Archives For Grief

img_7830This past Sunday one of our dogs, Kenyon, appeared to be fine. On Monday he was throwing up mucus and pieces of grass. This type of throwing up is not unusual for either of our dogs. They eat grass when they are having digestive problems, like constipation. His vomiting continued intermittently throughout the day. I went to dance practice Monday night. On Tuesday morning my husband left me a note telling me that Kenyon hadn’t eaten Monday night nor Tuesday morning. He informed me that the dog had ingested part of Continue Reading…

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Then

As most of you know, my daughter had another tumor removed last July. This was her second occurrence of leiomyosarcoma. She had a liver resection. Two institutions opined that it could not be determined if it was a new primary tumor or Stage IV as the cells of leiomyosarcoma were exactly the same. She was 6 months shy of her 5-year anniversary.

As a parent, at first I was first in warrior mode, then caregiver mode and then when the dust had settled became completely distraught. I have complex PTSD and this event was a trauma trigger on the magnitude of an 8.0 earthquake collapsing the entire house. I went into the usual grieving over whether she would live or die. I had to wrestle with Can I stand by and watch my daughter die from this? Would I rather be dead? Even after all I had been through, fighting to live, living through my first husband’s death, could I do this again? I asked myself these questions and more. Continue Reading…

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I love going to the movies. It is the only place where I feel completely unplugged and immersed in someone else’s story, especially if it is a good movie. This year I have started ‘Wednesday is Movie Night’ and I go with a very good friend each and every week.

Even before the 2015 Academy Awards where Julianne Moore won best actress, I was interested in seeing “Still Alice”. My movie partner wasn’t as interested but went this week with me to see Moore’s Oscar winning performance. Continue Reading…

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As you are aware the end of the year and the holiday season may be a difficult time for The Nation of Cancer. It is a time of reflection; a time to look at where one is in their life. It is also a time that may exacerbate the loss felt if a loved one has died or is very sick. It can also be a time of sadness if you, yourself are dealing with your own illness. I know that there have been many years this has been true in my life and this year has been no exception.

As I have been writing out holiday cards, I have been struck by how difficult this year has been but also struck by the gratitude I feel for what I do have. For one thing, I feel very grateful that I was able to accompany Jean Shinoda Bolen on a trip to Ireland a few years ago. I am also grateful that she graciously endorsed my book.

I have read most of her books and have always learned so much from her. Her latest book: Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywomen is a prime example of her writing, another wonderful book full of stories of mythology and how they still apply to each of us. This book has helped in better understanding my nature, further identifying mythological archetypes and contributed to continuing my journey of knowledge of who I am and what I can be.

I am including an e-mail that I received from her that I think is something to ponder as we continue on our path of healing. As suggested, I am passing along the gift of Jean Shinoda Bolen.

December 11, 2014

“Still Here” is a short essay that I read in one of my workshops at Esalen and said that I would send it to them. Intuition after hearing from others about people they have lost:  send it out to all. Continue Reading…

IMG_1185As you may or may not be aware, I have not been ‘out’ much lately. I am trying to come to grips with the latest cancer ordeal in our family. I’ve been digging in the dirt, watching mindless television, reading and shockingly – cleaning my house.

I have been saying that I am grieving. Grieving what? Am I grieving a dream, a vision of the future, an expectation? I realized that I’m not really grieving although it can feel pretty bad. Continue Reading…

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“All morning they watched for the plane which they thought would be looking for them. They cursed war in general and PTs in particular. At about ten o’clock the hulk heaved a moist sigh and turned turtle.”

John Hersey, writer Hiroshima

During the past few months I have been seeing various physical therapists, first for tendonitis in my wrists and arms. The pain then moved to my right shoulder where my shoulder blade is now protruding hence necessitating a new physical therapist. The quest to release this pain and get back in alignment is also augmented by seeing a myofascial release practitioner. See:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/expert-answers/myofascial-release/faq-20058136)

Trigger point massage at physical therapy is highlighting the fact that my muscles are frozen in spasms and knots not just in my right shoulder, but also throughout my entire back and along my spine. I wonder, how is it I can be in so much pain and for the most part am not even aware of it until I am touched or it becomes so bad it then enters my awareness?

The physical therapist does not think this is the result of any injury or trauma, at least on the physical level. So what is left – emotional injury, psychological injury, repressed feelings, stress trauma? This is the next quest in my journey of healing—to determine what is causing this and fix it. Continue Reading…

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The following was submitted as a guest post written by Phyllis, a member of The Nation of Cancer.

Reinvention

Forty years as a Mrs.

That was my identity.

Employment, residences, they came & went–all were transient.

Our children grew up and successfully outgrew the nest.

My identity was safe, solid, unchanged, and secure. Continue Reading…