How Can Cancer Survivors Learn to ‘Let It Be?’


As a cancer survivor, I can relate to the lyrics of the Beatles’ song, “Let it Be.”

I recently visited a Beatles exhibition at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The films and pictures were breathtaking as my sister and I took in the stories of this iconic group.

It is easy to get caught up in the exquisite rhythm of rock and roll and not pay attention to the words of the song. We are missing out on so much when we do that. My favorite song was “Let It Be.”

When I came home and researched the story, it fascinated me.

There are a couple of different versions of how the story came to be written, but the most popular was that when Paul McCartney was 14 years old, he lost his mother to cancer. He describes how she later came to him in a dream telling him to let it be and reassuring him he would be OK. Her name was Mary.

Paul McCartney leaves it to the audience to interpret if there is a religious meaning behind the song, and neither confirms nor denies it. But read the words and think about the important message it conveys.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, “Let it be”

And in my hour of darkness, she is standing in front of me

Speaking words of wisdom “Let it be”


Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the brokenhearted people living in the world agree

There will be an answer, let it be

For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see

There will be an answer, let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be

Yeah there will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be


It is amazing to me that one of the most famous musicians in the world lost his mother to cancer and she gave him this advice. There is such a strong and uplifting meaning in these words written in 1970, over 50 years ago!

Most cancer survivors have learned to “let it be” every single day. Some days, this is the only way to get through each long day. Everyone needs to learn this lesson to a greater or lesser degree, but especially us.

If I did not let things go, I would worry myself to death. I play the song on Spotify and as the words wash over me, I feel calm. I ponder that many of the decisions I have been forced to make with treatments, doctors and hospitals have come to me when I waited. It is perhaps the most difficult thing in the world to do — let it be.

But by trying not to stew and worry, perhaps I have lived a little bit longer. So my friends, remember when life gets too overwhelming the words to this rock song written and performed by four young men from England telling us if we wait the answer might just come and to “let it be.” What wonderful advice, both then and now!

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