When CANCER takes the LIFE of someone you LOVE

 

When cancer takes the life of someone you love

 

How do I type the words?

How do I say it out loud?

When cancer steals the life of someone you love, there are no words.

 

NOTHING.

 

Simple words don’t do an entire LIFETIME justice.  Nothing can explain why cancer swoops in….grabs a hold of someone you love….and swallows them whole.

 

NOTHING.

 

It is with deep sadness that we lost my Uncle Marty to cancer yesterday.  You may remember when I wrote about him in this blog post: Dear Cancer, I HATE you and I THANK you.  He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma just 8 short months ago.  My Uncle Marty was 55 years old.

 

 He was my Dad’s youngest brother.

In these past handful of years, we have lost my Dad and both of his brothers to cancer.  

Three brothers.

 All gone.

Dear Cancer, I HATE YOU.

 

So, I try to write the words.

I try.

I write.

I delete the words.

I write.

I hit the delete button again.

I write.

But there are no words.

Today, I feel defeated by cancer.

Today, cancer won.

My heart feels like a block of lead that I can’t lift off the ground.  The sadness makes me reflect on the loss of my Dad.  I reflect on the fact that so many beautiful souls on this earth are taken away from us by this overwhelming disease.  It is an epidemic of epidemic proportions. It is wrong.  It is so painful.

 

It puts

~ once again ~

a reality check that I look at *every*single*day* in my husband Michael. I pray that cancer will never take him away.  Cancer scares me beyond belief.  It takes my breath away.  It makes me feel so small in a big fight.

The death of my Uncle is a reminder that cancer has no rhyme or reason.

~

Cancer takes aim and shoots.

Without a thought.

Without a care in the world.

It has no feeling.

 It doesn’t care if you are young or old.

Evil or kind.

 It doesn’t care.

 It just takes.

~

How many loved ones does cancer need to take?  It is like an angry dragon of fire that opens its mouth wide and bites with a vengeance. It has no mercy.

Dear Cancer, I HATE you.

 

For those of you who have loved and lost someone to cancer

~  this poem is for you  ~

I don’t have the right words.  I can only share what was once shared with me…..

 ~

We are all creatures of this great earth-

interconnected in ways beyond understanding.

Take ELEPHANTS.

So big.

So strong.

And yet,

when a member

of the herd passes,

even elephants mourn.

They gather around,

extend their trunks,

and gently touch

the tusks

of their fallen friend.

It’s their ritual.

It’s how they heal.

And it’s sad.

And it’s beautiful.

So maybe

what we’re trying to say

is that the world

doesn’t expect you

to be fine with this.

Be how you need to be,

Mourn how you need to mourn.

And know that

you’re thought of

with love.

~

Goodbye Uncle Marty.  May you rest in peace.

Lynne

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73 Responses

  1. wai chong says:

    Yesterday (2016/07/17) – I lost my niece to cancer. Disbelief, speechless and numb. Your website provides me a place for mourning….

    Thank you,
    wai

  2. Gabriela says:

    Thank you for your words. I hate cancer too, I can’t express how much sometimes, coz it took so much for me, I feel is this monster that will eat me alive if I dare confront it.
    I lost my husband to brain cancer a bit over a year now, and we had only been married 4 months when he was diagnosed. He died 2 months later, completely stripped of control over his body and mind. He was 29 years old. All of our dreams and plans for a life together were shattered so fast, it felt like I was stuck in a nightmare, and i still find myself trying hard to wake up from it.
    Cancer is a merciless beast that eats people slowly and horribly, and worst of all it’s that it’s a blind beast, it doesn’t care who it’s taking. That’s the nightmare of cancer, is unjust and it devastates those who go above and beyond to try to keep their loved one away from their imminent death. It drains your strength and leaves you with nothing but disdain and a sense of injustice that won’t ever be repaired. Cancer won’t ever answer why it took your loved one, and it’s the only question that won’t leave you alone.
    A chunk of my soul left me when my lovely husband died, and mourning him is something you do every day, it doesn’t stop, it just get’s a bit easier as time goes passes.
    I love what you said about elephants, they are remarkable creatures and we should learn from their conduct in front of the harsh reality of death. They take their time to accept what has happened, and they stay next to the body as long as they need to mourn their loss. That’s what grieving and mourning it’s about… time. And we need to take as much as we need when we lose somebody we love, nobody can force you to go faster or to do it their way. And you’ll encounter many people who will try to make you rush, even if they don’t realize they are doing it, because they love you and they don’t want to see you in pain. But pain has to be felt, and grieving It’s a private moment with yourself, and you should listen to nobody but you on how to deal with it.

