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Grief Awareness Week: Grief is a frenemy of mine

* Please note this blog is a personal reflection of grief after losing someone to cancer so may contain upsetting details or be triggering for some readers *

December 5 will mark one year since my mum passed away. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer two years earlier and went in that day for a routine MRI scan for a new course of treatment she was due to receive. There were some complications, she lost consciousness during the procedure and never recovered. Less than 24 hours later we held mum as they turned her ventilator off and she slipped away.

Grief is weird. At times it is my worst enemy. I often picture it as this unseen black messy monster hiding behind a door that I’m too scared to push all the way open. I fear losing control when I think about and grieve for mum, and worry I’ll become consumed with sadness and denial.

Other times, grief is my friend. It holds my hand and shows me strength and love and how to look back with fondness and forward with hope. I love the growth it has allowed me to make in the past year and the determination to progress in my life.

I have had a lot of people tentatively ask me about my grief; What is it like? How am I doing so well? When does it get easier?

I thought I would write about my experience with it, in the hope it might help or resonate with you, or maybe reassure you that although grief is complex and rough, you will survive it, and I’ll be posting a few thoughts over Grief Awareness Week which I hope will be of some use.

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