The End

April 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM (Awareness, Cancer, Energy, Faith, Family, friends, Happy, Karma, kids, Real Life, Silver Lining, Uncategorized, Zen) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Wait, what? The End? What do you mean?

Well, Sarah wanted me to write this. So, I’m writing it.

A year ago, as Sarah was getting ready to say good-bye to our world as we know it, she was coming to terms with what she felt was the most likely afterlife. She had decided that she didn’t really believe in God or heaven. At least not in the way they talk about it in Church. We both used to be more comfortable with something that was closer to “the force” from Star Wars. An energy that bound everything together in a beautiful way.

A friend asked Sarah where she thought she might go after death. On April 27, 2011, Sarah responded with the following:

“I believe that life flows and ebbs and forms beings (trees, fish, dandelions, dung beetles) that get their energy from a giant pool of energy that surrounds everything (don’t ask me to get specific). When a new baby (lion cub, cockroach, seedling) is born, it takes its energy from the same pool, and when it dies, its energy returns to the pool and dissipates into a million(?) (billion?) pieces. I would prefer that our souls get to keep some of their individuality so I can come back and haunt everyone, visit the kids, go places I’d like to see. There are also a great number of people and pets that I need to see when I get there; I’ll be very disappointed if I can’t have lunch with my grandpa sometime! Maybe there’s a special package you can choose when you get there… if it’s merit-based, I certainly won’t win, but I can get a little extra-credit for making people laugh? Even if the jokes were raunchy and politically incorrect?”

Since Sarah died, she has convinced me that while the energy thing might be part of it, she also got the other part of her wish – maybe a bit of heaven on Earth.

Sarah’s nurse called the day after Sarah died, not knowing that she had passed, and asked how she was doing. When I told her she had died, she said, “I had a dream last night and Sarah had taken out her oxygen tube and wasn’t using it. I told her to put it back in so she could breath. But Sarah looked at me and said, Rose, I’m okay.”

We had a birthday party for Sarah in November. 85 people came to the house to remember her and have a nice evening meeting other friends and sharing wonderful stories. The evening was a success and I was happy to get in bed that night. At about 3 AM I woke after an experience that I cannot call a dream. Sarah was there with me before I woke. She was dressed in something resembling a Halloween costume (it was only a few days after Halloween and she loved to dress up). I said to her, “Thank you for coming.”  She looked at me and smiled. There was a very warm sensation between us. She never said anything, but she didn’t have to.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, our boys, Sarah’s parents, her sister, our nephew and I went to St. John, USVI and took Sarah with us, too. We had a wonderful week there. On Friday morning, we each took a turn spreading her ashes on the beach and in the water at Francis Bay. A place that was dear to Sarah – where she had wanted to be. It was a somber occasion, but one of great relief to us all as well. Sarah was now “home.”

The boys and I returned to St. John for another week this March to spend some time there, just the three of us. We wanted to be close to Sarah and feel her with us. And we did. The weather was perfect. We spent lots of time on the beach, we sailed a few times, we met new friends. It was fantastic. Then on the way home, Sarah spoke to me in a way I could not have ever even made up.

It turns out that Harry Connick, Jr. and his family were on St. John the same week we were there. I didn’t know, but I’m sure Sarah was all over it. When we were leaving to fly back State side, we found out that Harry Connick and his family were on the same flight we were taking back to Newark.

Before I go on, if you have not read the story about Sarah meeting Harry Connick, Jr. on April 28, 2011, then you have to read that first. Otherwise, read on…

The boys and I boarded the plane knowing we had three separate seats around the plane. I had hopes of getting people to move so at least the boys could sit together, but with a full flight I was not feeling very good about it.

Sarah stepped in, and made it all come together.

Seat #1 was in row 7. A nice woman and her 6 year old daughter had an empty seat for my youngest. He was thrilled and very happy to have a playmate for the flight. Of course, my oldest said, “Dad, I want to sit with a kid, too!”

Seat #2 was in row 11. A nice woman and her son with the empty seat next to the window. #2 was happy. So was I. Stress relieved! Now back to my seat.

Seat #3 was in row 29. I arrive at my seat to find an empty row. Oh well. The boys are happy, no sense in dragging them back here. And, I’m sure someone will end up sitting here anyway. I sat and waited.

After the plane was almost full, a man ended up standing next to me. I looked up and it was Harry Connick, Jr. I played it cool, but was in complete shock. He and his younger daughter ended up sitting next to me for the flight.

Harry was really nice. We talked for maybe 15 minutes, but that was all I needed. I really just wanted to be able to thank him for what he had done (unknowingly) for Sarah. He was honored to hear the story and was very thankful.  When we got off the plane, he introduced me to his wife, Jill, and his older daughter as well. To be honest, they all were wonderful and asked about Sarah. It was a very nice experience.

Good Karma? Crazy coincidence? There are chance things that happen in our lives, but I firmly believe that this was Sarah, in a higher power, intervening and saying, “Ed, thank you. I’m doing great. And so are you and the boys.” Funny, now that I think of it, maybe she was also saying “thank you” to Harry at the same time. Two for the price of one. Nice work Sarah.

So, is this “The End”?

No!  The Carcinista is to be continued…


  1. Katie Hering said,

    Chills….such a great story!

  2. Kathleen said,

    Thank you Ed.
    This beautiful story brought tears to my eyes.
    How I miss Sarah’s great wit and amazing insight.

