My Story

Apologies for the explicit language below. I do not swear much, even more so since my son was born. One of the most common things you hear when you are bereaved is “There are no words…” The problem is there are no words, but there are some words that get close to how you feel – but they all tend to be expletives.

I’m 34, and father to a 3 year old son. I’m writing this approximately three months after losing the love of my life, Morag, to incurable bowel cancer.

My wife and I met in 2007, when I was flailing around looking for a new route after flunking out of medical school. To make ends meet I was working in an Irish bar in Bow, East London. Morag worked at a much more tasteful gastropub just down the road.

When I did call her and asked her out on a date, she rumbled me early on as using moves straight out of a Pickup Artists playbook, because she had read the same book! This is where it all began. We were soon inseparable, we moved into together, and eventually left the pub trade. She pursued her career in journalism after completing her Masters and I pursued a new direction, ending up in the world of sales. After 5 years I popped the question and we married in August 2014. 2 years later on the 29th of February 2016 we had our son, Jamie. Jamie was an absolute joy of a baby but I don’t think I had that instant, insurmountable parental love that everyone talks about. His birth was traumatic for Morag and I felt pretty shocked by the change that was finally here. Thankfully he was such a ridiculous joy of a baby that love soon followed, and he is simply an amazing little boy.

That first year was hard work, we had no local family to take the slack with a young baby, and every month was about waiting for payday. We always had talked about moving out of London and going back to York, where Morag was from. We finally made that decision when Jamie was 1. Having Morag’s parents on hand with Jamie, and a lot more disposable income and a significant upgrade in living standards changed our lives. So many times in that first year in York we found ourselves looking at each other, smiling and saying how happy we were. Before leaving London I had finally found a job I enjoyed and managed to secure a management role within a few months of moving North – something pretty impossible had I stayed. Morag’s parents, Mc & H, had hinted they would help us buy a house after our first year in York, something we had unconsciously ruled out as impossible while living in London. Life was so very very good. So what do we do when life is good? Let’s try for another baby! Morag was keen to keep building a family until we had a girl, I think to replicate the strong relationship she had with her mother. I was happy to have more kids, despite only seeing the logistical nightmare of lack of sleep and nappy changes. However, I only had to look at how Jamie was the biggest joy of my life to have no fear in building a family.

In September, Morag had a positive pregnancy test. We were so excited. Jamie was thriving, work was going well and we had the real opportunity of buying a house of our own next year. We went on our annual trip to Gleneagles, Scotland. During the trip we had an email from our estate agent saying our landlords wanted the house back, so they gave us notice. This was too early for us and we had used all our savings moving up from London. Morag was devastated, especially as we had been so happy there. The decision was quickly made that we would move into her parents’ house until we could buy somewhere.

The following month Morag came downstairs in tears saying she had had a bleed. Exactly the same thing had happened at a similar time with Jamie’s pregnancy, so I assured her it would be fine but we started the process of investigating it. Over the next few weeks we found that the foetus was not developing so we opted for medical management, taking a pill to terminate the pregnancy. This caused her a lot of huge amount of physical and emotional pain.

In November 2018 we moved into her parents’ house, and began looking for a home to buy. Morag’s parents have lived sans-children for nearly 10 years and are particularly OCD about how things are done in their house. It was stressful, but lovely. Seeing Jamie have such a strong relationship with Mc & H was lovely. They loved him so much. And if we were knackered they would do bath and bedtime without complaint. Towards Christmas we found a house we liked but there was some pressure to buy. The survey came back as pretty damning and we found the whole thing very stressful. It was around that time Morag and I started getting back pain which we attributed to a rather hard mattress in our room. But Morag had started getting stomach pains too, and was finding she would lose her appetite on occasion.

By the end of January her stomach pains were a daily complaint, but we were both so busy she kept putting off going to the doctors. She finally got an appointment booked, but it was three weeks to wait. By the time the appointment came around Morag’s Dad thought that based on her complaints it may be gallstones, being a retired GP he coached her on what to say to secure an ultrasound – I wonder now if he had a niggle of worry and if he had other reasons for pushing her to an ultrasound. Blood tests had come back all clear, except for slightly raised Liver function markers.

Around this time we had both had pay rises and met a good mortgage broker which managed to pip us over the line to the kind of property that was our dream, we were just waiting on a completion date for our dream house in Stamford Bridge a lovely little village just outside of York. Morag went for her ultrasound and came home.

