On pain, loss and why I hate February 1st.
13 years ago this day (February 1st), my Aunt L passed away of lung cancer. I was at her bedside, as was my brother. Before then, I had never seen anyone die. Ever. Nothing prepares you for that experience. It remains, to this day, the most painful day of my entire life. I have lost so many family members and so many friends to cancer, yet February 1st remains imprinted in my storyline as the one day that I simply cannot fathom. It’s a painful reminder of the day I lost the woman who was like my second mother. If you know how close I am to my Mom, you can imagine how close I was to my Aunt L. Losing someone that you love THAT MUCH is incredibly painful.
One of the reasons why I often regret not living in Mexico for as long as I have is because I have missed the opportunity to spend more time with those family members who are no longer with us. Sure, I have followed my dreams and tried to make them proud by succeeding in a foreign country, but the regret remains, and so do the painful memories.
One of the reasons why I support cancer-focused charities so strongly is because that way, I channel my energies, my anger, my pain and my loss towards something constructive. Yes, I hate cancer. Yes, I hate that it took from me the one person that was a second mother to me, the one who, without being her own child, treated me like her son, and focused in my growth and development almost as much as my own parents did. And beyond that, cancer has continued to take the lives of several of my loved ones, my Aunt M, my grandma, my friend Derek K. Miller, the list goes on.
The beginning of February, for these reasons, is always challenging to me. I’m not in a social mood, and yet I have several social commitments. If you see me grumpy or in a foul mood, I hope you understand why. February 1st is a reminder to me that the fight against cancer is not won yet.
- 2011 in review: A year of personal loss
- Why February 1st hurts so much
- Starting February with challenges
- The things I hate the most
- Mourning the loss of a loved one