As if it should have been the case. Somewhere, on the way, during a coffee break, I got into conversation with Kathy, a fictitious name. The blog is about her and her partner John, also a fictitious name, who struggle with Kathy’s disease.
The story of Kathy
Kathy has breastcancer and its treatment is drastic and have the necessary effects on and in her body and on the image of her body. The consequences are not only physical, but also emotional and that is also perceived by her.
The changing body image and the emotional perception can be seen as a mourning reaction… at that which was… and now is. And that applies not only to Kathy but also to John. It is important to note that both Kathy’s and John’s bereavement and the way they deal with it is different.
Now, while Kathy is recovering slowly step by step, John has fled in his work. And at the same time Kathy is only now beginning to realize what she feels … what has happened to her … and … how should she continue with her life. Right now, Kathy feels more and more abandoned by John.
Without having spoken to John
Yes, what follows are assumptions, but could it be the case that John has all kinds of feelings deep inside him… he doesn’t know how to phrase… or maybe even… doesn’t want to put into words.
It could also just be the case that while Kathy underwent the treatments and interventions, John only could be there for Kathy and only could give his support. He understood that her body was performing “top-sport” all the time and still does, while Kathy was physically too tired to be able to do much, or maybe even something at home. In that period was primarily the crisis manager in the house; worried about how her healing process was proceeding… worried about how the children and the family were dealing with her illness… arranged the house keeping… worried how his company or employer dealt with his absence. Has John even been able to take enough time for himself to realize what the consequences of Kathy’s illness could be?
And maybe it could be that John is scared … afraid because he does not know how to deal with her illness and its consequences … and how to proceed with Kathy … together … or …
John and Kathy must talk to each other and keep on talking. Yes, it’s clear to me, but it doesn’t have to be that it’s clear to John and Kathy.
In my opinion, it is necessary for Kathy and John to sit around the table together, and each one tells the story about … what is being felt … or missed … what the worries are … maybe is even afraid of.
In my opinion, it would be useful to do this together with a supervisor, so that in addition to helping to put everyone’s feelings into words, he or she can also cultivate understanding that both Kathy and John go through a grieving process in their own way. It does not matter how you go through that grieving process and how long it takes … what matters is that mourning process is run through!