Grief can often be described as navigating a labyrinth of pain and loss. A mother’s grief is unique. The latest episode of our podcast features Kat Morris. Kat faced this overwhelming labyrinth when she lost her energetic daughter, Kandis. Kandis was a passionate Marine Osprey pilot who passed from stage four colon cancer. Kat’s story is heartbreaking and inspiring, providing a profound connection for anyone who has experienced a similar loss.
Kandis was a bright, magnetic individual with a zest for life and a passion for leadership and community service. She was also an avid rugby athlete, and her rugby community became a crucial source of support during her harrowing battle with cancer. Despite the adversity, Kandis maintained her vibrant spirit, demonstrating resilience and strength until the end.
Chapters & Topics:
Introduction to Grief to Growth with Kathleen Morris
Brian introduces Kathleen Morris as a guest on his podcast, Grief to Growth. They discuss Kathleen’s daughter, Kandis. Kandis was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in November 2020 and passed away in August 2021. Kandis was a Marine and a community service enthusiast who had a magnetic personality and was loved by many. Kathleen talks about her journey of grief and how she started the Captain Kandis Cookie Ruiz Foundation in honor of her daughter.
Kathleen Morris talks about her daughter’s athletic journey and joining the Marines
Kathleen shares the story of her daughter’s athletic journey, from playing basketball to switching to rugby and eventually joining the Marines. Kandis was first a reservist and became an Osprey pilot. She talks about how rugby became a family for her daughter and how it helped her during her battle with cancer. Kathleen also mentions how her daughter’s growth and knowledge in a short period is admirable and showcases her character and personality.
Kandis’ Diagnosis and Treatment Journey
Kathleen Morris recounts how her daughter Kandis’ diagnosis of stage four colon cancer was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how she initially responded well to treatment but eventually had to stop due to the cancer spreading to other parts of her body. Despite this, Kandis remained positive and continued to live her life to the fullest, even taking a trip to Mexico with her wife and baby.
Kathleen Morris shares her experience of losing her daughter to cancer.
Kathleen Morris talks about her daughter’s cancer diagnosis, her last days, and how she wanted her mother to focus on herself and be prepared for the family’s needs after her transition. She also shares her grief journey after losing her daughter.
Kathleen Morris shares the story of her daughter’s passing
Kathleen Morris recounts the events leading up to her daughter’s passing, including their conversation before Morris visited her daughter. Kat felt she would not see her daughter again but continued to plan her trip. Her daughter slipped into a coma and passed away shortly after. Kat shares the emotional toll her daughter’s passing has taken on her and her family.
Coping with A Mother’s Grief and Loss
Kat discusses the overwhelming mother’s grief she experienced after losing her daughter and how it felt like being thrown into a black hole of abyss. She shares how she coped with the loss by researching grief and loss, connecting spiritually, and relying on her intuition. She also talks about how her daughter visited her in her dreams to offer guidance and support.
Kat discusses the psychological and emotional challenges of coping with grief and loss, particularly in losing multiple loved ones quickly. She emphasizes the importance of taking time to honor grief and process it healthily, while also finding ways to connect with loved ones who have passed away.
The Captain Kandis Cookie Ruiz Foundation
Kathleen Morris discusses the Captain Kandis Cookie Ruiz Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting military civilians and athletes with cancer. The foundation offers out-of-pocket support for natural, holistic, and integrative treatments that may not be covered by medical insurance or military benefits. They also support rugby athletes with gear, travel, and hotel stays. Kat shares her grief journey and how it led her to create the foundation in honor of her daughter, Captain Kandis.
Coping with Loss and Finding Comfort
Kathleen talks about how her sister’s illness became a part of her life and how she adjusted to it. She shares a dream about her sister and how it gave her peace and talks about a sign she received from a dragonfly after her sister’s passing.
Closing Remarks and Website Information
Kathleen Morris concludes the meeting by expressing gratitude and encouraging attendees to be thankful. She shares the website for the foundation.
Understanding the Paradox of A Mother’s Grief
Kathleen Morris discusses her self-education on grief therapy and shares her understanding of the paradox of grief. She learned about it through a book by Julia Samuels, which talks about different types of grief and case studies. Kathleen believes understanding the paradox of grief helps make sense of the pain and endure it. She also emphasizes the importance of having rituals to keep loved ones alive and not feel alone.