How to learn to live and thrive through grief

Roy Smoot knows all too well about loss after his wife passed away after a brief battle with brain cancer. Now, he's sharing advice from important lessons he's learned along the way in his journey through grief. 


"Four or five things come to mind. One is to move forward and get out. Get out among people; don't hibernate. Now, at the same time, there are times that you need to hibernate, and you need to be by yourself but don't stay in that pit," encourages Roy.

He also urges anyone who's dealing with loss to give yourself permission to grieve. 

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"It's not something that is easily done. It's not something that is encouraged in our Western culture, but give yourself permission to grieve, whatever that means to you. It doesn't matter if you're a man, woman, or child, or whatever the situation is that it happened. Another one would be to rely on people you trust: family, friends, people, someone you met. Sometimes, you may be surprised that the person that you trust may be a total stranger until you meet them. That happened to me," says Roy.

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He says faith played a role in his healing process. "Yes, whatever your faith tradition is - lean into it. If you're having trouble with it, admit that you're having trouble with it because you're going through an incredibly difficult time. Find someone of your faith tradition that can help you sort through things. That can be someone who can listen to you. They may not have all the answers, but sometimes just listening is all you really need," states Roy.

Roy was with his wife Judy for 41 years, married almost four decades, and they were very close. 

"She died from glioblastoma brain cancer in 2016. The same cancer that took Senator John McCain, Bill Biden, and others," says Roy. 


His wife helped him with the book, along with Melinda Folse. "She was an incredible support force. Judy did a lot of meditation, devotionals, and her own creative art, custom original art mandalas, and other watercolors. Then, I did a lot of journaling. We actually thought about doing two books, but the more we looked at it, it was a continuous journey from the time that she was healthy when she taught us how to live after the time as she was diagnosed, then she taught us how to die and when I was going through my grief journey of how to live again," explains Roy.