There is No Grief 101

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.

Cape Lookout,  Oregon 2013
Cape Lookout,
Oregon 2013

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

11 thoughts on “There is No Grief 101

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  1. This is a beautiful post Laurie. Grief is an emotion that I don’t entirely understand. I have not had the same experiences of loss that you have had. You are able to discuss your experiences with such grace and beauty. I trust your process entirely.

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  2. Laurie,
    So sorry for your most recent loss! I don’t know if you remember me but we met years ago and had a mutual friend in Dan Nabors, another terrible loss. My maiden name was Strough.
    Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you!
    Kim Park

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    1. Oh, Kim, thank you so much for your comment. I had a standing TV show date with Dan and Cyndi every week. The night he passed away, I went to the house as usual and no one was home. I just felt something had happened. Sure enough, on my drive back home Starr called me. I went immediately to St. Luke’s. Dan was so wise for his age.

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  3. Laurie, You don’t know me but I read this and I want to thank you for putting in words what I felt when a special person in my life passed ( ie. my daughter, my friend, my grandparents and aunts and uncles, and most recently my Dad) Time does heal. I am sorry for your loss, life goes on and like the Bible says, The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, Trust and Faith is what we have left, no matter what you believe in spiritually.

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  4. What a beautiful post Laurie ! You are spot on . Grieving is different for everyone and for everything. One loss does not make the next one any easier. You have been through so much and have so much to give. Love you girlie . I’ll be there soon and would love to hang out .

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  5. Laurie,
    I’m so sorry for your loss and unimaginable pain. Your eloquent post is generous and will help so many. I wish your pain will swiftly be replaced with the joyful memories you shared.
    Be well…
    Kristen

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