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  • Tara Darby Rasheta

Final Gifts


It still completely shocks me when people die from cancer. Don’t ask me why. It’s clearly completely irrational, especially given my own personal circumstances and experiences.

My uncle Bobby Joe died from cancer. My father passed from cancer.

My grandfather succumbed to cancer. But I survived breast cancer, and that’s where my rationale stops. I survived- so how can all these wonderful people still perish from the hideous disease?


A few weeks ago, I gifted a breast cancer care package to a beautiful, well-loved women. She died just days after receiving my gift. Her passing really shook me up. I felt complete sorrow for a woman and family I had never met. And I felt embarrassed about the gift I had sent her, questioning what pleasure or comfort it could have possibly brought her in her final days. I’ve dwelt on this quite a bit. I recall feeling the same way about the last Christmas present I gave to my father as he withered away from his own cancer battle. What do you give a dying man? What gift do you bestow a dying woman?

I still don’t have a good answer. I can only hope that the recipient, or their family, understand that each gift is packaged with love, each letter is written with hope, and that well wishes of peace and love are always inside.

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