This morning my wife’s sister Nancy died from leukemia.
She had already survived breast cancer and had been doing great just until the last couple of months.
She was brave and faced her death with nobility and grace.
Her husband Joe is exhausted and obviously devastated.
My wife is also devastated as she has lost not only a dear sister but one of her dearest friends. they talked almost every day.
I had known Nancy since their family moved down the street from us 52 years ago. She was a baby.
Most people who knew Nancy remember that she was always laughing. And this is a woman who had plenty to cry about in her life beyond these terrifying illnesses.
Having said all of that I want to change the tone just a little.
There is nothing beautiful in death. It is ugly and gruesome in all of its forms.
Cancer is one of the most ugly and gruesome.
This killer, which is created by our own bodies, is pernicious and hateful.
It strikes babies barely out of the womb and as a cruel joke kills octogenarians just for a laugh when they should be having peace. And everybody in between.
Her new grandson will not remember her and that is truly a crying shame.
I will not have this bitterness in my heart when we celebrate her life and passage.
I loved her like a little sister and will miss her terribly.
I am very happy that she is now pain-free.
I am happy that she is reunited with her loved ones like her Dad who passed last year.
I know death comes to all of us but sometimes we are reminded of just how cruel and ugly it can be.
We don’t have to feel good about it.
We do have to live and that is what we will do until we don’t.