Posted by: Kathy | June 13, 2012


“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  ― Charles R. Swindoll.

My pastor used this quote in his sermon a few weeks ago. I immediately jotted it down on the front of my bulletin because it was something that hit home with me. I’m not sure if I agree with the exact percentages stated in this quote, but I do know that how you react to a situation or something that happens to you may greatly affect the outcomes and your life.

I truly believe that my mom lived as long as she did with pancreatic cancer because of her positive outlook. She was determined to beat this cancer. I also believe that the love and support we gave my mom throughout her illness also helped in some way. Even though my heart sank when I heard that my mom had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her strength and hope were “infectious” – I held onto hope because my mom did. I always said, and still believe, that throughout my mom’s illness she was the strongest of all of us. She never gave up and always had a positive attitude, holding onto dreams of a future with her grandchildren.

I can apply this same quote to how I reacted after my mom died. I tried to be strong for everyone, especially my dad and kids. I think I did a good job of that, but inside I was deeply hurting and I didn’t acknowledge or deal with my loss and pain for almost a year. I cried in private. I didn’t reach out to those who loved me and wanted to help. I didn’t allow myself to grieve for my loss and this hurt me and kept me from moving forward with my life. I am very good at hiding what I am feeling on the inside – sometimes this can be a good thing, but in terms of grieving, it was not. I’ve learned the hard way that I should have grieved for my loss, let my feelings out, and talked to others, instead of trying to be strong all the time when I was dying on the inside.

Grief is an odd thing. It is composed of many emotions and affects people in different ways and for different lengths of time. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but it is important to grieve when we lose someone we love deeply. My mom’s illness and death were something that happened in my life, affected me deeply, and I reacted in positive and negative ways. These reactions have been both positive and negative, and the way I’ve reacted has affected others. With two kids, I need to be careful of how I react to any situation because I know it can affect them. I want to be a positive influence on their life, the way my mom was to me.


  1. I have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award”. See today’s post on “Let’s Talk About Family”.

    • Thank you so much.

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