Dr. Carolyn Ross is well acquainted with grief. She shares her experience after the loss of her son, with the hope that other women will find something in her story that will strengthen them and help them deal with loss in their own lives.
Dr. Ross has dealt with challenges in her own health. She stood with her mother after her mother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. This changed her perspective, leading her into integrative medicine.
(Transcribed from video interview)
My journey through grieving the loss of my son was very individual and yet, very generalizable. And what I learned from it is that, first of all, I think I heard someone recently on the TV say that, oh, it was Elizabeth Edwards, she was talking about the loss of her son, and she said that when you lose a child, your own personal feelings about death change. And I think for me, I started to take Noah’s death as part of my healing journey, and what that means is that I looked for whatever meaning I could find in it, and going back to Victor Frankel’s book, you know, Man’s Search for Meaning, the more meaning you can find in any difficult situation, the more likely you are to survive it on the upside.
So I looked for meaning, and one of the meanings for me was this change in my career. I think the other thing that I learned was to compare myself to other women. I felt like I was part of this large body of women–of mothers who had lost children, women in Africa who, you know, lost babies, and women who had soldiers in Iraq, and other women like myself whose children suffered from mental illness and have died. And so I began to feel like that I was part of this larger group, which gave me a lot of strength.
Other than that, you know, I did a lot of crying and I talked to a lot of therapists, and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got through it, but that’s the most that I can say about it.
About Dr. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.: