Sometimes in life, we find ourselves grieving. Grieving is a part of life along with loss. When we lose someone we love, especially when they are suffering, we feel a mixture of emotions. Part of us wants to see our loved one out of pain prior to death. There is another part of us that still sees the person they once were before they got sick because their soul is the same one they were born with. Sheer willpower and strength and hope we want so badly to believe in.
While the person is alive, despite the ultimate prognosis of death, there are miracle cures where no explainable medical reason can be given for the cure, you do hear of cures happening in rarity. Still, no matter what our loved one asks us before they pass on, we want to give them hope. I was faced with this question from my niece, my sister’s daughter. I am sure they are all very angry with me now, as I told them what I honestly thought; based on decisions made in the earlier stages of the particular cancer she has, radiation was stopped after the therapy burnt her skin so badly she could not swallow, eat or drink. I can’t believe it just a little over a year ago we originally got the diagnosis. How do we cope with our loved one when she hasn’t faced the reality herself and what should your role be in this situation? Her two young grown daughters, 21 years old and 23 years old, still had not realized the seriousness of her illness which could be deadly and still unsure of her final outcome, as she dropped to a mere 74 pounds losing more than half of her body weight. When my niece (her daughter) asked me if I thought her mother would make it, I shared with her I didn’t based on my opinion. I don’t know if I did the right thing given my nieces age.
Perhaps the opinion shared with my sister that she would not make it when she asked me, and sharing with her daughter my honest thoughts have been viewed as negative, but I felt it would not be right to lie to either of them when the purpose of my visit was to go out of state and say goodbye for an ungiven amount of time. Now that we are gone and I said goodbye, as we were leaving, sadly my sister could not even speak aloud goodbye back. her newest tumor is growing quickly and had finally cut off use of her voice box. I failed to mention her passion was singing. Strange how these things happen. Jenny carries with her the love of so many people including myself where it is a little like the story, “Where the Red Fern Grows”. I feel we started off together playing as kids and our fern grew in different directions as we took different paths in life yet remained intertwined. However, both ferns lived remaining with one another as they stayed alive over tbe past 50 years. This was supposed to be a more optimistic take on grief, but as I write this story, I know I am still too sad finding myself at times over the past weeks breaking down crying.
I will offer some advice that I found helpful when I researched, “how to deal with grief”.
1. Write. Purging your feelings on paper can be helpful and a way to release them in a way that isn’t self sabotaging. 2. Talk to individuals who care about you but also have the ability to be objective about the situation. with matters of the heart this serious. 3a. trust is necessary in your faith during this tragic time. having doubts in your faith is normal. You are dealing with loss of a loved one, whose fate is/was completely out of your hands. Anger is normal and trying to blame someone, whether it be her doctors or God is normal. Realizing this is part of the overcoming the first stage of grief, denial. 3b. anger is the second step of grief. talking out your feelings can help you deal with coping, especially when talking with someone of a professional nature such as a counselor or psychologist. 3c. bargaining is also a part of the five stages of grief. how do we handle this? we must accept in life we don’t and cannot control everything. bargaining is a way of trying to hang onto control we never had to begin with when losing someone. 4. Depression is the4th of 5 stages of grief. We must cope with it, but draw the line when it comes to acceptance of the loss without dwelling on the sadness. Life does change. You may have a bad day one day, and a good one the next. this is how we deal with depression, stage four of grief. 5. Acceptance. It may seem we don’t or aren’t able to get to this stage. In time, however, it will come. Does this mean our feelings of love and loss of our loved one will disappear? No, it simply means we develop coping mechanisms for dealing with these feelings. As many say, coping with loss is a part of life. this doesn’t make it any easier to deal with; only time passing can help us with this.
You will always wonder if you did or said the right or correct things to your loved one after they have passed. I personally, will always wonder if I dealt with the situations presented to me the best way possible. There is no “magic formula” to deal with grief. Only time can begin to heal the pain and wounds of the loss of a loved one. Thanks so much for reading about grief, and I pray this article has brought you some form of peace.
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