Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I have recently spent a lot of time with a friend whose husband has cancer. Their family has lived for a year with intense hope and faith. In June, they were told they had a miracle: remission, even though the cancer had been stage 4 in four places. A surgery to remove the remaining tumor--and their life would be back to what it was before: marathons, camping, snowmobiling--fun. But two months later, the cancer was back. And now, just a few weeks after that horrible news, the doctors say it's everywhere.

I heard, somewhere, that grief feels like wearing a heavy coat. I found this page that uses a number of similes, including that one, to try to explain grief.

I have a picture book titled Through the Mickle Woods. In it, a king grieves the death of his wife. His journey through that grief reminds us that our lives are made of all the things that happen to us and through us--both the sweet and the sad. Sometimes it's hard to remember that when the sad is so present.


  1. So sorry for your friend, but she is lucky to have you nearby.

  2. Thank you for sharing about your friend. I am sorry for anyone who must face such a hard thing. The grief article meant a lot to me for I am going through a challenge with my husband too, and the feelings are similar. He has Parkinson's disease and facing it has been a tough journey and will get tougher. But-I have found the following story, although meant for another kind of challenge, helpful. Perhaps it will aid you and your friend also. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_Holland

  3. This semester, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have felt so unlike myself, floating from responsibility to responsibility, not really engaging, heavy. I sometimes wish that I could shed my concern and pain like snake skin. However, this unfortunate experience is mine for a reason. I can already tell that it has increased my appreciation for my family, my opportunities, and my blessings. It has also allowed me to empathize with others who are grieving, something that was previously difficult for me.

    I am so sorry for your friend. I am sure that she appreciates you!