Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief



So I’ve started writing the second book in the last couple of weeks. The title is “Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven.” I found quickly that I have to limit how many days a week I work on it, and how many pages I do at a time. I’ve forgotten how difficult it is to encounter all those journal entries for the “first” time since I’ve written them a couple of years ago.

I’ve found myself saying to my friends and family a lot lately that its been two and a half years and I think I’m still stuck in the same place. They vigorously shake their heads no and say that I am not anywhere near where I was back then. Now that I’m reading what I wrote back then, I know what they mean. Man, was it hard then. The “bitters” sure overpowered the “sweets” on a daily basis.

I just reworked a section about Frankie. I will give you a sneak peek so you can see what I have been remembering in May of 2013, three years after Tim’s initial diagnosis. This was originally written in January of 2011.
A half hour later when we (Frankie and I) were laying in bed, I was almost asleep and thought I heard sniffles. I asked Frankie if he was crying… he answered with a downpour of thoughts and feelings that broke my heart.

“Yes, I’m crying. I miss daddy soooooooo much!

“I hate cancer! People should be able to smoke or do whatever they want without having to worry about cancer.”

“If dad had been here tonight, he would have yelled the whole night because we were so loud.”

“If daddy were here right now, he’d be laying right next to me and I would lay on top of him and be his Frankie blanket.”

“I just wish daddy were here right now.”

“There’s so many changes, so many changes.” I asked him “Like what?” and he paused and then said “Everything!”

“It’s so sad that daddy missed seeing his granddaughter.”

“Daddy was given the wrong medicine. Maybe he would still be here right now.”

My heart broke, but I was also beyond relieved that he was showing emotion and opening up to me about it. I let him know the smoking didn’t directly cause daddy’s cancer. I reminded him that he quit smoking as a present to Frankie for his 5th birthday because he loved him so much. I told him that daddy wasn’t given the wrong medicine, the chemo just didn’t work because the cancer was too strong.

But mostly I just laid next to him and cried with him, telling him how much I missed daddy too.

Kinda took my breath away. We ARE doing ok. And we ARE smiling more these days. But it’s ok to remember too.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Flashbacks

  1. Glad you’re moving on to the second book and seeing how far you’ve come. I’m so behind I still have to read the first one! 😦 Good luck with the writing. x

  2. Ugg that was hard to read. I don’t know how you relive all this….I am glad you feel like things are getting better though!

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