She and her husband had a child of their own, were foster parents to a few kids and then adopted a daughter... It wasn't until after the adoption process that Jana started her cancer medical trip. With all she and her family have endured over the years, I am grateful she didn't suffer any more. No more pain. No more decisions to make about treating her cancer. But, then, there are the ones who are left behind. As adults, we all develop our ways to deal with grief (or to not to...) The ones who don't know how to process, though, are the children.
I watched Jana's son. He is 11 years old and was really close to his Mom. He was very stoic today. Not exactly showing emotion of a kid who just lost his Mom. He had asked relatives a few weeks ago if his Mom's cancer was back. No one knew it was back. They told him "no". Then, she went back to the hospital and died of reoccurring cancer that had metastasized. How unfair life seems sometimes. Today, he was basically in denial. No emotion. Said he was "doing fine". When will he break down? When will he finally accept that his Mom isn't coming home? Now, this kid has issues to deal with on top of his Mom dying... Betrayal. Trust. Abandonment. Grieving. What a set of emotions for an 11 year old kid to have to learn to handle.
Tara and I talked about this quite a bit. More women under 40 are now being diagnosed with breast cancer. What happens to the kids? Grieving at any age isn't the easiest thing in the world, but what about the kids? I reached out to some friends who are child therapist to get an idea of how we can be of help to these kids. Looks like we will offer art for healing classes for kids under 12 and then for kids 13-18. Maybe even for kids over 18... we all have to re-learn how to grieve and heal.