  3. Linda says:

    I’m sorry for your lost. I don’t know one family that hasn’t been hit by this terrible diseases.
    On a brighter note, I love your pictures of the elephants. May I use the one with the three elephants? I would like to use it for an invitation to a church activity. Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely, Linda

    • Sure thing Linda,

      It is one of the few photos on my blog, that I didn’t take the photo myself. I tried to find the source of the photographer and couldn’t find it.

      I’m sure it would be lovely in a church activity invitation.

      Lynne xx

  4. Beckie Shackelford says:

    I lost the Most Important Person in my life-My beloved Mother-to the same Evil…..Multiple Myeloma. She fought so very hard for 3yrs. I miss her beyond measure. Just a few weeks ago a beloved friend passed & I caught myself grabbing my phone….with no one to call. I miss you So Momma……

  5. Elrine says:

    I come from a cancer-ridden family, all three generations, including a 21 year-old nephew. Thank you for those encouraging words…

  6. Vickie Finley says:

    Lynne,

    I am sitting here this morning trying to get up the energy to get a shower, wash my hair, and get dressed so I am ready when my daughter picks me up in a while. I have an appointment this afternoon for my 3rd in a series of 16 chemo treatments.

    I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in August of 2011. It was in remission for a little over 2 years and now it’s back. And, once again, I am fighting the dreaded cancer.

    It was good to read your feelings expressed about your dad and his brothers. I hope someone finds solace in the words.

    It makes me feel so sad when I think about cancer taking lives – I love my kids and grandkids so much – I don’t want to let go of them because of a stupid illness – one I never saw coming – and one that so far hasn’t let go…it makes me so incredibly sad to think about such things.

    But, I will get up and get ready for the appointment – because I’m not ready to give up or give in – it just isn’t going to happen – and I will make the best of each day I have.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Sincerely,
    Vickie

  7. Donna Runyan says:

    Lynne…

    So sorry about your loss. I, too, have lost three friends in the past two years to cancer. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Dave says:

    My condolences Lynne.

  9. Kate says:

    I just got back from attending my niece’s funeral. She is my brother’s oldest daughter, mother of 4 and wife to a devoted husband. She has got to be one of the best, the very best, the bestest of the best people that ever lived on the face of the earth. Now she is just plain gone. I have lost several family members and friends. Gone. Living in Heaven, yes, but gone from me now. Here and now. Gone. There are no words. None. Thanks Lynn for trying. Its all anyone can do. Pain is what it is. How can we put pain into words.
    I hate Cancer. Go Away Forever…..

    • Beautifully well said Kate. It is so terribly sad … and shocking, to have someone with you one day and the next day… they are gone forever. Cancer is definitely a MoFo. I hate it too.

      Sending you light, love and healing through your pain of losing your niece.

      With much love,
      Lynne xx

  10. Pingback: Dear Cancer, I HATE you and I THANK you | Design The Life You Want To Live

  11. Such a beautiful poem and text. I’m so sorry for your loss…

  12. Summer says:

    Again, here I am. I’ve been reading some of your past stuff. The water thing? with the beach hut and stuff? The way you describe winter? I sat here and read some to my boyfriend because I do so appreciate your style, and he said it sounded EXACTLY like me, and it does. The love of the ocean, or lake, pond, stream, yadayada, yup, just like me. The abhorrence of snow and winter, yup..me again! lol. And I also join you in your hatred of CANCER! I have lost many a friend and family member, including 3 of my 4 grandparents. My uncle has pancreatic cancer right now. Could you be my more insightful successful doppelganger? lol NAW! I’m sure we are just like lotsa women everywhere. Maybe it’s the age I am? My last child(of only 2 you go getter you!) is a sophmore, my oldest in college, and I SO wanna quite my job(again, which I HATE). When my last is out of High school and my official “parental responsibilities” are fulfilled, I wanna do something that makes me happy. I wanna do something creative. I wanna build and fix and so on and so forth. They’ll always make me proud, they always have. I wanna do this for me, for them, for my boyfriend. I wanna be one of those people who do something they love. I’m tryin’ now. Saving things I wanna do and learn on pinterest, Saying it to people. I wanna stop procrastinating, terrible habit, that! Reading what you say and seeing what you do, well it IS inspirational. So I thank you 🙂 summer

  13. Nicole says:

    Lynne, I am truly sorry for your recent loss of your uncle. I pray your husband ‘beats the crap’ out of his cancer. I too have had cancer in my life, having lost my beloved grandparents who I spent my summers with as a child. I think of them every day as they were/are an inspiration to me. Now having found your site, I must say you are definitely an inspiration, not only to myself, but many others. Your honesty is refreshing and always gotta love a great sense of humor! Keep your chin up and continue to stay positive. Positive energy goes a long way….all the best to you and your beautiful family 🙂

    p.s. and I just wanted to let you know how awesome you are too!

