Lisa Schamess and her husband, Gil, are the authors of "A Diary of Living With Cancer," a Beliefnet column documenting their joint struggle to live fully and raise their baby daughter, Mona, in the face of Gil's diagnosis of metastatic liver cancer. Their essays offer a rare glimpse into the braided realities of patient and caretaker. On January 29, 2000, Gil died peacefully at home.

Since then, Lisa has authored "Widow's Walk: A Year's Journey Through Grief." The column poignantly chronicles her life in the year after Gil's death as both widow and new mother.

Follow their journey on Beliefnet...

A Diary of Living with Cancer

by Lisa and Gil Schamess
Widow's Walk: A Year's Journey Through Grief

by Lisa Schamess

Installment I
Lost and Found
How Lisa supported Gil through life-threatening illness. More...

Installment VI
The Valley of the Shadow
Lisa reflects on the final weeks of her husband's illness and the first weeks of her new life alone. More...

Installment II
One minute you have a life, seconds later you have a life-threatening disease. More...

Installment VII
Light and Shadow
Reflections on combining young motherhood and young widowhood. More...

Installment III
Spiraling Downward
Lisa helps guide the family through the stages of Gil's disease. More...

Installment VIII
When the person who is your heart's chosen home goes away, where does your heart go? More...

Installment IV
Falling Off the Cliff
With the deterioration of Gil's health, Lisa reaches the end of hope. More...

Installment IX
Memorial Days
Finding solace from grief in life's small, perfect moments. More...

Installment V
A short, short story by Gil Schamess. More...

Installment X
Womanly Art of Self-Expression
Sometimes just doing what needs to be done is enough. More...

Installment XI
Relief and Regret
At Yom Kippur, what does the holiday ritual of annulling vows mean to a widow? More...

Installment XII
House of Memory
In her final column, Lisa reflects on the past year as a widow and on the future. More...

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