It’s just not fair

1 min readNov 10, 2021
wall mural of a couple hugging
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“I can’t believe this is happening” is the subject line in the email.

It comes from a respected colleague, a mover and shaker and innovative thinker whose work I admire greatly. This individual regularly offers new ways to approach old problems, leading to unexpected solutions. I always learn something when I have the pleasure of hearing from them.

But they’ve come up against an old problem they can’t crack.

“We lost my brother in December and then Dad’s cancer worsened quickly and we lost him last month.”

I remember well — and recall how my friend handled both those heavy burdens with grace, sharing happy memories.

“And now my beautiful and whip-smart sister is dying of a rare and aggressive form of cancer.”

It’s heartbreaking.

And even as my colleague’s heart breaks, the focus of the email is a request to help with “flowers, cards, gift baskets, meals, visits, and prayers” for the sister’s family. A request to join in easing someone else’s pain.

The email ends with a reminder that I am privileged to share:

“Hug your family, and cherish every moment together.”


Recreational writer, collector of antique corkscrews, urban gardener and management consultant to social profit organizations. Proudly Canadian.