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Grieving the Loss of a Loved One to Mesothelioma is an Individual Experience


If you ask anyone close to me, they will tell you that I don’t like being forced into things. The harder I’m pushed to do something that I don’t want to do, the less likely I am to cooperate. It’s a character flaw, I know, but it’s the truth about me. I don’t like to feel as though someone is manipulating my feelings; in particular, how I should feel about my Dad’s passing.

Many people have said to me, “Your father has been gone for a while now, it’s time to get over it.” They shake their head and say, “It’s really time to move on.” I honestly don’t have a response to these comments. Those saying these things didn’t go through my pain. How can someone be so insensitive to my loss? Everyone goes through this pain differently, and these statements may be motivating to some people, but to me, they are almost insulting. Don’t be ashamed to grieve.

Loss is an individual event. An entire family can lose the same person but each one will process that loss in a different way. Some may be open, wanting to constantly discuss every detail of what happened, attempting to comprehend each nuance. Others might shut down and not want to talk about it. Some people might crave human interaction and want a house full of people; others may prefer to be alone.

When I lost my Dad, I wanted to be around people. Hearing stories and seeing family members and friends rally around us was comforting to me. Even though I had a hard time returning phone calls and emails, knowing that people cared was cathartic for me. It was when those messages stopped coming that it became really difficult.

Since Dad died, a lot of people we know have lost parents. I hate that I know how they feel, but do I really? I lost my Dad, I didn’t lose theirs. I know the relationship I had with my Dad, I don’t know anyone else’s. Although the premise of the loss is the same, each instance is completely different.

Pray for all those who grieve. They need direction, serenity, and peace. Pray to be helpful to them and for guidance to be a supportive friend. The pain of losing someone you love never goes away, the feeling may change over time, but you will never forget them.

Jennifer Gelsick

About the Author - 

Jennifer wrote about life for her family as her father, Don Smitley, battled mesothelioma. Mr. Smitley passed away in 10/2013 and now Jennifer writes with a different perspective, helping those with mesothelioma.

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