The Cancer Diagnosis

At thirty wonderful years of marriage, my husband and I were revisiting the honeymoon stage. Kids enjoying their own adult lives, and us looking forward to adventures on the road – riding motorcycles and camping around the country.
Then “Stage 4 Colon Cancer” was spoken.

I am not the first in the world to deal with the emotional rollercoaster ride one experiences when a loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. We put on our “Super Warrior” shield,  celebrating the ups, and standing strong and positive in the downs, while capping our own emotions.

Not long after my husband’s diagnosis, I found myself staring in glaring headlights, wondering, “What am I going to do if I become a widow?” Drifting “there” while simultaneously wearing the Super Warrior shield for my husband was a feeling of betrayal, and it was horrifying. I was an overflowing basket of raw emotions, and I didn’t know what to do with them. I learned soon about healing grief through nature.

Healing Grief Through Nature

I quietly found comfort in nature. Just being.

A heron flying directly overhead would bring connection to my aching heart. A simple mantra to The Creator — “I faithfully exchange my fears for amazing and abundant results” — offered an ease to my soul (and body).

After four years, my husband passed. Through time and reflection, I realized that the emotions I had experienced prior had not been betrayal after all. But grief.

Sinking into Nature

For I was already there­–losing. Companionship. Love. The Future.

Disease was stealing life. His. And mine.

Grief. It’s not an easy thing. Not before, not during, not after.

So how do we deal with grief? By being present. Feeling it. Acknowledging it. Sink into the essence of nature, and you will feel a message of love deep in your heart.


Michelle Kaisersatt is author of Dear One: A Message of Love, about Grief, Loss, and the Art of Healing

Owner of Soul Work, LLC


Read about Nature-Based Grief Healing for Teens.


Michelle Kaisersatt

Artist and author Michelle Kaisersatt embraces each day at her rural Minnesota studio, writing, designing and creating handcrafted ceramic and bronze cast vessels, that speak to the soul. If she is not at her studio, she is sharing her passion for nature with enthusiastic participants within community, or she is at her favorite art stops around the area. Asked how Michelle would describe her work, she admits that’s a bit of a challenge, due to the uniqueness of her work. However, she offers “nature-driven, celebratory, organic and soulful” all, as good descriptors. She adds, “Everything I bring forth reflects a deep respect for life and of how we live and how we love.” Learn more at

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