It’s an annual event of the heart.

We, who have lost our loved ones to cancer put our hearts on display.  We’re not afraid to put them out there on this night because all of our hearts are bruised.  They all show signs of wear and tear, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Some of us who have had more time to heal, have hearts that have resumed a normal rhythm by now.  Those who have felt cancers’ bite more recently are still trying to find that pulse.  It never really returns to ‘normal,’ but I’m not about to share that information.  It will be known soon enough.

This “Night of Remembrance” is an evening designed to bring peace to these ailing hearts.  It’s a time for reflection, a time to allow ourselves to mourn again and a time to lean on each other for support.  For some, it’s a test of strength.  Can they physically walk back into a building that is filled with memories of scans, treatments and for some, lost HOPE?

“I came for closure,” a new widow shared her thoughts through her tears.  It was her final step to close the book on many years of living in cancer world.  Her heart was an open wound.

When the music stopped, the prayers were said, and the stories of inspiration were finished, the overflow crowd moved to an art piece where they were asked to write personal notes on strips of cloth.  These messages of love and loss are woven through wire on this night but eventually become a ‘rope of memories’ that currently stretches to 72 feet.

But it’s the hearts that take center stage on this night: Open, aching and in need of attention.

Heart ache shared is still heartbreaking.

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