Writing Through Grief Caused By Cancer


Writing poetry helped me process the grief of losing my mom to metastatic lung cancer.

Image of a woman holding a hand over her heart.

A Blessing of Love

For my mom's funeral.

A blessing of love

You will always be.

A gift from God

Bestowed upon me.

Your love always constant

Unfaltering and true.

A home filled with love

Created by you.

All the small things

That mean so much.

Made so very special

By your simple touch.

You met every want

And every small need.

The most wonderful Mother

I love you indeed!

My guides, my true North

You and Dad directed my life.

You taught me of Christ

And how to endure strife.

I will miss you, My Mother

My confidant and friend.

You’re in my heart

Until I see you again.

Missing Pieces

The day you each left me,

I lost pieces of my heart.

The first went very suddenly,

The second was slow in part.

The first a sudden departure,

The second more painful and slow.

Each time I felt like dying.

Why did you have to go?

Now I am here without you.

A solitary child indeed.

Pieces of me are missing.

They are pieces that I need.

These poems were written after my mom, Maxine Hill Rōtton, passed away after her brief battle with metastatic lung cancer. Once her cancer metastasized, it spread rapidly to her bones and all her organs. The lung cancer was small and her cancer went undetected until the very end and was found during her neck surgery. “A Blessing of Love” was written while I sat with my mom in the hospital during the week after her surgery.

“Missing Pieces” was written after her funeral when I realized I was an adult orphan. These poems were written in my effort to deal with the overwhelming grief I was experiencing as an only child in losing both parents within a span of 2 ½ years. My father, USMC Sgt. Luther C. Rōtton, Jr. (WWII & Korean War veteran) died first and very suddenly of a heart attack, after his successful battle with melanoma.

While trying to cope with his death, the trauma and stress apparently accelerated my mom’s undetected cancer and she began to have severe symptoms about two years after his death. Her internist was ineffective in his diagnosis and treatment and It finally got to a point where additional medical intervention was necessary. We ended up in the hospital emergency room on March 22, my birthday. She was finally diagnosed during a surgery on April 1 to correct what was thought to be an issue with a disc in her neck, but ended up being bone cancer. She lived seven days afterwards and passed away on April 8. At that point, I became an orphan. Throughout this journey, I found that it is always important to remember, that the grief we feel when a loved one passes away is directly proportional to the love that was shared. This fact and writing helped me deal with my grief.

This post was written and submitted by Renee’ Rōtton Davis. The article reflects the views of Rōtton Davis and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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