This was the best way I knew to cope many years ago when I lost my best friend, my father, to cancer.
A Letter to Cancer
by Linda Ellis, © 2003
I have tried to teach my children
not to detest, insult, berate,
but I cannot follow my own advice
when I am so filled with hate.
You are slowly stealing my father
and though some say this is God’s will,
those words will never stop me
from despising you, still.
Yes I hate you, cancer
like I’ve hated nothing before,
I’ve cried so much, my eyes are dry
for tears…there are no more.
If only I could fight you,
my anger alone could win the bout;
I would crush you down to ashes
until "surrender!" you would shout.
And if you were a mighty tree,
I would destroy you limb by limb
until you swore to put an end to
all the pain you’re causing him.
What gives you the right?
What gives you the power?
Just who do you think you are?
You have no feelings or compassion
for all the many lives you scar.
You personify evil;
you are wicked and cruel.
You thrive on others’ sorrow…
like cars run on fuel.
You are forever my enemy,
my nemeses, my foe,
but before you take my best friend,
there’s something you should know…
He hasn’t relinquished his dignity;
his inner strength shall persevere
and you’ll never have the satisfaction
of realizing his fear.
Because if you had a face,
he would look you straight in the eye
and say to you what he’s said to me…
that he’s not afraid to die.
You may have chosen his last day
and though he may be near it,
your power has its limitations
because you’ll never break his spirit!