A Bride in palliative care is a model of hope

In March 2012, Kerry participated in a 5 day Tapestry Retreat I attended in the foothills of the Rockies. She was engaged to marry her long time partner, Darren, in May. After five days watching her suffer and laugh, depending on how well meds were managing the pain, her laughter made a bigger impression on me than her suffering did.

After she took pain pills Kerry spoke of her hope. As the pills wore off, she spoke of losing hope. Call me a romantic, I saw the hopefulness. When Kerry shared her wedding plans she lit up. Her gray complexion left and she became a blushing bride-to-be. Their teen-age daughter was so excited about the wedding. Kerry thought about advancing the date to make sure she’d be able to dance, and then didn’t change it. At the scheduled time and place, Kerry and Darren married so that, when her time comes, she’ll die his wife.

As I write this, Kerry is in palliative care for detox from the pain pills and those who love her await her discharge to have her home again. She’s young, in her 30s, and strong, and we pray she’ll have more time and less pain. Her breast cancer returned as the same kind of Triple Negative cancer I had, so my prayers for Kerry and a breakthrough drug to help her have more than a hint of self-interest.

Before the retreat, I’d never met Kerry. After five days, I care about her a lot, and Darren, and her daughter. I cheered when she sent the link to their wedding album. She’s a beautiful bride. It was her dream wedding.

We all have dreams of some kind and a certain amount of time to achieve them. Kerry achieved some of hers. May we all have the courage Kerry has to pursue our dreams no matter what happens, and have hope despite the pain.



It is with heavy hearts the family of Kerry announce her passing on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at the age of 41 years, after a long battle with cancer.


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