My dear friend is in her last stages of cancer and, to say the least, the last couple of years has been very rough on her. After many treatments of chemo, and no resolution of the cancer, she decided to stop doing chemo and die naturally. The doctors only give her 6 months to live. She seems more at peace now than she ever has. But, I, on the other hand, am having a very difficult time. I am suppose to be strong for her, but feel tearful every time I’m with her. I can’t seem to keep it together when we are together. How unfair that is to her! She’s the one dying and I am the tearful one???? What can I do to stop being so sad and be more helpful to her? What are you suggestions to get over the tearfulness?
Losing a Friend
Dear Losing a Friend,
Thank you for writing in and sharing so deeply about your friend and your experience. We can only imagine how difficult this is for you. It sounds like you are grieving the loss of your dear friend. And, of course, her impending death is making you tearful! You love her. In the words of Washington Irving, “there is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” Has your friend said to you that she feels it unfair for you to cry? Has she expressed that your sadness makes her feel unsupported? Do you have a trusted friend, besides her, that you can express your sadness to? Have you thought about receiving grief counseling support for yourself? Being tearful around your friend is an expression of love. However, if you feel that being tearful is not allowing you to be fully present with her, please consider getting some type of support of your own. What you resist persists. Just as you want to, we want you to relish the next however many months you have with her, to be fully present with her and enjoy the time you have here with her in her physical body. How beautiful it is that your friend has someone that cares so deeply about her as you do! If you feel up to it, please keep us updated. We will be holding you and your friend in our hearts<3
I am writing to offer another reason as to why "Not a Cougar" is approached by younger men. Not to take away anything at all from what she has to offer or her looks, etc., as I don't know her. But I am a 60+ single woman, my experience is more cynical or sinister than what you suggested. More than one younger man has assumed that I'm desperate and or naive and they can take advantage of me is some way, usually financial. So I would also suggest that ‘Not a Cougar’ tread carefully. Thanks!
Dear Not Naive,
Thank you so much for your feedback and advice for ‘Not a Cougar.’ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, writes “many women do not even have the basic teaching about predators that a wolf mother gives her pups, such as: if it's threatening and bigger than you, flee; if it's weaker, see what you want to do; if it's sick, leave it alone; if it has quills, poison, fangs, or razor claws, back up and go in the other direction; if it smells nice but is wrapped around metal jaws, walk on by.” If this is the case, that “many women do not have the basic teaching of predators,” how helpful it is to have the support of those that care for us to give us the direction when needed. Dating can be fun, carefree, and exciting. But, it is always a good idea to be aware of traits in a mate that did not work for us in the past or traits that could be unhealthy. After all, we don’t want to get caught in metal jaws…even it smells nice! We appreciate you taking the time out to care for your fellow community member. Than you again! We always welcome input from our Community Sages!
Pegge Riley, LPC and Angela Wacht, LPC are Counselors and Directors of Sage Center: Counseling, Consulting, and Creative Community Wellness. They are here to provide suggestions and guidance about everyday life. To submit a question or concern to Sage Advice go towww.SageCenterAtlanta.com and click on the Sage Advice tab. The advice in this column is general and is not intended as actual counseling for specific issues or concerns. If you need to address more specific issues requiring more intensive focus, please contact Sage Center at 404-419-6221 or visit our website at www.SageCenterAtlanta.com