How to handle cancer related grief?


Grief is a state of mind just like happiness.

We all will have to go through this stage at one point or other in life.


Origin of Grief

Grief originates from a sense of belonging. Were we to shun all the worldly material benefits we would rise above emotions, but then that would also be akin to achieving a perfect state of mind as elaborated in Gita – the sacred text. The perfect state of mind is also known as Moksha or Nirvana.

Moksha – Definition

As per Gita, the soul is immortal & body is like a cloth to be changed overtime. So what are we to lose that we grieve. That would imply that we grieve for “Nothing.” Is Nothing a state of matter; just like solid, liquid & gas – probably Yes. Nothing is not Shunya or Vacuum. However we are to end up in Vacuum or so called Shunya; so what are we Grieving over or for.

Now if one thinks that one can’t achieve the perfect state of mind as one is Human after all, then the one who is suffering needs to have this awareness & proceed at a mental level to reduce this intensity of grief or learn to take it in his stride.

For this one needs to analyze what constitutes grief


The Stages of Grief

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ in her book, “On Death and Dying” identifies five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis.

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

• Denial (this can’t happen to me!)

• Anger (why me?)

• Bargaining ( Oh GOD I’ll be a better person if…)

• Depression (I don’t care anymore)

• Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)

These stages of grief are also experienced by others when they have lost a loved one or they are suffering from a cancer that is not terminal.

These stages are emotional behaviours& may not follow a set pattern, Sometimes one may not go through all these emotions. But all in all eventually it leads to Acceptance &“Acceptance precedes Change.” By Change I mean Change of mindset. If the mindset changes, one becomes brave enough to Face it. After all Life is a Rollercoaster ride of Ups & Downs. Is life possible without downs? Anyone who is alive has to go down, downhill I mean. Why are we conditioned only to enjoy Uphill rides? See I mean if we are travelling up the hill it takes a lot of effort, still we enjoy it. But if you are coming downhill it does not take much; learn to enjoy this too, after all this is also an emotion. Face it- This too will pass.

Dr. Roberta Temes in the book, “Living With An Empty Chair – a guide through grief.“describes three behavioral patterns exhibited by those suffering from grief and loss.

• Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)

• Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)

• Reorganization (re-entry into a more ‘normal’ social life.)

Will I Go Through Every Stage?

Grief varies depending upon the stage of life we encounter it at.

If a person has had a long life, death is expected so there will be emotions of grief but they might be more for what we will miss.

If a young life is cut short unexpectedly, there may well be intense feelings with all the stages as described previously.

I think the main motive is to understand that Grief will happen to everyone in life. And happen it will to all of us. Then why not be ready to deal with it. Forgive yourself if tragedy happens. After all it has not been your fault. You didn’t do it; you are not in anyway responsible for it.Share it, talk to someone about it, if not anyone talk to yourself, write it in your diary, release it. Let your emotions flow through so that you are finally relieved of it. Live your emotions so that they become history.


Tips to handle cancer related grief

10 tips to follow on the way to recovery

1. It’s a reality – Face it

2. Let it go! Release it.

If you don’t leave it you will not achieve the next. This is the Mantra of life!!

Don’t Hang onto it. Let it Go.

By hanging onto the thoughts, the past, you stay stuck in the negativity.

Let the thoughts dissipate.

3. Be Grateful to God. Write it down. There still are & will always be many reasons to smile.

4. Write a diary, go online if you want & share your pain. You like everyone has well wishers& this will help you come out of it faster.

Don’t let your thoughts simmer in your heart. Unreleased pain never heals.

5. Why don’t you get back to your hobbies. After all when was the last time you lived your hobbies. You have left them way behind in life. Live them NOW.

This helps you Defocus grief.

6. Connect to a support group. There are many others who have similar or worse problems. Connect, Connect, Connect.

Talk your problems out, and listen to people with the same problems as you. Talking always helps.

7. Don’t be a loner.

Your spouse, children, or friends are there to help you. Never shun them. Learn to listen. Think positive.

8. Be spiritual.

A human being has not only physical but also mental, emotional & spiritual hunger. Feed your soul with spirituality. Engage in prayer, or enroll in yoga or meditation classes. Find strength and support in divine and unseen forces. You will never be lonely.

9. Turning to addictions only worsens the problem!

Solve the problem, don’t increase it’s intensity. Don’t take the support of addictions.

10. Help others.

Join a charitable organization. Let others cope with the same problem in easier fashion than what you have had to go through. Give back to the society. After all it must have given you something good through time. Put smiles on the faces of those who come in contact with your goodness.

For More Information

Meet us at

Medanta Kidney & Urology Institute

Medanta – The Medicity

Sector 38, Gurgaon, Haryana – 122001, India

For appointment Call+91-9910103545

Email –

Web address –