Got grief? Strategies to help manage heartache

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Grief, like cancer, is not biased. Although grief, or heartache, focuses on the psyche, it can still kill: hope, good intentions, innocence. In “Moving forward through grief,” I talk about the stages of grief that many of us will or have encountered. No one situation looks the same; likewise, no one person assimilates grief the same way. Additionally, I believe this soul-deep sorrow can extend beyond loss into territories of unfulfilled dreams, unanswered prayer, disillusionment, broken relationships, failing health and so on. What we require is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but remedies we can apply to help us transition through it:

  • Accept it: understand grief is a normal part of life
  • Be patient: cut slack—with yourself and others—when appropriate
  • Allow time: rest, rejuvenate and replenish as necessary
  • Walk through it: realize it is only temporary; avoid setting up camp
  • Admit a need: know when to ask for and/or to accept help
  • Say no: don’t apologize, minimize or make excuses

What’s your strategy for coping with grief?

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Take action: Don’t let life pass you by

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The “C” word: I abhor it. My parents, others I know, myself. Today, two dear friends battle cancer’s insidious intent. The reality: I’ve slept through too many days and nights, living on the sidelines. But now my eyes are wide open. My heart, at first numb—a coping mechanism to anesthetize oneself from acknowledging the pain, I suppose—begins to thaw, pump out a pulse. Each one stronger than the one before it: Mocking cancer. Choosing life. This, following inaction, allows for action—for rote. A meal, a visit, a thinking of you card, divine petitions as automatic as breathing. Loving. Yet, the fist-sized organ in my chest deceives as I find myself back on the sidelines. At a loss, unsure of the role I’m to play. Helpless, I observe as others fill my shoes. A bitter concoction of anguish, dejection and rejection wash over me. Or maybe this is the feeling of life as it passes by.

What will you do today to take action, live life?

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