The next day Morag and I were working from home. The last few weeks Morag’s symptoms had started to become a bit more ominous, she was getting full very quickly, tired easily, and had little appetite. I finally succumbed and asked Dr Google about her symptoms. The top result was Ovarian Cancer, which I was confident it couldn’t be because her ovaries had been checked so many times during the miscarriage. She got a call from her GP saying her results were back and she should come in to discuss the results. At the time, I didn’t even blink at this – I assumed it was because H had been putting so much pressure on finding out what the issue was. I kept working in the dining room on my laptop. They got back and H poked her head around the door and said “Ian, can you come in to the lounge please”. I felt a stirring of anxiety but batted it away quickly and thought ‘there is no way its anything bad’. I walked into the lounge and Morag was standing by an armchair. She looked fine, I asked her “Is everything ok?” She stuck her tongue into her cheek and tightly shook her head. I sat down on the armchair next to her and looked at her Mum, who was sat on the sofa next to her Dad.

She choked out “It’s bad, the ultrasound shows metastasis in the liver”.

What the fuck?

Very, very strange experience. Looking back I think this is what everyone describes as being shell shocked. I looked to her Dad, who quietly took his glasses off and said “Well, I think you two need some time… and we need some time”. I looked at Morag who looked back at me with her tongue still firmly pushing out her cheek, and shook her head almost to say “I know, fucking insane right?” H was sobbing. Ian walked out of the room and then I heard him crying too. I put my hands to the side of my head and my eyes darted around the room, frantically looking for something to take away this news.

This is a nightmare, this isn’t real. No it is. My life is over. My gorgeous wife, no. This cannot be happening, what do I do? What do I do? Jamie.

I crawled over to my wife and put my head into her lap and tried to cry myself into feeling something but I felt nothing. Objectively I knew something incredibly horrible had happened and that our lives were changed forever, but it was so completely unreal and unimaginable that my mind just couldn’t grasp it. I think Morag was in a similar state, she said “I just keep seeing and hearing the GP say metastases…” H came in and started to hug a rather wooden Morag. I had a bit of a juvenile response: I need to call my Mum and Dad, they can fix this. I called my Dad but barely got two words out before the sobs and tears choked me. “She has mets, Dad.” “W-What!” I vaguely remember telling him to get up here as soon as possible. I then called my Mum, who was amazing. She sounded distraught but immediately urged me “Don’t give up hope yet darling, this is a fight you two can win!”. I was wracked with sobs and cries and couldn’t pick myself up from the floor. I went back in and sat with Morag. I cannot remember what happened next. I remember walking around the house like a shell shocked soldier from the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. I remember an image from that evening of Morag sitting on the stairs crying with her Mum holding her face with both hands screaming “You are my daughter, I will not let this take you from me!” It was March 14th, the day before we were due to complete on our house.

Morag has two brothers, D and E. D is a software designer based in Edinburgh with his wife L, and survived his own flash with cancer 7 years prior. He had testicular cancer that was found early, responded well to treatment and was given the all clear 5 years later – I never remember being particularly worried about it as each stage seemed to be the best news. E lives in York with his wife and two kids, V who is 7 and R who is about 3 weeks younger than Jamie. E came round that night. Seeing this stoic and straight laced, tall man crumple into a hug and weep with Morag added to the surreal horror. That weekend the whole family got together, I could not stop crying but it was so re-assuring having the whole family around. I knew enough from my medical school days to know liver metastases were bad news. We were waiting for a CT scan the following week.

Mc had started informing close friends and family, including his brother who was also a doctor. He replied saying that based on her history he would suspect a disease known as Non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome, this diseases is categorised by non-malignant growths in the liver that apparently are often miss-diagnosed from ultrasounds as tumours. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help latching onto this hope:

Yes, that makes more sense. It can’t be cancer, she has no other symptoms.

The CT happened the next week, and the diagnosis came back showing a tumour in her lower bowel, and growths in a significant number of lymph nodes with tumours seen in the liver. I lost hope. My Dad was up the night before we had our first appointment with an oncologist. He and Mc pored over the CT scan result and talked about chemo and then resections to work towards curing it. Seeing two doctors I trusted talk about her treatment with hope was like getting into a warm bath at the end of a tough day. So we went to our first oncologist meeting with some hope.

