Being an Olympic athlete takes talent, skill, stamina, and both emotional and physical stability. When Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette had to skate in the short program on Tuesday night just two days after losing her mother to a heart attack, people witnessed the human ability to cope with loss and stand strong. Oftentimes, people avoid talking about grief and try to find ways to cope that are largely ineffective and provide temporary – if any – relief (i.e. developing a dependency on work, drugs, alcohol, etc.), but it seems to be different for Rochette. Knowing that she was on an international stage, the Olympic skater cried before her program, put herself in a professional mindset for her performance, and immediately broke down afterward – an impressive and moving act to say the least. Everyone watching the winter games on Tuesday night knew of Rochette’s heartbreak, but also witnessed a woman who was coping with her situation.

For many of us, experiencing the death of a loved one is debilitating and shocking, but that doesn’t mean that we should sell ourselves to grief. Losing a friend or family member is never something that any two people deal with the same way, but there are coping strategies that can help. According to, one of the ways to cope with grief and loss is to express your feelings in a tangible or creative way, and that is exactly what Rochette was able to do. Please go to to read an important article about grief and loss and how you can help yourself get through a difficult time or help someone who has just experienced a great loss. Ultimately, we have to be able to talk about these things in order to stay healthy and reach closure, because we all deserve to live full lives and come to peace with what we may no longer have, but will always love.

Sarah Kinnel

Marketing and Advertising Assistant