"Tell me again how hard you say your life is. He has lived in a war zone for almost a decade, he has witnessed his wife and younger members of his family killed by indiscriminate bombing, and there is never enough bread and fresh water for his family to live on from one day to the next. And yet he endures the struggle bravely and will do until the end, because that is the way he was brought up; that is the kind of man he's always been.
Most people with terminal cancers are also born fighters battling their own war; they have to be, in order that they can endure the pain their condition obliges them to carry along the path of their final journey. Often, others don't always appreciate what they are thinking when life is going on around them, particularly in happy family environments. Some, who watch the death of a loved one approach, feel frustrated that they cannot share the burden of their pain, and even guilt is never too far from the surface should they, God forbid, have a moment of pleasure and enjoyment out with a friend, while their partner is back home alone, struggling with their pain and fears.
As a traveller along that final road that takes one from this life to the next, let me reassure you of what we think. We can sum up our shared belief in the same three words that the American poet, Robert Frost expressed, 'Life goes on.' And it is right and proper that it should, particularly for the bereaved. Though their grief can be the heaviest of burdens on the day of their loved one's funeral service, it can also be an anchor, and if you get used to its weight, it will hold you in place during the immediate months ahead.
This morning, Sheila and I will attend the funeral service of Anne Lister's husband, Michael, who died last week after many years of struggle with oral cancer and numerous operations in its latter stage. While Anne gave Michael all the attention, care and love that any spouse could, ever since he was initially diagnosed 14 years ago, the past three months have required round the clock attention by her, all day and all night long.While Michael undoubtedly was in pain, he struggled on; because that was the way he was brought up; that is the kind of man he's always been.
My message to Michael is not to worry about your loved ones, for they remain truly loved. My message to Ann and offspring is that death of itself, doesn't stop a person remaining a treasure in one's life. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure to hold on to. RIP Michael." William Forde: August 17th, 2016