Love lost, read and found
Here is a piece I wrote for our team’s JustGiving page. My daughters and I are part of a team of more than 25 members of Kath’s family and friends partaking in the Marsden March. This is a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Our aim as a team is to reach as many new people with our story in the hope of raising awareness. Please click here to visit our JustGiving page should you wish to donate or sponsor our walk.
Losing Kath from our lives
No matter what your understanding of illness comes to be, for most Cancer is the most daunting. What’s being told to you doesn’t matter at all; you cannot process all the ramifications it will come to mean to you personally.
Dying from Cancer is something terrible that people affected and their families and friends will have to slowly come to accept over time while watching as their loved ones fade away. If they are lucky time lets them prepare for this fate. If life is cruel, in a reaping Cancer snatches people away, leaving the living with no one to blame.
Katherine was snatched away from our lives in the early hours of November 5th 2012, just 7 months after being told she was ill. In the the blink of an eye we had to watch a much loved part of our family go from perfect health to saying goodbye for the last time, changing all we would be in the future without her. Everything she had come to be in our lives disappeared in an instance. These are the basic facts of Katherine’s demise! Sounds simple enough now, doesn’t it?
At first we all felt broken inside, but none of us knew how to show it. We struggled in vain trying to keep on the façade of a brave face and be the strong one we thought each other needed in the face of the fact someone so special had life so cruelly taken from her and was wrenched away from her ever so young daughters and all of us despite our failing efforts to understand or to cling on regardless.
We still feel strongly about Katherine, it’s hard to talk about this because it still makes everyone emotional. Over a year has passed but we are still individually raw. At times just driving along or doing any random thing, a thought or memory can come to mind and all of a sudden tears are set free. It’s hard to accept that such a thing could have happened to her in such a short time and to one of our own. It was too fast, too out of our control, too sudden for any of us to have had the time to get our heads around what was happening to our family and before we knew what hit us the devastation was all too great.
In silent grief raw emotions are not always easily contained. Some that escape can do so in the form of rage and at times those who came near it felt its fury and were burnt by it. Others meaning well still felt its full force whether they deserved to or not. When we least expect it, grief lashes out at all in its path and none of us know how to get out of its way.
No one admits it but we all try hard to avoid becoming emotional in front of the other. We think this is the best way to protect from causing pain but in truth as a consequence none of us are able to find any escape and to take comfort from sharing the burden. Outwardly, within the family we try to show no signs of our grief and the huge burden we all personally carry.
But the impact from Kath’s loss to our lives is far reaching. Between us all we are all affected in many ways. In Katherine we lost many things to us all, from a mother, a daughter, a sister, an Auntie, a wife and a friend but we all try to continue pretty much as normal in our own private discomfort but relief just the same. The truth is none of us really know what to say to the other without causing pain. In silent support we stand together in solidarity and this has become the core focus of the reason why as a team we now march.
Katherine’s loss has affected all on the team. This year the size of the team has grown bigger still. We all unite and march in Katherine’s memory but as a team we acknowledge the significance of each new experience we feel when any of our loved ones have faced a battle themselves with this dreaded disease.
In the time since losing Katherine, Cancer has touched all our lives once again. Within the team there are family who still face a battle, family that have lost an uncle and family that have had a scare. No one case is any more significant than the other.
The money raised from donations helps all the affected. Katherine’s care at ‘The Marsden Hospital’ must have cost thousands and we count ourselves lucky that over the years so many people have fund-raised so tirelessly, so by the time Katherine came to need it, the care was as advanced as it was. Perhaps in time to come, it would have been enough to save her and in that case we take solace in the knowledge that others will live.
We hope of course that our closest supporters will donate once again, but in Kath’s memory and in the spirit of marching we march to continue to raise money and more awareness, and hope we can inspire more and more people to donate. To do this we have to reach new people too and touch new hearts. We don’t expect to easily engage those of you who are unemotionally attached to Katherine into just giving your generousity, but we hope that we can connect with you fully and personally. You see for all of us to eat from the apple tree, someone first has to sow seeds. Katherine was lucky in the past so many donated so kindly without ever knowing who would benefit. But perhaps in the future, with the help of your donations others will be luckier still!
Losing Kath from our world perhaps won’t ever sink in, though we count ourselves lucky to have had her. But she is gone and all there is left is hurting inside, and the feeling that in silence we burn. Death has so many complex emotions than just grief, loss and adjustment. Everyone in Team Katherine’s Marchers has been affected by her loss. When we wear her image on our badge we don’t just see the face of our team. We see someone missing from home, from our side and our lives. We can’t just click off the page or talk about something else almost like nothing has changed.
Things have changed! Help us change them further still. Please sponsor our team and donate.
Thank you for any support..