The first oncologist we were meeting with wasn’t to be her oncologist, and said we were lucky to get an appointment so quickly. The first thing the oncologist said was “You have metastatic colon cancer”. Morag was so brave and asked and answered questions calmly while I was a teary mess sat next to her. At some point he commented that care would only be ‘palliative’ rather than curative. “So we cannot take the primary tumour out?” I asked dumbly. He looked at me with a mixture of pity and annoyance for the interruption and said “No, as it has already spread to the liver there is nothing we can do to cure it”. I burst into tears. “Would you like to step outside?” he asked me with no hint of compassion or warmth. Morag and her parents sat like stone while I felt a physical stab of pain in my stomach, and curled up to sob my heart out. At the time I thought he was saying she was terminal, and that there was nothing we could do.

Completely heart broken. What the fuck is going on?

We went home, I walked like a zombie up to our bed and fell onto it. My Dad called. He sounded scared by how I sounded, I was monotone, without hope, dead. I was lying on the bed, not even holding the phone, but had it pressed under my head on my ear. I told him what had happened. He and my Mum both implored me not to give up hope but I was at that time, completely hopeless.

We finally met Morag’s designated oncologist the following week. Dr Chan was simply amazing. His manner and compassion were what we all needed. He said he was happy with her liver function and we are very much going to fight this as hard as we can, as she is in good health otherwise. This was what we needed to hear. I remember he said to us when we first sat down “I’m so sorry you find yourself here”. This simple acknowledgement meant so much to me and has become my mantra and go-to line when I meet a new widow or widower. “I’m sorry you find yourself here, but I’m glad you are here because now we can help you”. Dr Chan talked about starting chemo and we came out of the meeting buzzing. We had someone in our corner who was going to fight this thing as hard as he could, treatment would be aggressive.

Mc and I focussed on getting our new house ready for her. We wanted to make the bedroom and bathroom a sanctuary for her, a place for her to recover from bouts of chemo. Decorating the house was a useful distraction, I found I couldn’t focus on work at all. Morag threw herself into her work and refused to ask about prognosis and how long she had left. She had already been following another young Mum (Deborah James) on twitter with stage 4 bowel cancer, so she was more than aware of her odds, but just focussed on living as long as possible. She was so incredibly brave.

Morag and I had our first night in our new house the night before she was due to have her line put in, through which she would receive her chemo. She seemed to be treating this night as the last night we would be alive, we made love and had a nice meal. That night she woke up and starting vomiting and having diarrhoea. Her parents came round in the early hours and supported her. I drove Jamie to nursery and on the way back struggled to keep things together. She seemed so ill, I thought this was the end. I walked in the front door and saw Morag lying on the sofa. I went two steps towards her and then my legs buckled under me, I tried to grab the wall and instead left a huge gauge in the wall with my car keys. I wept. Morag’s parents took her to hospital while I tried to get some fitful sleep. The procedure was cancelled, and so was the chemo. Morag recovered pretty quickly and a new date for chemo was scheduled for the 18th of April.

By the 18th Morag was doing a lot better and we felt ready to start the journey. When we went in on the 18th it was found Morag’s pulse was twice what it should be, despite feeling ok in herself they wanted to run some blood tests. It was found that she had markers in her blood that implied she had an infection somewhere, which is a big no-no for chemo. She was admitted on the Thursday. Over the coming days Morag’s condition worsened and her tummy started to swell up. On the Saturday I went to a kids Easter party with Jamie and tried to give Jamie a lovely day and some of the nursery parents tried to talk to me about it. I left then and gave Jamie to Ian and went into the hospital. As I walked into the ward saw Morag I got another painful stab in my stomach. She looked awful. Her face was grey, and her eyes were dark and sunken. Her tummy was as swollen as when she was pregnant with Jamie. The next 6 hours was simply a complete horror show that has traumatised me deeply. An emergency CT scan was ordered. While we were waiting for the results Morag started to throw up bile, a thick greenish liquid. I was there with H and E. Morag was being really brave but I completely disassociated. The horror of what I was seeing was simply bypassed somewhere else. I recognised it was traumatising me but I somehow knew that if I showed any fear or pain then this would only make things worse for Morag. My mind seemed to do whatever it took to keep me calm and collected for her.

