“Summertime and the living is easy,” as we change from Spring to Summer things start to slow down for most of us. The hurried pace we usually live at slows, and many of us take the time to enjoy the weather, our families and vacations. This is the time of year that most look forward to.
One of the most welcome things about summer is that it allows us time to reflect on things and make memories that will stay with us. For mesothelioma patients and their families, this time of the year can allow some time to reflect on life before the diagnosis, and now, living with mesothelioma.
Recently, we had lunch with the wife of a patient who recently died from malignant pleural mesothelioma. His journey had been around 10 months from diagnosis to death. This time was spent in an intense battle. He had chemo, surgery, multiple admissions, and couple of separate rehab stints. Through the dark days of winter he would often say that he wanted to go home. His journey was an emotional and physical strain on his wife and family. They did all they could for him, including taking him home. He died at home surrounded by his family.
In talking with his wife, it was clear that the long days of summer were not something that she was looking forward to. After months of talking with doctors, nurses and therapists, of constantly being on the go, time is weighing on her mind. She is reliving their journey and trying to adjust to long days and longer nights.
How do you help someone who is grieving? Like mesothelioma, everyone’s grief is their own. It is personal and belongs to the person experiencing it. When trying to help, remember you cannot fix or repair their situation. Listen and be there for the person. It is important to be present, listen, and lend the support that is needed, not what you think is needed.
Remember you never know what a person is going through in their own life. Grief happens all seasons. Reach out a hand to help. In today’s fast paced world, there is no substitution for human interaction and support during a difficult time.