• It’s hard to say goodbye.

    That line flashes through my mind when I think of Alan Rickman and David Bowie. Both 69 years old, both died of cancer less than a week ago. I didn’t know either one of them was ill. Did you???

    AugustaAnd that’s really the subject of my post. Take Bowie, eighteen months, that’s how long he had been battling cancer or in plain English, preparing to die. Quietly, out of the limelight, by choice.

    How do they do it? These are people I’ve never met personally and yet I feel like I’ve known them most of my adult life. Especially Bowie. I can only imagine what went through his wife’s mind and soul during the months leading to his death. Obviously, MUM was the word of the day, every day for eighteen months. Pause on that for a minute.

    I’m always astonished by the strength people manifest in death. I ask myself if I could be so stoic. Frankly I don’t know the answer.

    And I’m thinking about my sister Augusta. She died of cancer and for over eighteen months, mum was the word. You see, my sister was a healer, some of you are now rolling their eyes, believe me I did it too at first. No, she didn’t wake up one morning and decided to hang a plaque outside her door that said Augusta The Healer.

    She had a gift and just to make sure she went to India to study and test her gift. By then she was approaching her forties and had grown kids. When she came back she opened her studio, it’s still there, providing massages and meditation, but without Augusta. When she was diagnosed with cancer she was devastated, how can she help others if she couldn’t help herself? Our little town offers little regarding health and wellness. Her doctor of choice was out of our province, she traveled, she pushed on. When she lost her hair, she wore a wig. It was at about that time I visited home and I went to a rather elaborated party with her and was amazed at the reaction from people she had never met before who all wanted to talk to her. My little sister, who knew??? She’s gone now. To the outside world her death was sudden. To us it had been a slow bleeding that still lingers. And after many years, when I visit her grave it’s always covered with fresh flowers, candles and personal notes from the strangers whose lives she touched.

9 Responsesso far.

  1. Sandy Bartles says:

    Thank you for sharing, Maria. Cancer is a dreadful disease. My father passed away many years ago from lung cancer; my first died from lymphoma, but we didn’t know what was wrong with him until they did an autopsy; and now we are awaiting test results on my brother. He has many nodules in his lungs. I think cancer is the scary monster in a lot of families. May God Bless you and your family.

    • Sandy Bartles says:

      That should have said “my first husband died of lymphoma”

      • Sandy, thank you for sharing. Yes, I lost my father, my brother and my sister to lung cancer, because of that I had my lungs checked regularly as prevention, imagine my surprise when during a yoga class I found a lump on my left breast. It’s all good now, but oh, how I understand you. I try very hard to keep it to myself, but this month has been very taxing, too many deaths..thank you for reading my thoughts.

  2. Margaret says:

    Cancer is a horrible disease, and we need a cure. I watched my mother struggle for 1 year with breast cancer and then bone cancer. I felt powerless, the only thing I could do was keep her comfortable and take care of her. I miss her everyday and she’s been gone for 30+ years. Maria, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts in this blog.

    • Margaret, thank you. I’m approaching my sixth year cancer free. Mine was also breast cancer and I feel lucky it was caught early, but i doubt cancer will be cured, too much money rides on that. I’m not being mean, but you know what i mean. Take care my friend.

  3. Jeannie says:

    I also agree that cancer is a horrible disease. I would much rather get hit by a speeding bus driven by Sandra Bullock than to die from cancer. It has affected far too many in my family, including my little sister (fortunately, she survived her endometriosis), as well as many friends. My Mama was also a breast cancer survivor (among other kinds of cancer). Being part Irish, she was stubborn enough to have lived to the ripe, old age of 88.

    I did not roll my eyes when I read your sister was a healer because I have known several (and fell in love with one) so they do exist.

    Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  4. Debbie says:

    Cancer…it strikes everyone in some way, out of the blue, like a rattlesnake in wait, waiting to inject his cancerous venom into us randomly. No-one is ever safe from it.
    I’m so sorry for all who have lost loved ones to cancer.
    That was a beautiful and sad story, Maria.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Debbie, and you’re so right. I don’t care what doctors say or do, none of us is safe and we never know who will be next. Boy, I’m not very upbeat tonight. Am i? Thanks again.

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