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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


How we live our lives is how we deal with grief. Life does have times of grief, but also heartfelt joyful times. 

Grief can come in many forms and stages lasting short or long spans of time. Our response to grief may also depend on the unexpectedness of the event. We grieve at the time of death or passing of someone; the ending of a relationship; the loss of a job or finances; and we grieve at the time of a life-threatening illness.

We go through the stages of life from early childhood, through our teens and young adulthood, to mature adults, and finally to our aged years. Some of us sometimes get "stuck" in a certain age group, not learning from life's events to move into the next stage. For example when we are supposed to move into the young adulthood, we might stay as a less mature and irresponsible teenager.

When I worked as a hospice nurse I saw individuals unable to cope with the coming death of their loved one. Some screamed and fought the inevitable in every possible way. At such times I watched the faces of the patients who were ready to pass on with peace and dignity. There were other families who were very supportive of their loved one's wishes and needs.

My grandmother used to teach me that when someone is dying, it is best to have the lights low, sounds hushed, and loved ones surrounding the patient. She would say, "The soul passes on easily when there is not the clamor of shouts and wailing." Now this theory does not align with all beliefs, but it fit Grandma's needs and wishes, as it does mine.

A friend, Carol, wrote to me about her 92 year old Mother's death. The hospital staff was very supportive, comforting, and never left the family's side. Carol described them "as the four angels who helped my dear mother make the final journey home."

Harriet Hodgson has written many books and given many presentations about the subject of grief. Losing her daughter and son-in-law within a short period of time propelled her to explore beliefs and information about grieving. I encourage you to go to her website and search out books that might be helpful to you. http://www.harriethodgson.com

From a young age we see around us that grief is mostly an affliction, a misery that intrudes into the life we deserve, a rupture of the natural order of things, a trauma that we need coping and management and five stages and twelve steps to get over. Here’s the revolution: What if grief is a skill, in the same way that love is a skill, something that must be learned and cultivated and taught? What if grief is the natural order of things, a way of loving life anyway? Grief and the love of life are twins, natural human skills that can be learned first by being on the receiving end and feeling worthy of them, later by practicing them when you run short of understanding. In a time like ours, grieving is a subversive act.

When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer I went through the 5 steps of grieving (denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance). We may go in and out of these stages according to our own schedule. The goal is to reach and stay in acceptance for our physical, mental, and spiritual health. www.outshineovariancancer.com 



  1. How ironic....I was sitting in one of my bright spots meetings at work and I shared that "I am grieving." It comes in spurts. I'm grieving the loss of my in-laws. My father-in-law died 7 months ago and the grief comes in waves. My husband shared with me last night that he was thinking about his parents on his way to pick up his daughter and he started to cry. I grieve for myself as well as my husbands loss. Today I know it is healthy to grieve so I just let it happen when it crops up. In my past life I rarely allowed it. I am grateful for the 5 stages and the 12 step program to get me through life on life's terms....the natural order of things.

    Amy Ingalls

    1. Thank you for sharing your more recent experiences with grieving, and I am so sorry for your loss of both of your husband's parents. In the end, we are supposed to be stronger after going through the grieving process. The 12 step program is wonderful and provides us the same opportunity to become more whole.