Death & Dying, Freedom

I Held the Hand of Cancer

Simple-FlowerI held the hand of cancer today. She was 54 years old. Her eleven-year old daughter, and estranged husband that the rest of the family rejected, were by her side. The picture at the head of her bed revealed the women she used to be; so beautiful, so full of life. Where did that woman go? I held her hand, kissed her on the cheek, and told her of a day that would be.

Her eleven-year old daughter filled the room with homemade laughter and stories about school and what her and her daddy were going to do after mommy goes to “heaven.” Sad? Not her, she didn’t have time to be sad. “I wish mommy didn’t have so much pain. I don’t like to see her in pain.”


Presence is the only thing that matters at a time like this. Words are not enough. Tears don’t help. Presence is silent affirmation that someone cares; that everything, somehow, is going to be okay. I kissed her one more time. Told her of a place that would be. She smiled, and using one of her last precious breaths, she whispered, “Thank you.”

The next morning I saw the sun rise. She didn’t; at least as far as I could tell.

#Live Life While You Can


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