I found this article in my files. Although it is (thankfully) from several years ago, I decided to share it with you as if it was current. Since I wrote it, I have unfortunately lost my brother, my brother-in-law and two other friends to this disease.

As I wrote it then:

Four of my friends are currently being treated for cancer. Two others have recovered, and are still understandably nervous when minor illnesses occur.

Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. is a Master Certified Coach and communication expert. Dr. Weiss has spent 35 years helping clients resolve conflict in business and personal relationships. Email feedback@laurieweiss.com

[tags]Self-Improvement, Self Help,Personal Growth, Grief, Health[/tags]
At one meeting of a business women’s group, one friend told me she had just been diagnosed, and another told me that a very special friend of hers was not expected to live until the new year.

She asked “How can I help her family?”

All of us feel variations of helplessness, grief, anger, and fear when we are forced to think about serious illness, whether it is our own or a friend’s. We hate to remember how frail and vulnerable we humans really are.

It’s easier to hold on to the illusion that if we do things right, eat properly and exercise regularly, nothing bad will ever happen. We complain “It’s not fair!”

We must mourn the very real losses of health, body parts, and life itself. The need to grieve for lost illusions and shattered dreams is less obvious, but equally important.

Although it may seem frivolous to grieve for your vacation when
you must do something to protect your life, or sinful to feel angry about the inconvenience caused by your friend’s illness, those feelings are normal, too.

We can’t protect ourselves from life. Bad things do happen to good people. We can help ourselves and each other by allowing, expressing and acknowledging all our feelings.

Don’t censor a feeling because it is “bad” or “inappropriate.” All
feelings are an important part of being alive.

Grief is how we heal from pain; support is simply staying with the one who is grieving and not trying to fix anything. Grieving is necessary to make space for happier feelings that will eventually return.