Grief is not exclusive when a loved one passes, not the same for the next person and certainly not the same pain for anyone’s loss. I have recently experienced the loss of my Paul: my lover, my best friend, my future, my everything in an instant due to cardiac arrest.
This event has prompted to give grief more thought than I ever have before. I have lost my parents, lost many girlfriends to breast cancer, lost other friends to other cancers. I lost my breasts when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995.
I lost my parents, in fact, I lost them twenty days apart in 2006. Even then I knew it was just the way it was supposed to be; after all, they held hands until the end. My Mom had ovarian cancer and my Dad had a bowel obstruction we were not aware of until the pain caused another stroke. My Mom and Dad were not perfect but they did love each other and they loved us deeply. They taught us unconditional love. I still cried even though I knew they were free from disease.
I lost strong women friends to breast cancer or a cancer diagnosis later in life that took them early. I was by their side, reading to them their favorite passages or short stories or just a simple poem to help them ease the mental and physical pain. I listened to their labored breathing or just watched them in the peaceful state in the end of life. I still cried even though I knew they were free of cancer.
I have been by the sides of many of friend that lost their siblings or spouses from diseases, and we all felt we lost them far too early. Come to find out and admit, Death has no time frame. It is going to happen no matter what. I still cried; loss of a good friend is a deep loss.
I lost my breasts to my cancer diagnosis in the summer of 1995. After a cancer diagnosis, you grieve, mostly because one of the first realities that hits you hard is that life will never, ever be the same. At that moment, your life is filled with uncertainty and no matter what anyone tells you, you own that grief. You own that fear.
Right now, not a day goes by and I wonder how or why. In the past two years, I have learned a great deal about meditation and breathing. Both practices help me get past the how and why of my recent loss. You just can’t ask that question and expect God to answer. I wish I had those practices to help me in 1995 with my breast cancer diagnosis. I may have listened better.
My other advice? Listen and listen mindfully. Listen to what your family and friends say to you and how they convey it. Let go of the negative (there are always those types you know) and hold on to the positive messages – those are your truest and caring friends.
Remember to hang on because you are in for one heck of a ride. It does get better.
#grief #grieving #breastcancer #cancer #loss #meditation #breastcancerEI