Unfortunately, I believe we all know at least one person whose life has been affected by Cancer. I literally know a couple whose lives have. They are my brother and sister in-law whom I’ve known since I was a teenager and will always remember when they first told me about their plans to marry; that was nearly forty years ago.
They have since become two wonderful people who are now nearing their sixties who’ve always worked hard struggling to make ends meet, done a bit of traveling, built their dream home and were about to start enjoying the fruits of their labor when they were hit with absolutely devastating news.
My brother in-law was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and my sister in-law with terminal Glioblastoma. As you can well imagine this was a crippling thing for them to find out, not to mention so extremely heartbreaking and upsetting to hear.
As a result, I began thinking about the highly publicized suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, and had to ask myself the following question. How could two very healthy and successful people take their own lives?
I also couldn’t help but wonder if either one would still be here, had they actually known how well-loved and valued they were, and more closely weighed the dreams, joys, struggles, hopes and fears of this life; before taking their own.
Now, although there is very little that can be done physically for my sister in-law, there was hopefully something I could do emotionally. So, I wrote the following living eulogy for two people who have meant the world to me.
I hope it helps remind those who read it that time really does fly and also serves as stark reminder of the importance of living life without regret.
I wish; I could go back in time and change the way things are; I’d do it in a heartbeat, if we hadn’t come so far.
We’ve lived our dreams. And although it seems unfair that we should part. I couldn’t change things if I wanted. We knew that from the start.
We were so very young when we begun; the struggle to make ends meet. Just as everyone does; it’s the way it is and was.
How fast it went; the time we spent; the laughter, tears, hopes and fears. So many good years and lean; all the places we have seen.
The chances taken, tried; times we cried. Our family and friends who cared; and the love they shared.
The wish; It would seem isn’t to change what’s been. It’s to live each day without regret. As we have since we first met.
My ultimate wish is to have never written this, but if anything good can come from it I not only hope it encourages others to not only tell those they love, but anyone important to them just how much they are valued, while they are still here! Who knows you may even save a life.
“A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses. To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss