Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shame and Disclosure

Someone at one of my meetings talked a little about her shame around a family member's death. Another member pointed out how lucky we are to live in an age where there are program such as ours, bereavement groups and a host of other venues where people can share their uncomfortable feelings. Just a few decades ago, people were lucky if they had an understanding friend, family member or clergyman who could hear difficult things and empathize. Even now, of course, there are those like my sister who suffered with cancer but chose not to talk 'to strangers' about her journey.

When I started nursing school in the late 1970s the word cancer was still a shameful thing, not to be mentioned in conversation. What's good about today is that we can make choices about privacy and disclosure.


  1. Thank goodness for all the progress in those areas. Did not know the history of it before.. the shame of mentioning Cancer.

  2. My father died in 81 od cancer. Mum was ashamed of the ilness and forbade my brother and I to speak to anyone of it, even mu father. It was one of the things that helped propel me into full blown alcoholism and took years to resolve within my own mind.