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Nicole,

      You are sooooo sweet to say that. Really. So incredibly sweet. It is comments like yours that just keep my engines running and my mojo flying. Thank you !!

      So sad that you lost your grandparents 🙁 It is absolutely incredible, isn’t it…that someone could have such a beautiful influence in your life, and touch you so positively in so many ways….and then they are gone. You sound so lucky to have such awesome grandparents.

      Sounds like they passed their BIG HEARTS to you !

      Much love,
      Lynne

  14. I’m sorry I am only just seeing this, and deeply sorry for your Uncle’s loss. Cancer does bite the big one, but it can’t & won’t be allowed to suck the life from those who are left. Know that you and others who are so closely affected by this devastating collection of diseases are lifted up by the spirits and tangible imprints of those who have gone. Keep shining your light with your witty writing and incredible designs. Both make the world a brighter more interesting place.

  15. Lynne, I just had to extend my condolences. I started to read your blog when I found it on craftgawker on how to create grapevine lighting balls. I piddle in my pants from your giddiness about balls. Life is amazingly random, sometimes in the most excruciating ways. Hugs, little ones for you not knowing me, giant ones for your inspirational ways!!! I am sorry for your loss. Your hilarious wisdom is awesomely out of this world!

    • Thanks so much Bernadette

      I am so sorry to take so long to reply. Some of my blog messages/comments sneak into a different mail folder at times and I lose them. Drats.

      I can FEEL the epic {{hugs}} and really appreciate them. Glad you had a good laugh about the balls. OMG, I STILL can’t type it without a snicker.

      I hope you subscribed to the blog….so we can ‘see’ each other in the blog-0-sphere some more.

      Lynne xx

  16. Don McKee says:

    Lynne,Very sorry to hear of your loss,Very hard to hear,Words are hard to find
    to bear the sadness a loss such as this brings.
    Hang in there as it will hopefuly get better as time passes.
    Don

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thank you Don. I decided to get my funny bone back. Cause cancer isn’t going to win by taking it away. Big love- Lynne xx

  17. Tracie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss…….life is definitely unfair, no doubt about it. Thank you for your poem, I heard Jack Hanna say that one day we will discover that the elephant is more intelligent and humane than any other animal. I wish we could strike cancer down and have all the elephants stomp it until nothing is left of it………My heart goes out to you and to all who have to suffer it’s cruelty. Please keep your light shining Lynne, it helps us all.

  18. Marg says:

    Lynn I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Uncle Marty, I think your poem says it all. Cancer has touched the lives of everyone!!!

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thanks Marg,
      You know what I did to feel a bit better? I lit our wood stove and baked your homemade bread recipe ! It only took me a year to bake it 🙂 LOL. I can tell you…that all that kneading, waiting, thinking…was the best therapy evvvvha. I love you. Lynne xx

  19. Leslie says:

    Lynne..
    WIshing you a pile of happy memories to cherish and smile upon recollection those wonderful moments of your Uncle, dad…and anyone else no longer here…
    I wish it were that easy to condemn cancer as a wicked and cruel attack on lives so special….but there are many other unfortunate acts that cruelly steal lives from so many people…
    (I know its not the place to voice thought or philosophy but answers don’t lie in the donations and monies given to cancer and illness foundations to find cures. People in general want their cake and it eat it too….They want to ignore the realities (sharp and ugly) that may contribute to disease and toxins….because some of these things are the very “raisons d’etre” of so many….TECHNOLOGY leading the list.). I don’t want to go on…It’s not my place……but, so many people – starting with babies who begin life with cancer or other maladies – meet the ugly fate that they didn’t ask for. And yet, it is us, mankind, who actually contribute to these unfortunate illnesses…..and alas! it is also us who ignore the very position and blame we are responsible for……

