Losing A Good Friend To Cancer Is Like A Punch In The Gut

Today I learned that one of my best friends, Mauricio Saint Martin, lost his battle with cancer. It is a tough pill to swallow as he and his wife, Susanna, were just at our house this past mothers day to hang out and have drinks.

He had been battling cancer for a about 2 years, and the updates we got seemed to point to nothing less than positive news along the way. They had aggressively treated it and it had been caught early. Even after surgery at one point, they had said the cancer was gone.


It is interesting how we as humans handle these things or maybe it is just me. I am a little closed in and don’t like to talk about these types of things.  Even now, this Sunday morning receiving this information, have nobody to talk about it with.  Mauricio and his family had recently moved to Georgia so they are quite a bit away from us.

And my wife had just left to Georgia this morning for a week long work project so she is not here to talk about it. She was equally good friends with his wife, Susanna and we had planned on seeing them soon and their new place in Georgia.

I had just learned that he had passed and I was on the phone with my wife who was at LAX and i knew she did not know yet. She was about to get on a flight with Delta to go to Georgia and I did not want to tell her then news just before she got on a 5 hour flight with nobody to talk to.

So I will most likely be breaking the news to her after she calls me to tell me she landed. I know she will understand why I didn’t tell her, even though i already new.

So this is my only outlet, to turn to my blog and just write what is happening in my life.  It really makes you think about life. Mauricio is just a few years older than me and I am 45. It seems much to early to be losing friends of my age to cancer.

How we respond to learning bad things is another thing. I had two different reactions at the same time. My first was to just say fuck it.  Life is what it is and there is no rhyme or reason to who cancer takes.  My dad died as a result of cancer at just 57 and sometimes is seems life is just unfair. My “fuck it” attitude makes me think negatively as far as what we try to achieve in life.  It makes me want to throw in the towel and stop trying to achieve the high goals i have in life.

But at the same time I also felt this motivation to step on the gas on the things I want to achieve in life and realize that I just might not have the time I think I have to get everything done.  I have always felt that I will live to 90 or so and that I have all this time to do the things I want.

However after receiving news like this it makes me feel that life could end tomorrow and I better get to it and do all the things I want to accomplish and fast.

It also makes me thing about leaving a legacy. Yes, we have all our financial matters in order, meaning we do have our life insurance policies set up that would handle everything in the event of death, but what about the income I produce. If I were to die today, everything would end.

In fact, my first thought about my friend Mauricio dying is if the family would be okay financially as he was the breadwinner of the family. I could not imagine leaving my wife behind without some type of succession plan financially.  What kind of legacy would I leave behind? And of course i have no idea how to talk to friend who have recently lost their spouse and father and would be afraid of coming across insensitive.

For sure there is a range of emotions right now. Anger, doubt, to give up, to fight harder, sadness. The next couple of weeks will be tough especially with my wife gone.  But I will have to continue to show up to work and for the rest of the word life just goes on without much notice.