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Tears on my Computer

I woke up this morning in tears. My dreams were filled with my cousin Derek, who passed away on Saturday after a 2 year battle with colon cancer. He was only 35.

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We knew the end was near, and we were able to have a teary goodbye via the phone a week and a half ago… but it’s still hard to believe he’s really gone. When I got the news I was in Chicago at the Healthy Living Summit. I knew the last thing he’d have wanted me to do was mope around and not have fun because of him, so I put it out of my mind. And then I packed. And then I moved. And then all of a sudden, via my dreams of hanging out with him and saying goodbye… it hit me. He’s really gone. And there’s no more hiding that I am really, really sad. I decided to take to my favorite form of therapy (besides running) — writing.

Do you guys remember my trip to California in December/January? Right after spending New Years in wine country with Jenna, I flew down to LA, where I played with my cousins Tory, Derek, and their beautiful sister Willow.

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I had a feeling it would be the last time I saw Derek, and I was right. He was feeling pretty crappy by this point but hiding it rather well.

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Can you believe we met for the first time only 2 years ago? During the summer of 2008, all 4 of my cousins (Derek, Willow, Tory, and Keith) came to visit me and my mom in DC, right before I left for Prague. I had met Tory and Keith before, but only chatted online with Derek and Willow. We quickly discovered that the 5 of us were long lost soul mates. We could not have had more of a blast tearing up DC.

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While all of us were together in DC, Derek said he was having some pain in his groin area. He thought he had a hernia and we were all making fun of him for being an old man. We found out a few days after they left that it was Stage IV colon cancer.

We’ll really miss you, Derek. As promised, a trip is in the works so we can terrorize another city in your memory :)

I’ll post a real update later today — but for now know that so far all is well here in NC :) Unpacking is going well and I’m off to my first of two UNC orientations this afternoon!

Comments

  1. 1

    I am so sorry Anne. :( Thinking of you and your family.

  2. 2

    Anne that is so sad. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. Cancer is a tragic, horrible disease and the people it touches are never the same. You are in my thoughts.

  3. 3

    Oh Anne, I’m so sorry. It’s always so heartbreaking when a life is taken too young. :( I love you, and I’m glad y’all are planning on another trip in his honor. I’m also glad that you did get the chance to know him! Good luck at orientation today. :) xoxo!

  4. 4

    Aww Anne I’m so sorry- this post is a beautiful tribute & I’m glad you have such great memories to get you through a rough time.

  5. 5

    I’m so sorry for you loss, Anne. 35 is just too young. My prayers are with you and your family right now.

  6. 6

    Anne,
    Sorry to hear about your cousin. Stay strong, and I am keeping you and my family in my thoughts.

  7. 7

    I extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  8. 8

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Anne. Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  9. 9

    I can’t imagine how awful this must be for you and your family :( He looks like a wonderful person – all of you are in my thoughts today.

  10. 10

    So sad. :( But so well written. He seemed like a wonderful guy. Glad you have so many nice memories!

  11. 11

    :( sorry. looks like you had a lot of fun together.

    ugh. it sucks so much when someone so young gets hit like that.

    colon cancer is a tricky one and often once it’s diagnosed is pretty late in the game. my uncle had a scary bout with it many years ago and i have since become super vigilant about eating lots of fibre, since it is one of the “runs in the family” cancers.

  12. 12
    Babycakes says:

    oh my gosh, my prayers are with you, Derek, and his family today. It sounds like he was a wonderful man! It is so hard when anyone passes, but even harder when they are so young :( Much love to you Anne, and HUGS.

  13. 13

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers today Anne.

  14. 14

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts. A big hug to you!

  15. 15

    Anne, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers today. This post was a beautiful tribute to your cousin.

  16. 16

    So very sorry, Anne. You and your family have my most sincere sympathies.

  17. 17

    Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  18. 18

    Anne, your story was so touching. I know that must have been so hard for you to go through and I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I also wanted to say welcome to the Raleigh/Durham area (I live in Durham) – I’m glad everything is going well so far and I’m excited to hear more about your adventures in the area!

  19. 19

    Oh Anne – I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. I wish I could give you a big hug…but just know how many people are thinking about you. Love, Dorry

  20. 20

    I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts are with you and yours.

  21. 21

    so sorry to hear about your loss.

  22. 22

    That is such sad news, I’m so sorry and hope you and your family support each other during this terrible time. x

  23. 23

    So sorry for your loss but such a wonderful tribute to him.

  24. 24

    I’m so sorry. This was a wonderful way to honor your cousin. You and all of your family are in my prayers.

  25. 25

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. :(

  26. 26

    You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts. I am so sorry.

  27. 27

    Aww, I’m so sorry. That really is way too young for someone to go.