The CT results came back saying she had perforated, meaning there was a hole in her bowel somewhere and this was leaking excrement into her tummy, and likely the cause of her infection. E left and H and I stayed by Morag’s side. I was face to face with her, holding a bowl for her to be sick into, the whole time saying “Well done baby, you are doing really well. Not long now darling”. A surgeon came to say we would need to do surgery and remove the part of her bowel that was perforated. He suggested that we do this and put in a stoma, meaning she would have a hole in her tummy that faeces would come out of. He offered this as an option, that she could say yes or no to. As they offered it as an option I felt that this couldn’t be the end because they wouldn’t offer it yes or no. Morag did not hesitate – she said yes to the stoma. Who is this woman? How can I have been married to someone for so long and not see this huge reservoir of strength and bravery? Morag would take any opportunity to live a bit longer. The next two hours felt like an eternity, waiting for nurses and a surgical slot as she threw up bile. It remains the 2nd most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life and don’t know if it will ever lose its edge with me.

They finally came to take Morag down to surgery, her Mum and I walked behind her trolley as they took her down and it honestly felt like a funeral procession. As we got to the lift where we had to leave her I broke down, I tried so hard not to, but I couldn’t help it. I was convinced this was the last time I would see her alive. It was too much, by will I tried to tear the universe apart and make this not real. I couldn’t walk, Morag’s mum held me up. As the lift doors shut I had another stab of agony in my stomach and just wanted to not be alive anymore, the pain and fear was just too much. We went into a waiting room set aside for us. Morag’s mum and I talked and we shared memories of Morag and tried to keep each other going. H said “we don’t want them to come in until 1am, as this means the surgery has finished quickly and it will mean bad news”. Every time we heard a security door beep we would shoot to our feet and then crumple when it wasn’t related to us. At midnight a nurse came to say she had only just gone into surgery, meaning she had been down there for an hour before surgery started. I cried, we waited, I prayed, I begged. A Facebook group “Living with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer” was a massive lifeline for me. I had found the group through the Bowel Cancer UK website from one of their forums. Even at 1am, total strangers who all had been touched by this disease were replying and messaging me and giving me strength. For that I will be eternally grateful.

At about 2am an intensive care nurse came in to say, “I have just been told they are closing Morag up now and she should be down in ICU in the next 20 mins”. She didn’t have much more information than that but we took this as good news. The surgeon came in to see us. He was sombre faced but said the surgery went as well as it could have. He said that he had removed half of her bowel, cleaned up a lot of the leakage and taken out the majority of the primary tumour. He described it as an ‘ugly’ tumour, which was wrapped around her pancreas and small intestine. He complimented Morag on her mental strength and bravery and seemed honestly humbled by his patient. I could have kissed him, I wanted to hug and cry with him.

We went into ICU and saw her and she seemed great. She looked so much better and apart from being a bit doped up looked amazing. I wanted to stay with her but she needed to rest so H and I went back to her parents where we had moved back into. I got home, and went to Jamie and watched him sleep for God knows how long. Then I went to get some sleep.

The next two days went well with Morag’s stats improving and she seemed happy and had charmed all the amazing nursing staff with her lovely smile and politeness. We rotated visits and managing Jamie. When I went to see her on the Tuesday her pulse was still twice what it should be and one of her blood markers was stubbornly high. I became so fixated on her pulse, it seemed the one thing that was objectively still wrong with her. It was around this time we started to see a change in Morag. She was a lot dopier, despite using less morphine. And she got confused and unsettled easily. We woke up at 4am on the Wednesday to a call from the hospital saying Morag had had a panic attack and wanted us to come in, they would only let one of us in and only for 20 mins. She had woken up in the middle of the night and didn’t have the faintest idea who or where she was. The nurses tried to calm her down but she convinced herself she had already died. It broke what little there was left of my broken heart to see her like this, but again, I didn’t let any of it show and talked to her about our plans for our September get away and what we would do as a treat when we got out.

A few days later Morag was stable enough to be transferred out of ICU and onto a normal ward. We took further encouragement from this. But two days after being transferred her pain and stalled improvements led to another CT scan. The consultant came in when I was there with Morag and said he had the CT results. Mc&H were just coming up the stairs so I asked him if he could wait 2 mins, he looked at me with annoyance and said “I’m talking to the patient at the moment, its important she hears this”. Prick. He said that the CT shows that she had four major systems that were failing, her bowel had yet to ‘wake-up’ since the surgery, her heart was still going twice as fast as it should, her liver had started to fail from the growth of the metastases and her lungs were starting to show a build-up of fluid or infection. He offered her three options, do nothing, manage the symptoms until death or what he called ‘full escalation’ which was basically do everything they could to keep her alive. Now at the time I knew this was terrible but also was vaguely aware that they wouldn’t offer full escalation if there wasn’t a chance she could recover. The nurse confirmed everything wrong with her was reversible. Morag went for full escalation.

