Suggestions for Coping with Grief

The PMP Pals’ Network hosts 24 specific support and resource groups. Twenty two of those groups focus on teaching patients how to live well with, overcoming the challenges of cancer treatment, so they may move forward and live healthy and productive lives!

Since we still don’t have a one hundred per cent cure for cancer, two of the Pal Support and Resource groups focus on the needs of the families who are the most challenged by cancer: hospice families and grieving families. We describe those families who have lost a spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling to cancer as our Loved Ones’ Support Group.

This week we have been exploring a question presented by newly widowed Pamela. Pamela and her husband were high school sweethearts and were together more than 40 years.

In addition to losing her husband to appendix cancer, Pamela also lost her brother, to brain cancer, during the same week. The grief that Pamela is experiencing feels overwhelming at times.

Pamela poses this question, “Why did God allow so much suffering for my family, in particular?”

This question is pondered by many, especially during situations of tremendous loss.

Pamela turned to the PMP Pals’ Loved Ones’ Support Group for an explanation to this common question.

Heather, who has also recently been widowed, offered today’s response. Heather’s own husband passed away from complications related to appendiceal cancer earlier this year. Heather is now the single mom of a young teen and is raising her daughter alone.

Heather shares the following thoughts:

“Let us look at the experiences of Job. Lessons are to be learned from suffering, whether it's “God's doing” or man's. 

Patience, compassion, understanding, humility…we experience many emotions and feelings; with everyone it's different.  I'm not sure of my lesson(s) perhaps, because I'm still in denial about the recent loss of my own husband, and also because I am sad.  

I'm not upset at God anymore, but I am upset at the situation. Cancer stinks! 

My heart is so much more tender than it was before my loss. Whenever I want to have a pity party for myself, I think of what my husband endured and what others have experienced.

Yes, I still cry on a daily basis, usually by myself at night. 

I wake up in the morning and put a smile on my face, not because I love my life now, but because my husband fought so damn hard to try to save his life. I need to thank God for one more day on His Earth.

Does God allow families to suffer? No!

But cancer does.


Visit to learn how you can participate in one or more of our two dozen “Pal” support and resource groups. We welcome patients and their families!


Articles posted in PMP Pals and on are written from the perspective of patients and family caregivers and are not intended to substitute for licensed, professional medical or legal advice. Patients should seek the counsel of their own licensed healthcare professionals regarding their personal, specific needs. Copyright © 2011 by Gabriella Graham/PMP Pals. All rights reserved


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