Cancer’s Obit

Do you ever read the obituaries in your local newspaper?  I think one has to be of a certain age to do this sort of thing.

I remember when I was a little kid, my Mom would look at this page in the paper and I would tell her how morbid I thought it was and she would tell me one day I would be doing the same thing.  She was right.

In my paper the names and faces fall under the title of “Death Notices.”

A big, black border around a particular notice caught my attention today:  The last name of “Swidler” was printed in bold letters, but the words that go with the notification of his passing speak volumes.

“It is announced that on November 7, 2014, Mark Swidler and his cancer died.”

“While Mark would have loved for this outcome to have been the result of a strong and mutual fight to the finish, it is actually the end of a five year period of a near continuous series of capitulations on Mark’s part.  An attempt was made to negotiate a settlement, perhaps subdividing the body in a manner that would allow both to live.  While the cancer could see the logic in this approach, it felt a compromise would be a clear violation of its “Oath of Malignancy.”  Although the negotiations failed, perhaps such efforts proved a distraction for the cancer and contributed to the lengthy period from prognosis to death….”

It goes on to say, ” If there is any consolation in Mark’s forced intimacy with cancer, it is that while they will forever be buried in the same grave, the cancer will get no mention on the headstone.”

Mr. Swidler’s obit goes on to describe his loving family and friends and that he lived a good, satisfying life.

I didn’t know this man, or who the author of his obituary is, but I do know this: His cancer may have played a role in his death, but not his life.


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