Day 7 – Goodbye

posted by Momo Fali on November 7, 2012

A few weeks ago I found out that my cousin was very sick. We are the same age (which is to say pretty young…ahem), so it was shocking to find out that cancer had been ravaging her body and taking a silent toll. Within a very short time, we went from being ready to help her with her fight to realizing that there wasn’t a fight to be had.

This afternoon I went to say goodbye. I parked my car and took a long, heavy-footed walk through the hospital; the kind that makes you feel like the corridor is shrinking around you and all the people you pass are going about business that has no place being had when someone you love is dying.

Her ICU room was full of friends and family and we took turns stroking her hands and holding cold washcloths to her hot skin. We laughed, we told stories about her 80s hair, we cried and prayed. I looked on while my aunt told her it was okay to go.

I watched her husband take her face in his hands and kiss her forehead. Today is their 9th wedding anniversary and he made sure her wedding rings were in a bag, tucked under her hand; too swollen, now, to wear them.

Although my heart is heavy and my mind is fuzzy, I am coherent enough to realize that I was given a gift tonight. It was a privilege to be there in that room with so much love and be with her before she leaves this earth. You know how everyone always says that life is precious? It is. When you see it at its last, it’s like a big, neon, “LIFE IS PRECIOUS” sign in front of your face.

Because you aren’t likely at someone’s bedside, I am flipping on the neon sign for you. Hug your loved ones, tell your friends you love them, don’t put off anything.



  • tara

    Well thanks for making me cry. But thank you for the reminder. I am going to hug my amazing husband right now.

    I lost my mom when to cancer I was 15. I have a hard time writing about it because it’s something that is practically impossible to describe. But you did a fantastic job of capturing all of those terrible, bittersweet, sad feelings that whirl around you when you are with someone you love before they go.

    And the thing that I always try to remind myself is that at least I got to be there before she had to go.

    Oh and p.s. fuck cancer.

  • Brandie

    I’m so very sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family tonight. ((hugs))

  • Elizabeth

    I’m so sorry you and your family are having to live this grief now. I lost a friend to a different disease this past week, and it reminded me of the same thing; life is brief and beautiful, and not to be wasted on inconsequential trivia. The love of family and friends is strong stuff; may you all be wrapped in it’s healing. Peace.

  • andy

    I’m so sorry for you and your family and yes, I will give everyone I love an extra hug today.

  • Mare

    So sorry to read of your loss. Even though we know death is part of life, it stops us in our tracks every time. I was with my sister-in-law, and an uncle, when they passed, and as sad as it was, there was a peace about it too. It’s like you’re guiding your loved one to God. It’s a sacred moment. Peace to you and your family.

  • annettek

    Oh, I’m so very sorry.

  • Linda Muschott

    Diane, Your way to express just how it went last night is indeed truly amazing !! I LOVE YOU FOREVER&ALWAYS PEACE&LOVE:) Linda 🙂

  • Patty

    My heart, prayers and love go out to you and your family. This moment is one you will treasure always. I know. xoxo

  • JJ

    Thinking of you and your family – Im so very sorry for your loss. Cancer sucks.

  • tara

    I forgot to say that I am so sorry for you and your family. I sort of assumed it went without saying, but then realized that it should never be assumed.

  • meleahrebeccah

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I am sending you all of my love. XOXOX

  • sizzle

    Sending you the biggest hug. I’m sorry for your loss but glad you were there in the room to say your good-byes and honor her life by sharing it here. Please! Everyone! Get your pap smear! That is my message too since my cancer summer (and still hoping it doesn’t return).

    Much love to you.

  • Jenna

    Much love to you and yours during this time.

  • Polly

    Oh, Momo. I am so, so sorry. So, so. I know that feeling you describe, and am perpetually grateful when anyone reminds me of it, since it’s such a strong human tendency to forget. I’m just sorry it’s you and your family’s loss that’s reminding me today. My deepest and warmest thoughts to you and your whole family.

  • Elizabeth

    My heart goes out to you and your family!

    My husband died just two weeks and less than one year from his colon cancer diagnosis. He was 48 and we had just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.

    Prescreening for aggressive cancers is SUCH an important thing and one we tend to avoid.

    Y’all in my prayers and thoughts.

  • Colleen

    So sad… but what an amazing experience to be able to be a part of. Life truly is precious and sometimes you need a reminder.

  • Kathy Hills

    Very good reminder to all….detection is key. Prayers to you.

  • Alex

    My heart is with you and your family.

  • Kara

    I’m sorry.

  • Mama D

    “Realizing there wasn’t a fight to be had.” Simple, poetic and devastating words. Thoughts, prayers and wishes for peace for you all…

  • Melisa

    Such a beautiful tribute to your cousin. I’m so sorry for your loss. xoxoxo

  • AlisonH

    Thank you. As I write in tears. Thank you.

    My mother-in-law is in hospice care now and I’ve been trying to tell my husband that I don’t care if we can’t afford it, he HAS to go see her while she’s alive! I think he will, now, and I’ve enlisted his sister quietly.I think he’s afraid of his fears. I know he has to get over it, now.

  • Zak

    Oh, I’m just so sorry for you and your family. Love you hard.

  • tracey

    Oh sweetie… You have my love.

  • mrsmouthy

    Today, MomoFali, I lost my dear, dear friend to cancer, and I was just sitting here on the computer, not able to sleep, and I came to this post. I am so heartbroken for your cousin…for my friend…for their families…for myself…for you…and especially for the little boy my friend left behind. It is so unfair.

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