Death: A Difficult Goodbye

By Alisha, age 22, Massachusetts

Death is not an easy thing for anyone, but anyone can get through it with people supporting them. It is going to happen to everyone at some point in time, whether we are paying attention or not. No one knows when it's coming; it just happens to smack us in the face at any given time.

My uncle Carl was diagnosed with cancer throughout all his insides five weeks before he died on June 26th, 2010. It was one of the hardest deaths to ever hit my family. He didn't receive any chemo because the doctors told him that it would only give him about 5-8 months longer to live. He told us that if it were to give him 3-5 years longer to live, he would have done it in a heartbeat. He was only 52 years old at the time of his death and was only a few short weeks from his birthday.

He left behind his wife, 2 grown sons, 7 grandchildren, 8 nieces and nephews, 3 brothers, and 2 sisters, as he lives in heaven relieved from his sickness. For those five weeks, I would sit with him Monday through Friday from 8 am till noon and be there to help him out when he needed something. It was a hard thing to do at first, but in some ways it got easier. I can remember what I said to him the Friday before he passed away. I told him that I would see him on Monday. He died the next morning, Saturday, June 26th at 1 am.

It just so happened that a group of friends and I were just ending our week of a Christian outreach called Superkids. It's an outreach for kids to come and learn about God in different ways, such as skits, Bible groups, memory verses, etc. That Friday, ending the Superkids week, was my uncle's funeral. The Superkids Team became a support system for myself as well as my sister.

Only days before he passed away, I had written a poem that I wanted to read at his funeral, but I was scared and bawling my eyes out, so reading this poem wouldn't have made any sense to the attendees of the funeral. The poem is called "True." It goes something like this:


My uncle
Was a man of few words.
In the short 21 years of my life,
I grew to love him.
When I was younger,
I saw him a lot,
From Thanksgiving get-togethers
To small family visits.
As my teenage years rolled around
Those "a lot" occasions
Became fewer and fewer.

I can remember our family trip
To Washington D.C.
What a trip that was!
A tour of the Pentagon
And a walk through Arlington Cemetery.
Where Uncle Carl, Aunt Tina and I
Fell back behind the rest
Because of dehydration and the heat.

The last Thanksgiving
I remember seeing him at
Was Thanksgiving 2009
At my house.
After that
I would see him every so often
Only if he stopped by my house,
But overall
I saw the love
He had for his family,
Although a stubborn yet caring man,
He loved us all.
He was a husband,
A father of 2 sons,
A grandfather to 7,
A brother to 5,
A son,
And an uncle to 8.

There's a line from the song
"Graduation" by Vitamin C.
Although a song about graduation,
The chorus says a lot:
"As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together,
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends forever."

I love you
Uncle Carl
Always & Forever
July 18th, 1956
June 26th, 2010

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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