This is a personal story beginning with the diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer. My beloved wife was diagnosed in the year 2015. I was the sole caregiver for my wife 24×7. From the very first day, anticipatory grief was troubling my heart because I knew the disease was incurable. I tried to provide comfort with compassion, empathy and most importantly “LOVE”. She had a tough fight for two and a half years and passed away peacefully pain-free with dignity. The anticipatory grief turned into grief which is everlasting and I am still in the grieving journey.
First, I accepted the inevitable destiny of her life. Then onwards I have been volunteering in the field of palliative care, by counseling patients diagnosed with terminal cancer and family caregivers, and visiting homes of the elderly in the tribal community deprived of proper health care facilities. In this way, I am trying to grieve in a healthy way which I think is coined “Good Grief”, a teacher, a blessing, a healer of pain within. I understand and realise how to cope with bereavement in a positive way , raise awareness of how to cope with grief in a good way involving the community where people will understand the cause of death and the reality which hurts our heart.
In my view, grief is the emotional response after the loss of a loved one and other things like loss of pet , loss of dignity, loss of employment and so on. This year the theme of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2022 is Healing Hearts and Communities. Uniting communities to heal after the pain of losing of the loved one. The process of grieving differs from individual to individual. Each individual has to find out the way to express their grief. Death is part of life. If we can embrace death like the celebration of our birth, our sufferings will be alleviated, and Good Grief will reflect and take the place of pain .
I have learnt a lot while caring for my wife. A Patient is an ideal teacher. My life is now completely different one compared to what it was when I was with my wife. Now I know how to live well despite being separated from my wife. I have been privileged to study different aspects of palliative care from Pallium India, Elisabeth Kubler Ross Foundation healing my pain within leading me to understand the meaning of life and #GoodGrief
Please watch a Good Grief campaign video by Dr Pranab Kumar Basu here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emIa4VnvqEQ