“TAKING CARE” of someone or is this “CO-DEPENDENCE”?


The main component of co-dependence is repeatedly taking care of someone else’s needs at the detriment of your own needs.  I speak mainly of grief and loss components, but co-dependency is active in countless areas of daily life for many people. 

Co-dependency can be seen or justified as; helping, not wanting to see the other person struggle with life issues, protecting, easing the burden, an obligation, a sense of “owing it to that person”, a guilt reaction,  a way of feeling appreciated and accepted, plus more…

During the vulnerable process of grieving a loss an individual may appear to be more open to helping others; this is a time to be aware.  Depending on the loss being experienced, the individual may be in shock, forgetful, sad, angry, feel numb to life, going through the motions but not truly being engaged in life.  Many people later comment on being in a bad dream or nightmare they could not escape from. 

Important decision making during this period is not necessarily a good idea.  The griever may need time to process the life changes that are occurring.

The point of this article is to remind the griever to

  • set boundaries on what is acceptable
  • acknowledge what is important to you
  • not give or do more than you are capable of in the moment
  • be up front and open with others about your need to take care of yourself
  • talk with someone to get a second opinion on what you are unsure of

Depending on the relationship dynamics, the opportunity for misunderstanding or someone misinterpreting the situation can be strong.  There are numerous stories of relationships and families experiencing difficulties after a death or loss;

  • relationships ending
  • family conflict and disputes
  • relatives disowning each other
  • generational disconnect lasting decades

Perhaps you know or have first-hand experience of this occurring.  Make wise, informed decisions and choices especially when grief and loss are primary components. 

As always I bring a perspective to consider and be informed.

All my best



Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net