    Life is ugly at times. THere is pain…suffering….(in North America we are blessed with things we know not of in other parts of the world….Still, we do not own up to what we might be able to do to halt a lot of illness and disease…)…

    Remember, Lynne, with fondness and smiles, the happy times associated with those whom you have lost…

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      I completely appreciate where you are coming from Leslie. Yes, there are many toxins. Makes me appreciate every.single.day. 🙂 Much love, Lynne xx

  20. Kevin says:

    So sorry to hear, Lynne… Cancer sucks… Took the life of a friend of mine this summer… he was 51… I am 56… and it is scary… My thoughts are with you… Take care…
    Regards, Kevin.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Oh noooo Kevin. 51 years old??!! That is redonk ! Isn’t it crazy? It is definitely like Russian Roulette. No rhyme or reason. I am so sorry for the loss of your buddy. That is wrong on all levels of wrong-ness. Big {{HUGS}} Lynne xx

  21. Lynne – I am so very sorry for your loss. My 36-year-old daughter has been cancer free for a year. I couldn’t believe it when she was diagnosed. It doesn’t even run in our family. I didn’t understand and I still don’t. All I know is that it has a habit of returning – like the unwanted relative at the holidays. It steals and it is a slow thief. Your poem was beautiful. You are a very talented young woman and I look forward to all your posts!

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Wowsers Pamela ! 36 year old daughter ?! First of all, you don’t look old enough 🙂 No kidding. What’s your secret? x I will try not to KISS you 🙂
      What FANTASTIC news that she is cancer free. Music to my ears !!! LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear that kind of news.
      Big epic hugs & CONGRATS….she kicked cancer in the butt !
      xx

  22. fototaker says:

    you are so right… cancer is just another poison; why add to the mess? hugs to y’all

  23. Danica says:

    I want to write kind words of apology and unfairness….but all I can really think is Fuck You Cancer. (sorry i swore in your blog….i apologize in advance)

    Life is short and difficult at times…..unexpected things happen and you realize more and more how precious every breath is.

    I hope you do not have to write of sadness any more and that Cancer doesn’t take anybody else from you.

  24. Vikki says:

    My deepest condolences to you and your family Lynne. May he be reunited with his brothers and they rest comfortably with the angels.

    Vikki

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thank you Vikki
      It’s incredible how cancer gets to a point where you wish that the angels would come and take them. I’m sure that sounds awful that I just wrote that- but truly- that is how it ended for all of them. They are all finally at peace without any more suffering.
      xx

  25. Marcy says:

    55!! Unfair. And three brothers, so unfair. So much cancer all around. Please know that you have my love and support. The thought of the elephants joining together to grieve is beautiful. I am so, so sorry that this has happened. {hugs}

  26. fototaker says:

    so sorry to hear of your loss. yes, cancer takes a lot of lives but if we prevent its progress, stop its spread maybe one life will/would be saved. we all live in a world that is filled with risks of death by so many methods… who needs another way to die? take care and my sincere condolences to you and your family, and thanks for such precious words. yes, I agree: elephants are lovely and in many ways the animal kingdom are more humane than humans

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      There are soooo many toxins in our lives- both on a physical & mental level. I believe that every little bit helps…avoid the toxins and live a HAPPY life….it must make a difference. If not, at least we can have fun living in it.
      Thank you for your condolences.
      Lynne xx

  27. I’m so sorry Lynne. Sometimes life stinks. 🙁

  28. Jessica says:

    beautiful… touching… honest…
    I lost my grandmother to multiple myeloma 10 years ago… she inspired so much of my life. I’ve written many a blog post about her… Cancer really does suck… it really, really does.
    Hugs my dear friend!
    XXOO

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thanks LOVE. I say we have a martini in NYC on Dec 7th – and send a message to cancer- to take that and shove it.
      Love ya~

  29. Kelly says:

    Lynne, my heart breaks for your loss. Hugs and hugs from us. Love you

  30. Lin N says:

    With tears, after reading your blog, I give you BIG hugzzzzz cuz there ain’t no words.
    Namastè

  31. Mary says:

    My sincere condolences Lynne. I hate November,,,,it’s the cruelest month.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      HEY MARY~
      November can just suck it. MOvember doesn’t make it any better. LOL. All those moustache men look like porn stars from the 70’s. Thank goodness it is at least for a good cause {prostate cancer}.
      Big hugs
      Lynne

  32. Mary Kay says:

    Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. My God grant you & your family strength and may you feel His love during this time of sadness.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thank you Mary Kay,
      I will take all the blessings we can get. I never say no to a prayer.
      Love to you and your family
      Lynne

