Blogger Emma from Island Living 365 turned the loss of losing a loved one into something positive, inspiring her and Mumzilla to create #BloggersBeatingCancer, a virtual coffee morning to raise money. Here she shares her story…
A word that none of us want to hear. It has been estimated that 9 million people died from cancer in 2015. It is a disease that is indiscriminate. It is a disease that is cruel. It steals the young, the old, the rich and the poor. It doesn’t care what gender or race you are. It doesn’t care if you are a mum or a dad, a sister or a brother. I knew all of the statistics but I always thought cancer was something that affected other people. I never dreamed that I would lose Sarah to it.
Bright, beauti-ful Sarah. A young mother who doted on her children. Sarah who did everything right. Sarah who was healthy. She had the life that she had always dreamed of. The life she had planned. This wasn’t part of her plan. Yet, she was brave and courageous and she told us that she would beat it. She wasn’t going to let cancer win. However, this was one battle that even Sarah couldn’t win. Fifteen months later she died. She fought to the very end. She was a warrior.
In the immediate aftermath of Sarah’s death I struggled to make sense of it. Memories tortured me. Before I lost Sarah, I never really appreciated how grief is physical. In those early days I could al-most feel grief next to me. Some days grief would physically hurt me, pummelling me in the chest. Now just over a month later and I can still feel grief in the room. A memory will suddenly come back and I am floored. I come across a photo of us laughing on my hen do and I get cross with myself. Cross because I can’t remember what we are laughing about. I want to hold onto every good memory of Sarah, I want to remember everything about her. I’m scared of forgetting about the little things. How at university she came to my rescue on many an occasion. How we would have heating wars, Sarah being sensible and turning the heating down, while I would turn the heating back-up again. How at university I always looked liked a typical student where Sarah always looked im-maculate. We were very different, yet there was so much laughter and on Sarah’s part, a lot of patience!
I was always a little in awe of Sarah. I wonder if she realised that. None of us would have predicted cancer taking Sarah. It doesn’t make sense. However, I have come to the sad realisation that death doesn’t make sense. For Sarah to be taken from her husband and young children, that will never make sense, it’s just wrong. Sarah’s funeral was packed, in the end people were standing up at the back. People came from all over to celebrate her life. A life lived to the full. A life where she had dedicated herself to serving the community in the police force; a life where she had doted on her children. Her life wasn’t meant to end like this.
There are so many lives ending everyday because of cancer. Lives that shouldn’t be ending. #BloggersBeatingCancer is our chance to do something about it. An opportunity to come together as a community and remember all our loved ones. #BloggersBeatingCancer is our chance to raise money and awareness about cancer. Please join us on Friday 30th September at 10:30am for coffee and a social media thunderclap. Use the hashtag, get involved, get your friends involved, get fundraising.
You don’t have to be a blogger to take part, anyone can take part. Perhaps you just want to donate some money in someone’s memory. Perhaps you would like to use this opportunity to have a coffee morning with your friend that now lives over the other side of the world. Use this #BloggersBeatingCancer morning to Skype the friend you miss, use it to chat on twitter with your friend who now lives abroad, use it to message your old school friends. The internet is a powerful tool, with it we can reach across the world and chat to our friends as if they are sat in the room with us. We need to celebrate friendship, we need to tell our friends how much they mean to us.
Do it for those 9 million people that lost their lives to cancer last year. Do it for family. Do it for friends. But please just do it. We have to do something.
Home page image: Antonio Guillem, Shutterstock