Perspectives on Grieving
This was written a little over a year after my mother died of Pancreatic Cancer on October 23rd, 2008. The disease devastated her body and mind and I was traumatized by her suffering. My grief began the moment she was diagnosed and continues to this day. In the first year I desperately grieved the loss of my mom – she was my best friend, my mentor and my role model.
In that moment one thought enveloped him — This existence is over — and was immediately swallowed by another: This existence is more precious than ever before. Because there were five other children out there, “and I’m now the be-all and end-all of their life.”
[Our goal in sharing articles such as this on death and dying in America, is to further our mission of normalizing grief in our society and encouraging families to "have the conversation" as a way to reduce fear and stress, open communication and prepare families for end of life decision making. It can actually improve the quality of life.”
Don’t leave me!” the little girl with pink ribbons in her hair sobbed as her aunt and young cousin said good-bye to her at the Denver airport. I was returning from a conference in Colorado and was sitting next to the little girl and her grandmother.
"In my experience, when something like this takes place, people in a family are often willing to take on responsibility and guilt rather than admit something even scarier: that accidents happen; that even the most ordinary among us live in a world of risk and randomness that we don’t control. Sometimes, blaming ourselves feels safer than this realization that the world is an unpredictable and even dangerous place. But self-blaming and shame isolate and shrivel the human spirit.
Meghan O’Rourke, author of “The Long Goodbye” gets it right again.
The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread all over everything.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
My father died when I was 14. My father died when I was 14. My father died when I was 14. Heart attack. While he was running. Training for a marathon. Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, just out of the blue. Yeah, just about the worst thing that could have ever happened, just really the absolute worst, nothing worse will ever happen to me! (I will laugh at this part, a little. To make sure you know it’s okay, that I can think about this thing and laugh at the same time.)
Last year we met with about 60 teens from Holy Trinity CYO program. We left feeling inspired and full of hope about their resilience and ability to cope with tough times.
This is a moving article about the importance of talking about illness with your family and kids and the importance of getting support. Read about one family's courageous battle with the final stages of Ovarian Cancer.