  28. 28

    Very sad, Anne, but thanks for remembering him like this and sharing some good memories, as well. You’re right: he’d want you to celebrate the good times, not dwell on the bad ones…

  29. 29

    I’m sorry, love :( xo

  30. 30

    im so sorry for your loss Anne :(

  31. 31

    My heart aches for you and your family. What a beautiful tribute to your cousin Derek.

  32. 32

    I am so sorry for your loss honey.
    Is that your mom in one of the photo’s, if so, she is very pretty.

  33. 34

    Awww, that’s so sad! I’m so sorry for your loss Anne. It’s great that you got to get to know him and spend time with him while he was still here and make some awesome memories. I’m sure you and your cousins will carry them with you forever.

  34. 35

    That is so tragic! I’m so sorry for your loss and you and your fam are in my thoughts for sure. Hang in there lady!

  35. 36

    Deeply sorry for your loss. Such a touching way to remember an amazing person. Life is too be loved and lived to the fullest.

    Best wishes to your family.

  36. 37

    So sorry about your loss :( Feel better.

  37. 38

    Such a beautiful post, Anne. Thank you for sharing this with us on Sunday. I’m so sorry for the pain you and your family are going through right now and know that I’m here if you need absolutely anything. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  38. 39

    I’m so sorry for your lost. You two will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  39. 40

    So sorry for your loss.

  40. 41

    Hold onto those wonderful memories. I am so sorry for your loss.

  41. 42

    Anne, I’m so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful testimony to your cousin’s life. You’re in my thoughts.

  42. 43

    So sorry to read this. Thinking of you, love!

  43. 44

    I am so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful post!

  44. 45

    Oh Anne I’m so sorry. I’m so glad you wrote through your feelings; it was beautiful and that’s so great you guys got to connect so well even though it was for a short time. You’ll be in my thoughts!

  45. 46

    I am so sorry for your loss. At least you were able to meet him and spend 2 years together. Now you have lots of happy memories to think back on. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  46. 47
    RhodeyGirl says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Anne.

  47. 48

    Anne,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you hugs and good thoughts from Cincinnati.
    You all look so happy in those photos. What amazing memories!

  48. 49

    I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  49. 50

    im so sorry anne! hope the move goes well and you are in my thoughts!

  50. 51

    I’m sorry for you loss :(

  51. 52

    Oh Anne, I am so sorry for your loss. It seems that you have a lot of wonderful memories from your time with Derek and I hope that offers you comfort during this tough time. ((hug))

  52. 53

    For the ones left behind, feelings of sadness and loss will come and go over a lifetime. We need to have the strength to grant our loved ones a peaceful rest, until we meet again. Peace to you and your family.

  53. 55

    It never fails for the reality of someone being out of our lives to hit and hit hard. All the emotions you must feel certainly give cause for tears and remembrance. Have faith he is at peace and I wish strength upon you in this heartache.

  54. 57

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, Anne. Your tribute to your cousin is truly touching.

  55. 58
    Adventurer says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. your cousin sounds like a great guy. We mourn his loss with you.

  56. 59

    Very sorry to hear that. It is a shame how young he was, it definitely wasn’t his time to go yet.

  57. 60

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but so glad you have awesome memories. You’re very blessed for that.

  58. 61

    I’m so sorry Anne! I’m glad that you’re embracing your memories though. Too many times we push unhappy thoughts from our minds and end up feeling that much worse. You’re in my thoughts…

  59. 62

    Anne, I’m so sorry for your loss. That was a lovely tribute to Derek.
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  60. 63

    So sorry for your loss, Anne.

  61. 64

    i’m so sorry for your loss anne :( my mimi died of colon cancer, and i was with her when it happened. it was the most horrible thing i’ve ever seen and i miss her so much. she deserved so much more than that!

    praying for you sweetheart!

  62. 66

    So sorry to hear this, Anne. I too lost a cousin to cancer when she was a mere 34 years old. It sucks!

  63. 67

    Anne, I am so sorry to hear about Derek. It’s so unfair when someone is taken so young. I’m glad you had some fun times with him and I think the plan to celebrate his memory in similar style is the perfect thing to do. You and your family are in my thoughts!

  64. 68

    Thinking about you Anne. I can’t imagine how hard this is. As I was reading your story, I was thinking how amazing it was, that you all finally ended up meeting and getting to know one another. There are so many memories that will stay with you forever. It sounds like Derek was an amazing man. My thoughts are with you + your family. Take care dear. xo

  65. 69

    Anne, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss *hugs*. This post really got to me, made me shed a few tears for you. Though you were expecting it that doesn’t make it any less difficult. You do now know that your cousin in resting peacefully.

    Next Saturday I’m running a 5k for ‘down there cancers’ with a local Toronto hospital to raise funds and awareness to early detection of those ‘embarassing area’ cancers. I will think of you and your cousin.