Over the coming days Morag continued to tip toe in the right direction. Her jaundice cleared, her pulse improved. But her mental state and uncomfortableness was very distressing for us both. She felt awful. Her legs started to swell up. On the Monday I was with her for 6 hours, it was mentally and physically exhausting, she was so uncomfortable and in pain but unable to move because of her legs. What tended to happen was the nurses would come and move her, and make her comfortable and she would tend to fall into a deep sleep for an hour or so. When they came to move her I said I was going for a walk but went to the local shops and bought a pack of tobacco. I hadn’t smoked in 3 years but needed some relief. I got back to the ward, and saw the nurses gathered around their station chatting merrily and walked into her room expecting to see her deeply asleep. As I came around the corner she had her hands raised and they were shaking, she looked at me and whimpered “I’m in trouble here…” As I came round the side of the bed she was covered in blood, from her stomach all the way down her legs. I screamed for a nurse who came walking in and then called the rest of the team. I was losing it, marching around outside the curtains while they tried to help her. This image of Morag looking so vulnerable was another image that haunts me to this day. A nurse came out and said “She’s ok, these things happen”. I think my guilt at buying cigarettes compounded my rage and grief at finding her like this. “Can I not even leave her for 20 minutes without something happening? You are supposed to be watching her, what if I hadn’t come back”. The nurse looked at me sympathetically. I called H who was just arriving, she got there and whisked me to the waiting room and told me to calm down and stop swearing as it does nothing to help Morag. This sobered me up but I still felt a flash of anger, how the hell do you expect me to react? I wanted to scream. H ruefully admitted she would have been the same.

I refused to accept this was the end but informed her best friends from London they should come and see her. Tom, Emma and Sherayaa came on the Tuesday, Sara and Charlotte came on the Thursday. They stayed the night with me and Jamie. On the Friday we got up and I took Jamie to nursery. I then took her 2 friends out to my favourite breakfast place. I got a text from Mc saying “Hi Ian, there is a meeting with the palliative care team at 2pm, it’s very important you are here for it”. I knew it, she was going to die. Sara and Charlotte tried to rally me but I knew in my heart my amazing wife was going to die. I got to the hospital and went to the ward. I took her 2 friends into the waiting room and then went looking for Mc. He was standing by Morag’s bed, as he saw me he immediately walked to me and led me by the arm back to the waiting room. He sat me down. “Ian, Dr Chan saw Morag this morning. We have lost this fight.” I broke down again, I wept and wept and wept. I vaguely remember Sara and Charlotte choking and crying as well.

Mc interrupted my weeping and said “you need to see her, you need to be brave, can you do it?” No, no I can’t do any of this. “Does she know?” I asked. “Yes” he said simply. I stood up and some inspiration made me remember L’s words about deep breathing, I stood and focussed on my breathing, trying to take deep breaths to break through the racking sobs and anguish I was feeling. I walked down the hallway behind Mc, jelly-legged and got to Morag’s bed side. She made eye contact with me and I bent over her, I tried to clasp her hand to me but all the wires and lines made this difficult. “My darling wife, I’m so sorry this has happened to us. I need you to know, Jamie and I will be ok. I promise you I will get through this and make sure Jamie does as well. But you have to know, you are taking the biggest part of my heart with you”. She closed her eyes and seemed to fall asleep.

Morag was transferred into a private room, we discussed transporting her to the hospice which is what Morag had wanted, but being so close to death we all agreed that this could disrupt her too much. Jamie was brought in to see her, but he was so engrossed and confused with the surroundings it was not a satisfying thing. There is one crystalline image I have of Morag waking up and seeing Jamie, and her face lighting up as it always did when she looked at him. He smiled at her and they chatted for a bit about nothing. Then Morag started to get uncomfortable and confused and Jamie was whipped out of the room. The palliative care consultant and nurse arrived. He was again amazing, and it was the most lucid I had seen Morag in the last 10 days. They discussed managing the symptoms she was suffering with and asked what she was worried about. “Ian and Jamie” was all she said. They talked to her about that and said they would support us through this, at one point the Dr said “You could bring in one of Jamie’s teddies and ‘fill it with hugs’ for when you are gone”. That broke me, or broke whatever was left to break.

