Ruby Care Foundation


+44 (0) 333 011 7556

Self Help Information

For information on practical help from The Ruby Care Foundation, follow the links to read these self-help articles

The diagnosis of terminal illness can be hard to accept. The Ruby Care Foundation offers a listening ear, gives practical advice, and supports all concerned in adjusting to this new and sometimes very frightening reality. Help is at hand for everyone, whether directly or indirectly affected

DIAGNOSIS
From the moment you are told you have a terminal illness, a seeming avalanche of shock and mental, emotional and spiritual reactions can flood through you.

FEAR
One of the first, and possibly most overwhelming, reactions is fear; fear of dying; fear of the course of the illness; fear of pain; fear of losing your loved ones; fear of the unknown; fear of losing control ...

PRACTICALITIES
Some of the difficulties are practical, like the care of the children, making a Will, sorting the mortgage, funeral arrangements, care of the cats ...

DEEPER ISSUES
Other worries may be more soul-searching like, did my life really count, what about life after death - and these can be mixed up with unresolved past difficulties, problems not dealt with, traumas from the past that need relegation ..

FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Maybe the immediate family or close friends need to come to terms with letting go, with trying to understand everything involved, with wanting to be effective in assisting and not knowing how ...

The diagnosis of terminal illness can be hard to accept. The Ruby Care Foundation offers a listening ear, gives practical advice, and supports all concerned in adjusting to this new and sometimes very frightening reality. Help is at hand for everyone, whether directly or indirectly affected.

When someone is dying, the harmonies that sustain and fortify are shattered. The Ruby Care Foundation assists from a place of deep and compassionate understanding, and lends sanity and strength while all concerned go through this most painful time ...

Some issues arising at diagnosis of terminal illness:

  • A strong fear of dying alone
  • The desire to go into death clean - and the necessary shedding sometimes becoming blocked
  • Deep-seated fears and traumas can come to the fore, with urgent need for relegation and settlement
  • A seeming total 'denial' of death; there are many, and complex, reasons for this, including the wish to protect friends, family and children from their own fears
  • Deeply buried traumas may rise from the unconscious, sometimes necessitating skilled and even prolonged counselling
  • Very shocking revelations can emerge, often hard for a family to understand
  • As illness progresses the person can change their mind often about how they want to go on. Patience and understanding are needed in this
  • Bereavement begins the moment the diagnosis is given - for all concerned

The role of The Ruby Care Foundation in assisting at this time:

  • The companioning role is one of broad-ranging wisdom and guidance, brought to bear for the empowering of the dying person to approach their death with settlement, acceptance and serenity
  • Companioning the dying is humbling, honourable and satisfying, and needs to be undertaken with the right kind of understanding of what is going on. It can be a very difficult time for all concerned, and our aim is to assist towards as natural, serene and accepting a passing as possible
  • No-one needs to die alone. We are at hand to help those in stress, emotional turnmoil, or simply too busy to be there all the time. We work alongside those teams who care for the dying, and will give to all the warmth of loving companionship
  • We offer a hard-pressed family some respite so that the time they are able to spend with their loved one is without the pressure of too much to do, and too little time to do it
  • We also give follow-on support and care to those shocked and grieving once their loved one has passed on, and will help with the practicalities that can seem almost too much to handle

Just as new life is assisted through the process of being born, we believe that every life should have the opportunity to receive the same loving care and assistance as they go through the process of dying.

We will come and be with the dying, at home, in hospital or hospice, will lend an ear, offer guidance, advice and counselling if needed. We will show families and friends how to give effective assistance.

When someone is dying, the harmonies that sustain and fortify are shattered. The Ruby Care Foundation assists from a place of deep and compassionate understanding, and lends sanity and strength while all concerned go through this most painful time.

Grieving, from any loss, is always painful. It is also a natural and healing process. As you pass through the various stages of grief, so you 'do the work' of it, and can know that life will go on, and that so will you ...