  33. Shirley Sutherland says:

    Oh, Lynn, I am so sorry. When I lost both my beloved parents, I decided that the terrible pain I was feeling was the price I had to pay for all the years of love I enjoyed while I had them with me, and that helped me to accept and bear it. The following poem was also a great comfort and I hope it helps you too:

    THOSE WHO LIVE IN OUR HEARTS
    WILL BE WITH US ALWAYS
    We cannot control the movement of time,
    Nor can we control our own destiny
    Or the destinies of those we love.
    But we can take comfort in knowing
    That those who live in our hearts
    Are never really gone.
    For as long as we keep them with us,
    In our hearts and in our thoughts,
    They will be with us always.
    For love, which is timeless,
    Never ceases to exist.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      What a BEAUTIFUL POEM Shirley. Thank you soooo much. I love it !!!!
      I am so sorry for the loss of BOTH of your parents. Even one parent gone is TOO MANY, but two??! You are right tho- all the love and good times are worth it !! Big love to you,
      Lynne xx

  34. Carina says:

    Lynne,

    I’m so, so sad to read your news and at a loss for words. Many, many hugs from across the pond where I hold your family in my thoughts.

    Carina

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thanks sooooo much Carina,
      I am sure that if we were in a café in Paris – I would feel much better 🙂
      Sending love across the pond- right back-atcha.
      xx

  35. I’m so, so, so sorry for your loss. I don’t have the words either, but I’m thinking about you and wishing you lots of love.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thank you Stephanie,
      I really appreciate it. Sending love and light to you too my friend. Still LOVING LOVING LOVING your blog. It rocks !!! xx

  36. Norma Thiessen says:

    I am so sorry Lynne.

    Love you and thinking of you,

    Norma xo

  37. I am so sorry for your loss. My dad was a cancer survivor, though died 28 years ago. Elephants were his favorite animal: majestic, yet compassionate. He always said they are the only animal to travel the earth, yet return home to honor and grieve for those who’ve died My thoughts are with you..

  38. Dear Lynne-

    Deepest condolences- Your poor family has had rotten luck with cancer, I am so sorry. We lost my Mom to Myeloma almost 10 years ago. It is a very very nasty painful cancer and knowing this, I hope your Uncle didn’t suffer much.. Best wishes to you and your family and my prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Cynthia

  39. Kelly says:

    Dear Lynn,

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My you find some comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering.
    The loss of my father 20 years ago to brain cancer is never far from my heart and mind. He was also a young man who was taken too soon from so many that loved him. I actually feel sorry for my children because they didn’t have the opportunity to know the great man who would have been such an awesome grandpa. I guess one can say they can’t miss what they never had. Deep down in my heart I know my children would have loved him and he would be very proud of the beautiful beings that they have grown to be.

    Thinking of you with sincere sympathy 🙁
    Kelly

  40. Linda says:

    I’m so sorry and sad for your loss…. There are no words…but I continue to keep you in my prayers.

  41. Michael says:

    My darling. You made me cry.
    You are so wonderful to put out to the world the feelings you feel. Losing someone you deeply love IS beyond words.
    Let us all imagine our ‘trunks’ together in mourning and sorrow for your dear Uncle Marty. May our combined energies comfort him and all those who loved him. That includes you btw. With love and light. Michael.

  42. Betty Shepard says:

    Lynne,

    No words are sufficent to heal your heart. So sending my love and hugs to you and your family

  43. Maribel says:

    Dear Lynn, sending you a big hug, so sorry about the passing of your uncle, know I care about you and Michael.

  44. Rose Dostal says:

    no words…but still

    i’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Lynne.

    your pal,
    rose

  45. Suzanne says:

    Lynn, I am so sorry hear about the passing of your dear Uncle to this horrible disease. My heart goes out to you and your family, he was so young. It saddens me to think of yet another young life lost. Words cannot really express the over whelming grief you must feel but your analogy of the elephants and your lovely poem are a mirror into your soul. I know how you must hurt.

  46. Lyvonne says:

    So very sorry for the loss of your Uncle, your Dad and his other brother.

  47. Dawna Jones says:

    I’m so sorry Lynne my heart goes out to you and all of your family. I can not even begin to imagine or pretend like I know what you must be going through I just know your soul is so much braver then mine ever would be. Although you don’t feel it now you are a pillar of strength and an example to us all.
    Take care.

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