Her world stopped turning
Her world stopped turning … and … maybe even started turning not yet. Due to breast cancer Monica’s breast was removed. For clarity, Monica is a fictitious name. About a year later she also lost her son to cancer, just before his 8th birthday. How harsh life can be. It’s so unfair.
In the meantime, again a year has passed in Monica’s life. She is still struggling with dealing of that great loss and sorrow. Yeah, who doesn’t? She is still getting tired quickly and still can’t concentrate. Everything in life around her seems totally insignificant … especially when you compare that to her huge loss.
“Yes,” she says, “I can’t get anything out of my hands. Keep me good, I would really like to continue my life … but … I just can’t get it done. “
Panic strikes when the company doctor thinks Monica should be able to work again. Does he not understand that I am tired quickly, that I cannot concentrate?
Panic strikes when people around her have an opinion about just everything. The death of her son is almost a year ago … the removal of her breast even longer. Why would you still have such an immense sadness? You should have processed your grief by now anyway, right?
Panic strikes when Monica wonders how to handle all those reactions. To her it seems that there are two worlds … the world in which she lives … and … the world in which the people around her live. At times she can feel so lonely.
It has been a while that managers and colleagues from the company she works for, regularly contacted her or stopped by. It seems as if Monica no longer exists for them. Apart from the occasional contacts with the company doctor and human resources, nobody contacts her anymore. She must find out everything by herself and even resolve it.
“Don’t they understand what’s going on with me, and … with me?” says Monica. “Can no one give me a helping hand? Is that so much to ask? Is there no one who even understands how hard I am now? The question ‘how I am doing,’ they ask out of (social) courtesy rather then they really do want to know. Can no one even yield any empathy? “
“I’m struggling more than enough in coping with my loss and sorrow. Why do I have to consider someone else? Why doesn’t they take account of me? Is that too much to ask?” Monica asks herself. “There’s no one who hears me. No one who really listens to me. Help! “
Cry for help
On the one hand, for Monica, everything in life around her seems utterly insignificant… when you compare that to her huge loss. Not only that, but on the other hand Monica is too proud to ask for help.
And yet … Monica wants, as she said before, to continue her life … but … she just can’t get it done. Her cry for help is loud and clear! A cry that should never be ignored … by nobody!
Monica is finally heard, and people have gone along with her step by step. The way things look now, Monica will be fine in some point in time. However, the “scars” of her loss and sorrow will never go away, with as result that Monica comes to life in a different way than before. It’s just the way it is.
No matter how big your loss and grief is … no matter how harsh and emotional you react to it … no matter how long ago it happened … whatever people in your area think about it or how they respond to it … and how you respond to this (complex) entirely … there is usually a way to get out of that deep valley of that great loss and sorrow.
Of course, you don’t have to find that road alone. There are countless people who can help you with this. People like family members, dear friends, experiential experts, professional caregivers or people from your immediate environment. Central to this is that you are willing to ask for and accept their help. It is also central that they can and want to give you that help … and continue to give that to you if you indicate you need it.
However, before that happens, it must be clear that help is needed. This is possible because your world is starting to move again and you, the grieving person, eventually start to realize that you cannot handle your loss or grieving on your own. That it is also possible for all of us to assure that we do not leave the grieving, you, alone in processing loss or grief.
In a nutshell, no matter what happens, all of us should, without exception, stay in touch with each other … if only to help each other when one of us needs help.