About grief:

  • Grief is a shock to the whole system, and calls for understanding and patience
  • Those in grief need a listening ear and a caring heart - not someone who tries to 'fix it'
  • There are definite stages of grief, which must be gone through naturally and without judgement
  • Loss leaves huge wounds, and proper grieving is nature's way of healing those wounds
  • Grief can often be accompanied by guilt, and self-forgiveness is sometimes hard to achieve
  • Grief can affect the body's immune systems, so careful monitoring may be needed
  • The grief following loss from violence or suicide nearly always requires some kind of skilled counselling
  • There is no 'right' way to grieve - each individual must be allowed to find their own way and timing

The part of The Ruby Care Foundation in helping the grieving:

  • We are skilled counsellors, and know that the right kind of listening will ease and assist the process of grieving
  • We understand the processes of grief, and offer warmth and loving support from experience and careful training
  • We support everyone affected by grief without judgement; this can include the grief of the person who is dying as well as those already experiencing loss
  • We help cope with all practicalities, from arranging a funeral and sorting personal belongings, to drawing up or dealing with a Will
  • We give counsel, guideance and training to professionals who work regularly with the dying, and who can sometimes find it hard to relegate their own emotions
  • Our approach to supporting those in grief is one of empowerment of the bereaved, not one of giving unwanted advice

Grieving, from loss of a partner, a beloved pet, or even someone fleeing their country, leaves you very vulnerable; you may feel that there is no future, that life is almost too much to bear, and that there is no light at the end of what seems to be a very dark tunnel.

Grieving, from any loss, is always painful. It is also a natural and healing process. As you pass through the various stages of grief, so you 'do the work' of it, and can know that life will go on, and that so will you.

Follow this link for information relating to pet bereavement services ...

Anger becomes destructive if expressed without understanding what caused it and what it can do if not put to rest. Like any ‘virus’ that gets in it must have its full process, and you acquire immunity by ‘toughing’ it out and giving it full rein. The worst thing you can do with anger is keep it suppressed without expression – safe expression, yes, but full expression. The virulence it manifests comes from not having been allowed to ‘have anger’ when we were children; remember your childhood, and remember how you probably brought up your own children, curbing their anger and telling them it is an ugly and undesirable thing to have. Anger is a natural outlet-valve incorporated in the human design to let off steam (just like a pressure cooker) when emotions build up too strongly. Suppressing it causes other, more harmful, dis-ease to happen.

Coping with Anger in Bereavement

Anger is a strong yet natural reaction to sudden or gradual build up of emotional pressure. It can return again and again, is extremely uncomfortable and, if allowed free rein and directed at the object of the anger, it causes us to act irrationally and say things we later regret. It occurs as one of the kaleidoscopic processes that grief is, when we find ourselves coping with the loss of a loved one or of something important in our lives.

Anger accompanies all kinds of emotional reactions like:

  • fear
  • stress
  • grief
  • bereavement
  • loneliness
  • feeling powerless and unable to cope
  • shock, bewilderment and confusion
  • physical, emotional and mental pain
  • resentment
  • frustration
  • hearing bad news
  • … and more

Anger is a symptom that shows the whole behavioural system is out of balance. It says we’ve ‘reached the end of our tether’, or that we have been forced outside our usual tolerance realms.

What can we do about it?

First to recognise anger for what it is without judging ourselves for feeling this way; only then can we look at ways to relieve the pressure in safety towards ourselves and others. Mostly, anger is relegated by reasoning; but by its very nature it stops us from reasoning things through with a cool head; so first we need to express it, thereby limiting the damage to ourselves; once cooled down we can set about its full relegation

NB. It is of uttermost importance to express and relegate anger else it becomes destructive to yourself or to others if not diffused.

Having accepted that anger is not a ‘bad’ thing to have and injurious to keep bottled up, here are some ways of taking the sting and heat out, lessening the pressure before the next step of relegation:

  • Take a few deep breaths to calm and steady yourself – really do this – it works
  • Talk to someone who you trust will listen to you without judgement
  • Shout, scream or swear in a safe and private place – punch a pillow, scream at a tree, swear at the sky
  • Do some physical exercise according to your level of fitness - running, brisk walking, any regular sports
  • Write down, as fully as possible, what you are feeling (make sure nobody is going to see what you write else you inhibit the writing)
  • Cry if you feel like it

Of course it may be you need concentrated and skilled counselling assistance. The thing is to recognise it and begin to do what you have to so that it stops being the government on your thoughts and behaviour

Some beginner reasoning processes

Although it takes time to fully resolve anger, recognising what is causing it is a good place to start. Ask yourself:

  • Is there anything I can do to change what is causing the anger? Look for small practical solutions for the short term and consider what may help you in the long term
  • If I cannot change that can I alter my reaction? An instant, hot, angry response comes easily, but it helps to ‘step back’ from the situation and look at things from a different angle

To conclude

The healing process may take longer than you expect as you sort out what is causing your anger and the best way to cope with it. Anger is very powerful and can be all consuming but, if you recognise it as it rises, you can manage it better each time it turns up. Although many people prefer to work through their grief by themselves, coping with the anger and many other debilitating emotions that grief brings, others find it helpful and even necessary to seek support from a counsellor.

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