Joe D.

Yesterday my friend's husband died. Their son is 8.

A year ago, everything was fine. Then came the diagnosis (whisper when you say it: cancer), surgery, fight, complications, fight, complications, surgery, complications, fight. Hospice. End.

I complain all the time that I "don't have any time."

I don't think that phrase means what I thought it meant.

33 thoughts on “Joe D.”

  1. I’m so sorry.A friend of mine almost lost her husband in a biking accident. He survived but lost the use of his right arm, is in severe and chronic pain and has brain damage. Their little girl just turned three. Life can turn in an instant.

  2. As you know, i have been there/am there:I found only one helpful book: The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth about It) by Patti Dann. Read it yourself and give it to her when the time is right.

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss, Moxie. We are living this right now with my grandmother. If she makes it through this year it will be a miracle. And all I keep thinking is “It’s not enough TIME.”

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of such a young father. It is such an awful shock when horrible things like this happen to people in the prime of their lives.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss, your friend’s loss of her husband and most of all, their son’s loss of his father. This forces a child into a world that he should not know until much, much later in life. Nothing quite compares to a child’s loss of their parent (or sibling) when they are so young.My father passed away when I was 11 years old after a 6 month battle with cancer. I’m just uncovering now (in counseling) all of the ways that this impacts every bit of my being and who I am (mostly subconsciously). Maybe in time you can gently suggest counseling for their son? I don’t know if it would have helped me to get counseling early on, but it can’t hurt.
    Again, my heartfelt condolences. Keeping their family and you in my thoughts.

  6. So sorry for your loss Moxie, and for all that your friend’s family has gone/is going through. So tough on everyone.Another reminder to find at least a moment every day to savour what we do have, with the people around us that we love. Life has this awful habit of changing without warning sometimes.

  7. It comes as such a shock to realize that time is not what we thought. I also lost my dad when I was young, and it has shaped my life in many ways. But I think most of all, it made me afraid that I won’t be available to my kids when they need me. I live with that anxiety, and try to make the most of what I have. Sometimes with more success than other times.

  8. I’m so sorry. I lost a brother when I was a kid and while that isn’t the same as losing a parent, as Alice says, a loss like that shapes your life in so many ways.If your friend is looking for any information to help her son, she (or you) can look at the bereavement information at – it is a wonderful organization that works with kids who have lost their mothers, but I imagine their information might be helpful.

  9. My deepest condolences, for what they’re worth. No advice; just the knowledge that someone else is keeping you and your friend’s family in her thoughts and prayers.

  10. I’m so sorry Moxie, for your loss, and your friend’s loss of her husband and most of all their son’s loss of his father.My father died when I was nine and it was the sledgehammer blow of blows that forever divided my life into before and after. My heart is with your friend’s son, and his mother, and with you.
    There is much more help and understanding for bereaved children now than there was decades ago, so I hope there will be help for him to deal with his loss in all the forms he needs.
    I really am so very sorry.

  11. @kristina, thank you so much for the book rec. I’ve been looking for something along those lines. And I noticed in the back of the book there is a long list of recommended reading.

  12. I am very sorry. And I thank you for this today, when I feel like I have NO time (I came here because I am paralyzed by my to-do list).I lost a brother at a very young age, and I am just learning not only how much the loss impacted me (which seems obvious), but also how growing up in a stressed and grieving and otherwise occupied household affected me. Best of luck to your friend in experiencing that grief for herself and WITH her son, alongside everything else that is important in an 8 year old’s life.

  13. I think that I will remember this post when I next worry about short naps, too much laundry, and other stuff that doesn’t really matter.

  14. I’m so sorry. I lost a friend some years ago to melanoma; her girls were 2 and 6. My husband just lost his dad; diagnosis was 15 days before his death. DH’s grown, but cancer can be so insidious, so awful. I’m losing count of the friends I’ve lost to cancer.I’m so sorry for all. Thankful for the book rec’s.

  15. Digressing ,sorry, but I personally found two books particularly helpful for me about early parent-loss. I mean as an adult, and they’re meant for adults.The Loss that is Forever by Maxine Harris and A Music I no longer Heard: The Early Death of a Parent by Leslie Simon.
    And in the UK Winston’s Wish is a wonderful charity helping bereaved children with a great website too.

  16. The big things like this remind us not to sweat the little stuff. After my mum’s death, although cliched, I remind myself every day “there’s always someone worse off” and “be grateful for what you have” as things could be so much worse. It’s so easy to whine about the silly, unimportant things until you hear a story like this and it puts it all into perspective.My heart goes out to your friend and little boy, it must be so unimaginably difficult. Hope there will be some smooth times ahead for them xox

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