  3. Laura B said,

    When I saw the title of this post, my mind jumped to thoughts of “oh no, he is going to take down, disable, *end*, the blog… I know Sarah is not living in a human body any longer, but somehow, this blog has given me (grappler-survivor-coper with another kind of cancer that I am) a kind of strength I have not yet found any place else.

    It is a great relief to me, to know this is not the end. Of course, how could it be, when loving energy can not be created or destroyed.

    Thank you, Mr Wonderful; thank you, Sarah.

  4. Tori said,

    Beautiful Ed. Great job, and I agree that Sarah would be happy with the job you’re doing.

  5. Kitty Shipley said,

    Reading this just left me feeling so very happy for you Ed, that you have experienced these moments and that they have sustained and nourished you. Though I am only a friend of a friend, I am cheering you on in your journey. All the Best to you and your sweet boys!

  6. Beth Catto said,

    What a beautiful post

  7. Maggie said,

    Thank you Ed. I know it wasn’t your intention, but I sobbed reading this, I felt so connected to your Sarah – maybe our commonalities in children, ovarian cancer and a loving, wonderful husband. But it was a sob I obviously needed. And it’s such a lovely ‘ending’. Our futures are full of love, laughter and sadness, but it must be wonderful knowing she was close by…I am so happy for you, that you and your boys are happy….good job being a real human being.

  8. Carmen said,

    Please Ed, keep posting!!! You and Sarah are inspiration to us! You made my day!

  9. TFoster said,

    what a beautiful story! godspeed!

  10. Ada said,

    Ed, thank you for sharing that private beautiful story. There is a pattern to life that none of us can understand…it is like seeing the tops of the mountains over the clouds and wondering what we are not seeing. I think that Sarah will always be there for you.
    I send you a hug.

  11. MamaBliss said,

    Goosebumps all over my body & tears in my eyes…Please, Mr. Wonderful, don’t stop posting. Sarah lives on through these words. Thank you.

  12. Abby Lloyd said,


    Thank you for sharing this story. I only knew Sarah through these pages, but she touched my life and that of my wife (also an ovarian cancer survivor). I also had a “Sarah” experience this weekend. I went on a rock climbing trip at Joshua Tree with a friend and a private guide, and the guide happened to tell us that he was taking out a group from First Descents next month for the first time, and was wondering what it would be like. The guide was a “climber dude” — an super athlete, outdoorsy type, not used to sickness or cancer or working with people with physical limitations. He was nervous. On the other hand, he was excited and honored to do the trip. I told him about Sarah’s rock climbing experience with First Descents, which I recalled from her blog. And I sent him an email with the links to Sarah’s blog entries about the experience. I am guessing that because of Sarah and her writing, this climbing guide will be much more prepared for the trip and knowledgeable about what the cancer-survivor rock climbers are feeling and experiencing. Anyway, it was a coincidence, and one that kind of moved me. I liked passing along the link to Sarah’s blog to a new person, a non-cancer-survivor, who might read it and learn from it and laugh and appreciate Sarah as we all do/did. And maybe just maybe Sarah’s words will make him all that much better of a guide to this next group of First Descents climbers.

    All my best to you and your family.
    Abby Lloyd

  13. wendyrodger45 said,

    I will never listen to Harry C. the same way again. Great post Ed!

  14. Jan Gleason (PanAM in Seattle with your mother) said,

    I know why she called you Mr. Wonderful! Rock on!

  15. 3laine 3liane said,


  16. mynameisnotcancergirl said,

    Thank you. I needed a good dose of perspective and joy this afternoon. You did a great job helping Sarah spread her warm, loving energy around.

  17. tea said,

    Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in Angels! And I believe whole-heartedly that Sarah is watching over you and the boys … and occassionaly interveining with special Angel Hugs, Angel Energy (Marathon), various other smile-making Angel moves. Enjoy all the Angel moments of this life – they warm the heart & soul.

  18. Jane R. said,

    Wonderful. My theory about the afterlife is similar to Sarah’s. The older I get the more I believe that the dead can communicate with us, and that things *do* happen for a reason. Harry Connick Jr. sitting next to you just seems like too much to be a coincidence.

  19. said,

    Thank you for the update and perspective. So happy that you will be continuing this blog. I know it sounds corny but when I’m having a beautiful moment in my life, I softly say, “thanks Carcinista.” It’s a moment of mindfulness and gratitude to all the woman who have lost the battle to OVCA. I stand on their shoulders and I don’t want to take any of the moments I have in survival/remission for granted. With peace, love, and of course prayers from the bible belt.

    kathleen larson

  20. Denise said,

    I can’t stop crying……………………just amazing! Wow

  21. Danielle Podrazil said,

    I just read this = THANK YOU so much. Before Sarah had passed I had felt like I needed to get a message to Sarah – it was not my norm to discuss God with someone, but I felt the need to email her. She gave me so much- as a fellow cancer patient I felt I owed her. I kept checking my email for a response from her……but then I heard she had passed. This post was the email I never got!!! I now feel at peace and believe she is in a GOOD place. I’m so happy for all of you.

  22. Nancy said,

    Wow! Sarah’s still in control!

  23. Nic said,

    I saw the title of this post and thought…he’s taking it down!! NOOOO! But, Jesus, that post made me cry. I don’t know if there is a heaven or not, but I do believe that was your Sarah having her hand in the seating arrangements. There is just no other way possible. Serioulsy, you don’t think HCJr couldn’t A. get a private plane or B. be in first class? Dude. That was Sarah, no doubt about it….and smiling the whole flight! Awesome.

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