We provide support to people who lose loved ones to cancer, whether that be partners, parents, siblings, friends, or other relations. Over time more and more people are coming to us for support when they have lost a parent to cancer, and we wanted to share some of the things we have learned from people over time.
When someone loses a parent there is often a natural reaction to look to other siblings or surviving parents for support. Sometimes people are lucky to get the support they seek, but this is not always the case and it can cause bruised dynamics within the family. It may be that the parent who passed away was the “glue” of the family and without them communication is difficult. This can make for a very isolating grieving experience, whether you have a lot of family around you or not. In this scenario it is worth finding someone you can talk to, whether that be a distant relative, a friend, a counsellor, or at a support group.
Bereavement often comes with emotions and feelings other than just sadness; anger, fear, frustration, desperation, woe, loneliness, and more. It really is the full gamut, and each emotion has it’s place. As strange as it may sound, we are really glad that people feel able to come along to our support events to share, and feel, their sadness and worries. The aim of our events is not to take pain away but to allow you to feel and voice it. We believe that in doing so people feel more supported and are better off in the long run.
It is so difficult to lose a parent to cancer and to try tightrope walking family dynamics that result. And at the same time we acknowledge how difficult it is to have other types of losses – we do not believe that there is one type of loss that is harder than another, they are just different. Each loss comes with a different cost; the loss of a soulmate… mentor… best friend… other half… guiding light…
We are here to support you whatever your loss, and whenever you need it.
With love and admiration,
Dr Erin Hope Thompson