarking on the back-breaking eldercare ordeal? What are your feelings and who can you tell about them? What can you to do to take care of yourself? In fact, I encourage you to consider where you are in the transitions journey as we tackle each stage in turn.
My Story Continued
As it so happens, this week on the Endings theme also marks the three-year anniversary of my father’s passing on August 26th. Memories most assuredly flood back.
Concerning all our personal “completion” conversations during his evermore rapid decline, I’ve long ago been at peace. When it comes to the countless medical issues I was forced to attend to during my Dad’s hospitalization, not so much!
You can count on my writing of those experiences in my upcoming book Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare. I will keep you informed as to its publication so you can be amongst the first to acquire your autographed copy J
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