Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Coping with the loss

Posted by

I live in Australia and feel so isolated from the rest of the family. My darling younger sister passed away on Sunday after a brave fight against the demon of secondary breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy with chemo and was given the  all clear after five years. Then in 2011  she was told that secondaries of lungs, liver and bones. So I travelled over and spent an amazing 5 months with her. I returned to Australia in May 2012. Then 3 months later my ex husband ( who I had an amazing relationship with... we saw each other every week) asked for my help. He never told me  yet I was with him when the doctor said 1 to 3 weeks!!!! he didn't want our children and I to know. He died 7 days later ( November 2012)from metatastic melanoma. So brave.

Sadly 10 weeks ago my sister had complete kidney failure and after 6 weeks in hospital she was discharged and I spoke with her 3 weeks ago. She was put into palliative care 2 weeks ago and lost her battle on Sunday. I am totally at a loss as I had prayed that she would still be alive when I go in 6 weeks time. Although I have 4 other siblings in England and a brother in law who are all grieving I feel very alone. My children are around me for support but those horrible what if and why questions are constanly in my mind.

I am so glad that she is no longer in pain but      like most of us who lose someone I fee really selfish that I want her to be here with us all.

Posted by

Dear Queenie,

As with you, I have been living in another country for much of the last decade, and fortunately had time with my amazing mother who passed away from pancreatic cancer a year today. It is very very hard when you are living elsewhere -though we all have our own lives to live, and my very small family was accepting of this. My mother was barely alive when I last saw her -I told my sister who was worried that I might not 'make it time' that it was ok -the last breath, no longer mattered and that these things are so much beyond our control. I also battled with the idea of selfishness in the light of the brave battle my mother fought - in fact I didnt allow myself to feel upset because it seemed that I wasn't being strong when she had been so strong. My sister and I were also at different stages of grief as well, and responded differently to all of this - so despite having a close family member near by, we were very alone in our respective grief because we had a different relationship with the one who was was dying. Be gentle to yourself, Queenie -that's the most important thing.

Posted by

Hello Julia,


Thank you so much for your kind words. So sorry you have to go through this too. As you say nothing is under our control and all of us grieve differently. Take care of yourself.