Geography has nothing to do with remembering the ones we’ve lost to cancer. 

Laurie Hirth is thousands of miles away from the days she spent caring for Neil, but when important dates pop-up on the calendar, she remembers.  Her heart’s deep bruise has been softened by finding a new home and making new friends, but her loss will always be with her. 

She’s gone through the mourning and she’s felt the grief.  Any of us who have been through a cancer death know the “phases of grief.”  We’ve lived them.  But what about the “Tasks” of grief, the surviving part of our loss?  It might be even more important that recognizing the “stages of grief.”

Here’s the guidelines, as it was explained to me:

Tell the story: Tell it over and over again until it becomes real.  The more you tell it, the more you’ll understand that it is real and you’ll get to the point where you accept it too.

Express your emotions:  Do something that will get those emotions out.  I”ve know people who draw to express their grief, others cry or scream.  My walking helped me deal with the pain.  It’s so important to express yourself. 

Make Meaning from the Loss:  We’ve talked about ‘paying it forward’ so many times.  Helping others can help you get through the loss.  Life has changed forever, but there are still ways to make life better.

Remember, no one can take away the memories of our loved ones.   Miles can’t separate them, years can’t either. 

But we do need to find a place for the grief.  It’s bad for the heart and all it does is make us sad.   

 

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