Grieving Changes – Breast Cancer & Widows
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I bet everyone reading this has been touched by this insidious disease, either personally or through a friend or relative. Breast cancer is one of those few cancers that can leave a woman disfigured, leaving her often grieving how her body used to look and how she used to feel as a woman.
She grieves in many of the same ways as I have as a widow. I grieved for a life I used to have and was forced to find a new normal, so does she.
A woman with breast cancer often wonders how she will handle dating, sex and her self esteem, again similar stages of grief that a widow faces.
Often a woman with cancer will have daily reminders after her treatment ends of her loss – her loss of hair and often her breasts, a widow has reminders of her loss seeing pictures of her partner on every shelf reminders of a life gone by.
Both cancer patients and those of us grieving loss are faced everyday with the fear of what the next day, week or month will bring during the grieving and healing process.
During this month of awareness I recognize that loss and that grief come in many different forms and a thought I wanted to share with you.
Loss and grief surrounds us everyday, perhaps this awareness will make each of us more compassionate & hopeful with those who grieve loss in whatever form it takes.
I met a beautiful woman named Stephanie Sowder last week who has a line of butterfly jewelry to honor and support those whose lives are touched by cancer. The butterfly is a symbol of life. If interested you can check it out here: www.butterflyoflife.com