I’d like to make a more personal post for this day, September 30th.
Six years ago today, my step-mother Michelle passed away from Ovarian Cancer at the age of 42. She was a highly intelligent woman, a professor, a horse-back rider at heart, and second mother to me. Her passing impacted my entire family, and the day that it happened is a day that will never depart my memory.
In the last few years of her life, Michelle was weak from Chemo. When she and I would go out together, I would have to act as a crutch to hold her upright. The cancer had sucked out every last bit of her strength, and for her last few months she took to staring at the ceiling and petting a stuffed cat that I had snuck into her room and set next to her when she was sleeping. I remember watching her corpse in the bed after she had passed, with my father’s hand on my shoulder as I sang a few verses of “Seasons of Love”, a song that has reminded me of Michelle ever since. I sang it again at her funeral reception, but midway through the song I couldn’t remember the words.
For anyone who has gone through something similar in their lives, I’d like to say that I feel for you, and I love you. Grief can be devastating, but it can also help you appreciate your life so much more. Whoever passed away would want you to keep on living with a smile on your face. If you need to talk, find someone to talk to. Draw pictures, write poems, and seek out help if you need it. You are not and will never be alone in something like this; it happens every day.
And for those who know someone who is grieving, be there for them. Even if they are not a close friend of yours, your presence will be appreciated. Send them a letter, an e-mail, or invite them out to do something fun. You don’t have to make them talk about what happened - and if they want to talk, listen. Even if you feel uncomfortable at the time, you will be glad you did.