A Few More Random Thoughts on Grief

I’ll admit I post for pretty selfish reasons – it gets thoughts out of my head, and helps me spread the word about the great things happening with The Tory Day Fund – but it looks like last week’s on grief struck a chord with a few of you. It’s been seen by almost 1,500 people on Facebook and I’ve heard from family, friends, and friends of friends in the past week about its impact. Incredibly inspiring.

IMG_20160508_174108 (2)Why the interest? I chalk it up to a couple reasons:

  1. Grief is universal and unavoidable. We all go through different periods of grief during our life, whether it be because of job loss, a failed relationship, or the death of a loved one. (Hopefully not all at once, though – write a country song if that’s you.) And somehow, despite the fact that every living thing on earth since the beginning of time dies, we haven’t evolved enough to conquer grief. So we look for ways to manage it better.
  2. We’re usually afraid to publicly share our grief, or really any sign of mental weakness. Thankfully that’s changing. The Bell #letstalk campaign, celebrities who share their story, like the Jays’ closer Roberto Osuna who recently went public with his struggles with anxiety, have taken mental health into the mainstream. We (OK, not me but some people) take selfies at the gym showing off physical health. There are countless books and magazines on financial health. People worship for their spiritual health. But mental health has been hidden in the shadows until now. I guess you appreciated the openness about my struggles — misery loves company, right? (And did you see how the story spread quickly this week when a CEO at a US tech company responded to an email from an employee who told her team she was taking the next couple days off for her mental health? Pretty cool.) Hey, I warned you this post would be random.

Speaking of books, I just picked up Option B, co-written by Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean In and COO of Facebook whose husband Dave died suddenly a couple years ago. A few friends had recommended it to me and within a few minutes of picking it up I was hooked – Sheryl’s thoughts and experiences were similar to mine since Tory’s death and I’m thankful mine aren’t unique. (The title comes from a conversation Sheryl had with a friend when she was planning how to handle her kid’s upcoming ‘father-daughter dance’ at school, and how Dave wouldn’t be there for it. Her friend responded by telling her that option A isn’t available – but together they’d kick the shit out of option B. I can relate.) Pick up the book or join the Facebook group if you’re interested.

OK, last week I gave you five reasons why I’ve been able to survive my grief recently, and I have a couple more this week:IMG_20160520_114133

  1. These two mutts: Willow and Jack are Kate’s and my constant companions and any dog lover will tell you they’re indispensable when dealing with grief. At the very least they get me out of bed every morning for a walk – especially days when I want to sleep the day away and wish the roller coaster would end by the time I get up. (And hey, Kate and I are volunteering for After the Track, the greyhound rescue we got Jack from in late 2015, this weekend at Dog Days of Scugog. If you’re in the Port Perry area on Sunday afternoon, come by and say hi.)
  2. Spirituality: Kate manages her grief exceptionally well and there are times I’m worried she’s not dealing with it and it’s bottling up inside her. Her specialist is happy with Kate’s progress and when I pressed Kate for her secret – she told me she feels her mom’s spirit around her to provide strength and guide her in the right direction. Kate’s already learned that you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual.

That’s it. No more on the topic of grief, for now anyway. I’ll get back to writing about The Tory Day Fund and improving the comfort of cancer patients next week. I guess the topics aren’t completely unrelated though … Regardless of whether you’re going through cancer or grief — comfort is key.

Have a great weekend.


PS, if you don’t mind these updates be sure to share the post and ‘like’ The Tory Day Fund on Facebook or subscribe to this web site (you’ll find a quick form on the right sidebar of this page). Thanks.