We’ve all known someone who’s died from cancer—and we all know how frustratingly unfair the whole experience is. It’s even more heartbreaking when the person who had cancer was young.
That’s why Beth O’Rourke’s story is making us tear up so much. Beth, a 44-year-old married mom of two from Worcester, Massachusetts, died from bile duct cancer on April 16. She wrote her own obituary before she passed—and while her story is obviously incredibly sad, her words are beautiful. Here’s a portion of it (you can read the entire thing at legacy.com):
I LOVED my life. I loved a long run, to sit quietly by the lake, to read and dance and sing and be silly with our children. We loved watching summer storms blow across the water. I loved to chat and laugh with my sisters and friends, until tears ran down our legs! Brendan and I enjoyed many trips together, most enjoyable were those to Ireland, visiting family to share a pint and some good ‘craic’. And of course sitting quietly on the porch with Brendan (listening to the Red Sox). I enjoyed working for a cause, among them, the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, whose members’ spirit and dedication amazed me.
Of all the things I did in this life, nothing compared to being with Brendan and our children. I fought every day to stay alive and to be with them. No person could ever ask for a more loving and supportive husband, always my champion, always. I enjoyed every moment we shared; the great ones, the sad ones, the easy and the hard. I pray they have learned to feel the deep sense of faith that I shared. No matter where this journey brings me next, I will forever carry their love with me, as I am sure there is a piece of me that will forever remain with them.
But cancer does not care who it takes, who it hurts, or honor or love. It comes into your life and starts to break the threads that hold you and you are left to see pieces of yourself slip away and dreams fade. We were clung only to each other with pure love and faith binding us, in the end is when the most amazing thing happens, cancer loses its strength and grace appears. We need to see it. We accept it, and go with it. Grace and love win, not cancer.
I hope to be remembered, with laughter, love and a good pint. And for my children to know “No Momma ever did and no Momma ever will…..”
Beth was an avid marathon runner and fitness lover. Prior to her death, she set up a fund called “A Story About Love” to raise money to help support her husband and children, and it has already raised more than $29,000. (You can donate at gofundme.com.) What a moving story, right? Beth was truly an inspirational woman.