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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Navigating Grief: Understanding the Stages of Loss and Healing

Losing someone dear to breast cancer can be an immensely painful and emotional experience. As we grapple with the departure of our dear friends due to metastatic breast cancer, it's essential to recognize that grief is a complex and individual journey. This year has been particularly hard in our breast cancer community and our heart aches for the families who have lost a mom, grandmother, and/or spouse. 

Grief is something we do not talk about enough. Oftentimes we may get a few days off from work for bereavement and then are expected to return as if everything is somehow fine. 

Understanding the stages of grief can provide a framework for navigating this challenging process and finding healing amidst the ebbs and flows of pain.

Stages of Grief


Initially, when faced with the loss of a loved one, it's common to feel a sense of disbelief or denial. It's our mind's way of protecting us from the overwhelming reality. Thoughts like "this can't be happening" or "it's just a bad dream" might surface as we struggle to comprehend the finality of the loss.


As the reality of the loss sinks in, feelings of anger may emerge. We might question why this happened or feel anger towards the unfairness of the situation. Anger can be directed at various sources - illness, fate, or even towards the departed for leaving us.


During this stage, it's not uncommon to find ourselves bargaining or making deals in our minds. We may ruminate on thoughts like "If only we had detected it earlier" or "If I had done something differently." We seek ways to negotiate with the situation, attempting to reverse what has already occurred.


Grief often brings waves of profound sadness and emptiness. This phase can be marked by feelings of deep sorrow, loneliness, and a lack of motivation or interest in things that were once enjoyable. It's important to allow oneself to feel and process these emotions rather than suppress them.


Acceptance doesn't mean forgetting or being unaffected by the loss. It signifies coming to terms with the reality of the situation and finding a way to move forward while cherishing the memories and honoring the life of the departed. It's a gradual process and doesn't happen in a linear fashion.

Finding Meaning and Healing:

Throughout these stages, it's essential to acknowledge that grief is a personal journey. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to grieve, and each individual's experience is unique. Finding support from friends, family, support groups, or seeking professional help can be invaluable in navigating through the grieving process.

Remembering the friends we have lost to metastatic breast cancer as a source of inspiration, celebrating their life, and cherishing the memories we shared can contribute to finding solace amidst the pain. Finding purpose or meaning in the loss by supporting causes related to breast cancer, fundraising for research, or volunteering can also aid in the healing process. Resources on Grief

As we mourn the loss of our dear friends to metastatic breast cancer, it's okay to seek comfort in each other, reminisce about the beautiful moments, and find strength in the love and support that surrounds us.

Together, may we honor their memory, celebrate their life, and find solace in our shared journey of healing.


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Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month


Mindfulness for Wellbeing

February 23 1:30 p.m. ET



February 16, 10:00 a.m. ET


Restorative Yoga:

The secret Garden

Monday 19,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

February 27,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

March 4 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

March 5,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

March 11,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

March,  12,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

March 12 11:30 a.m. ET


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Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico

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