    *Hugs*

  66. 70

    I’m so sorry, Anne. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  67. 71

    I am so sorry for your loss, cancer can come so quickly. My mom only “had” cancer for 9 months before she passed away.

  68. 72

    I am so very sorry – sending warm thoughts to you and your family…

    It is a wonderful thing that you were able to know him in the past couple years, and impact each others lives.

    Thank you for sharing in this touching post – take care – ((hugs))

  69. 73

    Anne, my heart broke as I read this post. I am all too familiar with the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. My brother in law passed away just 3 weeks ago from the disease. He lost his fight the day after his 41st birthday and not a day goes by that I dont think about him. I hope that your days get easier and that as they pass, each one is filled with the more happier memories than sad.

  70. 75

    Heartbreaking, Anne. As I was looking at your pictures, I was realizing how amazing it is that sometimes we can see a person’s soul, even though we’ve never met the person. Through his smiles, it looks like he had a very good, kind one.

  71. 76

    So sorry to hear about your loss Anne. Sending good thoughts to you and your family.

  72. 77

    Anne, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

  73. 78

    awhhh. i’m so sorry, anne. i will be keeping you and your family in my prayers!

    XO.

  74. 79

    Oh Anne, I am so sorry about your loss!!! Having battled with my colon problems this year and colon cancer running in my family, I can relate to this pain so well. I will pray for you and your family during this time. Take care sunshine! ;)

  75. 80

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  76. 81

    Anne, So sorry for your loss! I will pray for you and your family during this time. Take care!

  77. 82

    Anne,

    I am so sorry for your loss and am keeping you and your family in my prayers. If I could say one thing to you, it would be to take care of yourself as I had a recent loss too – it’s cathartic to write about it (even if it’s only for your eyes or online too). I have reposted my blog entry here if you want to read it: http://anneliesz.tumblr.com/post/822773402/under-a-waxing-crescent

    Sending you hugs.
    -Annelies

    • 83

      What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us! I couldn’t figure out how to comment on there, so I hope you see this and know that I read it and found comfort in it. Hugs to you as well.

  78. 84

    Anne,
    So sorry for your loss. It is horrible to lose someone so close to you–especially someone who just entered your life. I’ll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

  79. 85

    So sorry for your loss. You are being so strong through this whole thing. Maybe the fact that you are so busy will be a good thing. ;)

    hugs. ;)

  80. 86

    I’m so sorry for your loss Anne, it sounds like he was a wonderful guy and you had wonderful times together! *virtual hugs*

  81. 87

    Very sorry, Anne. Life’s a roller coaster, ain’t that the truth? Big X from me! Take care.

  82. 88

    Oh Anne – my thoughts are with you and your family :(

  83. 89

    I am so sorry for your loss. Cancer is such a scary disease. It can seem so sudden, and you dont always get time to prepare.

    He sounds like he was an incredible guy. Its awesome you got the chance to know him.

  84. 90
    Heather C says:

    I’m very sorry to read that Anne. Many, Many prayers for you and your family.

  85. 91

    I’m really sorry for your loss, Anne.

  86. 92

    i’m so sorry for your loss. i lost someone in my family much too young to a GI cancer, and it remains one of the most heartwrenching events of my life. it’s incomprehensible how cancer can take someone so young. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  87. 93

    Such a beautiful tribute to Derek. I am so sorry for your loss. You’re such a strong woman for not letting any of this show on Saturday. I had no idea. Sending huge hugs!

  88. 94
    devora kline says:

    I looked at Derek’s pictures and cried for you and with you. What a nice looking man he was and what a lovely sparkle in his eyes. He may be gone physically but he will always be with you in your heart. I am so sorry.

  89. 95

    I’m so sorry for your loss–your beautiful writing about him even made me tear up for someone I’ve never met! It sounds like you made some amazing memories with him, and you will have those forever.

  90. 96

    Anne, than you for sharing with us. I am so sorry.

  91. 97

    Anne, I am so sorry. He seemed to be a lovely person and I can tell you really loved him. How terrible that his time here on earth was so short.

  92. 98

    So sorry to hear this Anne. I’m glad you had the premonition the last time you saw him so that you could make the most of the time you had. I’m glad too that in the middle of all this craziness you had time to mourn, that’s important. I will keep you, your cousin, and his family in my prayers. Love you :l

  93. 99

    I am so sorry for your loss. But what an awesome memory! I remember reading about your trip and how much fun you had with your family.

  94. 100

    Anne, I am so sorry. He sounded like a wonderful person and what you wrote was so touching.

  95. 101

    I am so very sorry for your loss! It is especially heartbreaking to hear how young he was. That was such a beautiful post! I am praying for you and your family!

  96. 102

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I wanted to say THANK YOU for publicly sharing your hardship. Losing someone & showing emotion is still sort of a stigmatism that many people don’t talk about & suffer alone through. I strongly believe in community & helping support one another. So THANK YOU for your courage & bravery!

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