What the fuck is going on? No no no no no. Little Jamie, without his Mum. Morag not being able to see his next birthday.

Sometime later I was alone with Morag. The majority of the lines and wires had been removed, and she simply had a small box that was keeping her pain relief and other drugs managing her hallucinations and anxiety. We were chatting and then she looked at me with such consternation I was again struck with the idea this was all some nightmare. “Why did you do that?” she asked me. “What darling?” I said. “Ow! Oh darling I love you but why are you doing this to me?” she pleaded. I shot to my feet, “Darling, I’m not doing anything to you, you’re just confused”. “Ian, please”. I ran to the door and asked a nurse to come in, it was a student nurse. Morag was starting to writhe and point at me asking why I was hurting her. The student nurse seemed completely oblivious to our distress and asked if I wanted a cup of tea. “No I don’t want a fucking cup of tea, I want someone to help my wife”. Not my greatest moment. A more senior nurse came in and started to calm her down and suggested I went to the waiting room.

We made the room a special place. We had pictures of us all on the windowsill where she could see it, we had a blanket she had taken to uni that she had had since she was a child. Charlotte saw her lucid enough to tell her that Morag was going to be her daughter’s Godmother. After a day in the private room Morag was deeply asleep with the drugs they were giving her. Her oxygen support was up to the maximum. Her Mum and Dad and brothers and I started the death watch. It all ended on the 5th of May. Helen was with Morag, and I walked in. Morag looked the same as she did the day before. H said she did not expect anything to happen quickly. I pulled up two chairs parallel to her and held Morag’s hand. H and I were both intermittently nodding off and waking each other up. We both so desperately needed sleep but didn’t want to miss it. I told H I would go down the hall and sleep, and then in an hour could swap with her. I tried to get to sleep in the waiting room. Just as I was nodding off H said “Ian, its time”. I walked down the hallway in a dream, we got into the room and the nurse said “her time is close”. I leant over her and held her hand. I was frantically staring around, willing this not to be happening. Morag’s chest started to have small convulsions, like a fish out of water. And then she went still. The nurse came over and checked her pulse and gave us a sad nod. This is the single most traumatic thing I have ever seen.

Here it comes, here comes another wave of horror and grief and wracking sobs… nothing. I felt absolutely nothing. There was a kind of horror, but it was more a complete revulsion at what the world had done to me and my angel. I felt like I was having a stroke, the right side of my face went numb, none of my limbs or mouth felt they were working properly. I kept rolling my jaw trying to figure out what was wrong. H said she needed to call Mc who had gone home, it felt like 10 seconds had passed and she walked into the room with him. Although it must have been at least 40 minutes for him to get there. So completely horrible and surreal. Morag’s parents sat down and H started telling Mc what had happened. At the time I was slightly sickened by how objective they were being, but they must have been in the same quagmire of disbelief I was.

Slowly we started to pack up her things. I sat there, still shaking my head to make this not real. Mc&H said their parting words to her, and I felt like an intruder. They then stood and looked to me. I stupidly said “I need some time alone with her”. They nodded and stepped outside. I have no spiritual beliefs, and I really didn’t see any need to talk to ‘her’ as she was dead. But maybe having seen her parents, as well as movies tend to tell us this is where you say your final words. I decided that I was going to say something to her, but that I was saying it more to myself. “Morag, thank you for being my wife, you saved my life and I will never forget you. I promise I will make Jamie a man you will be proud of, I love you”. With that I leant down and kissed her forehead. She was cold. The complete revulsion and hatred and rage and anger at how the world could do this to us rose out of me, then quickly dissolved into emptiness.

I had originally said I would be going back to Morag’s parent’s house but decided to go back to our new house, where my Dad was staying. I texted him as I didn’t want to scare him. I got home and started making up the guest bed. I heard a query from the bedroom where my Dad and his wife were sleeping. Dad came out and looked at me. I looked at him in disbelief, I remember thinking how can you not know that the world has come to an end? I told him about Morag in a flat voice, and laid down in bed, he sat next to me. It scares me to remember how I was talking during that time, like a robot. Completely shell shocked. My wife, dead, 7 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

So that is how my wife died.

Cancer can fucking do one.

What People Say

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

J. K. Rowling

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Let’s build something together.

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