Cancer: Strength and Loss

The next post is scheduled for tomorrow, but seeing as I won’t have internet connection because I’ll be at my grandparent’s house, I will post something today. It’ll be short (hopefully) and it will be concise (God willing).

Yesterday, late at night, I got the news that the little sister of a friend of mine died of cancer. I did know the little girl, I saw her grow up and I have a close bond with the sister (my friend). The news struck me hard, as all deaths do, but it got me thinking about these sudden changes in life. Aside from this death, once we all graduated from high school, the mothers of two friends died right after; both of cancer. As well as a chain-smoking, happy-go-lucky grandfather of TH who lost the battle to cancer.  All these deaths were sudden, unexpected and all hit real close to home.

Now that I take the time to think about it, these were all strong, courageous people who were well on their way to new things in their lives and possible recovery. These were people who we got used to talking about and talking with, so when that moment came we were all caught off-balance. I haven’t lost a person to cancer since 1999; and that moment left deep scars that even today take a toll on me.

Cancer is a very delicate topic. It is the disease people conquered, it is the disease people lost to and it is the disease people are still battling today. I can’t even start to comprehend the battle one goes through in this situation. I cannot grasp the pain, the despair, the strength, the ambition; but I can understand the feeling of loss. I can look at someone who has lost a loved one to cancer and understand the silent tears, the quiet acceptance and the loud strength. The loss, no matter how alien to us, will always be something we can share with others.

I will not get into the specifics of what is lost when someone dear to us dies; as I know that all of you can relate no matter the cause of death. But I will leave you with this much: life is a journey; it has twists and turns and no matter what we do it is life (or God, or whoever you believe in) who decides the last say in your endeavors. This is not a defeatist view, but a reality. We can build a castle but who says that an earthquake won’t tear it down? As Emerson one said, “Man is God in ruins”. It is up to us to build accordingly and with care. Every person we meet leaves a grain of sand in the beach of our lives, and it is up to us to appreciate each grain and each life for what they are worth because you never know when that person may leave you forever. Life is not planned or controlled, it just is.

Trust you me, there is nothing worse than the words you did not say. Take the time off today (this is homework) and go up to your loved ones, hug them, say I love you, sit down and watch that movie together or just drink coffee in comfortable silence; because you never know when that person may leave your forever or when you will leave that person.

Life may be fast-paced and a little deranged but we have to take the time to stop and smell the roses, call that old friend, visit that new place and just say what has been on your mind since you met. Life may be the longest thing you will be doing in your life but it will be the shortest if you don’t take off the time to enjoy it.

Signing off,



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