The news of Sarah Harding passing away at such a young age of 39 from advanced breast cancer is shocking. Sadly, as a counsellor in cancer and counselling for Macmillan I walk through the journeys of many women like Sarah, along with their families and friends.
When the news of Sarah’s passing was released, I automatically thought of her mother and how she must be feeling at losing a child so young and the pain she must be going through.
I then turned to think about her former bandmates in Girls Aloud and how each one of them has been affected by the sad news that she had died. Each girl would have had their own special relationship with Sarah.
As more tributes flooded in, it was obvious how many lives Sarah had touched and how much she meant to people and the community – the children who bought her songs, the girls and boys who danced at her concerts…
You see, cancer doesn’t only touch the person who is diagnosed, it has a ripple effect and touches everyone around the person who has been diagnosed.
Working in the world of cancer, each person I work with has their own world – it may not be in the public eye, but like Sarah they touch the world of so many. There are those parents who must explain to their children that they have cancer. There are those children, whose parents have cancer, and have to deal with the news. Others are parents who have a lost a child or a partner to the illness.
I walk through the process with them, and while I counsel them and hold them through their pain, I also work with their friends who have to watch their them going through the pain of cancer. The pain of hospital appointments, the pain of having to take heavy drugs or go through chemotherapy.
Many of us have heard of someone who has cancer or who has sadly passed away from it – and it’s not easy for any of us.
I spoke to a client today who said her world had been changed since the diagnosis – she no longer knew who she was and was learning how and where she fitted into the world. This is not uncommon. Cancer is so much more than an illness – the effect it has on mental health, relationships, the ability to be independent – there is so much more to the word cancer than we can imagine.
If the loss of Sarah Harding has affected you and reminded you of a pain that you haven’t dealt with, please contact me at claire@counsellingwithcancer