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Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:54 AM

Saying goodbye..... (by Xena Jardin)


byXeni Jardin
My boyfriend Miles O'Brien lost his beloved sister to breast cancer today.They both lost their mom to it a few weeks after I was diagnosed with the same disease.

There is so much to say about what a beautiful soul Aileen was, what a cruel and ugly and brutal disease breast cancer is, how torturous treatment is, how enraging it is that science and medicine have nothing better to offer us yet, how unjust the financial devastation a diagnosis brings to so many women is—and, most of all, what it means to those of us with cancer to have the kind of support in our lives that men like Miles provide, selflessly and heroically and with unconditional love.

But for now, I just want the world to see, respect, and remember this photograph Miles took of his sister this morning, shortly before her life ended. He brought her dog Jethro from her home to the hospice house so Jethro could also say goodbye.

Gone but still loved by all. RIP Aileen Crimmings O'Brien Graef - 10/30/64-8/21/2012

She is survived by two beautiful daughters, Katie and Aileen, whom she loved very much.

And, their dog Jethro.
http://boingboing.net/2012/08/21/for-aileen.html

Loved until the end.......

59 replies, 10279 views

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply Saying goodbye..... (by Xena Jardin) (Original post)
Are_grits_groceries Aug 2012 OP
darkangel218 Aug 2012 #1
Downwinder Aug 2012 #2
lunatica Aug 2012 #10
Downwinder Aug 2012 #13
lunatica Aug 2012 #16
still_one Aug 2012 #3
SusanaMontana41 Aug 2012 #36
Le Taz Hot Aug 2012 #4
Are_grits_groceries Aug 2012 #5
Le Taz Hot Aug 2012 #8
Are_grits_groceries Aug 2012 #14
BeyondGeography Aug 2012 #6
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #7
xchrom Aug 2012 #9
lunatica Aug 2012 #11
Fumesucker Aug 2012 #12
bec Aug 2012 #15
lunatica Aug 2012 #17
bec Aug 2012 #18
lunatica Aug 2012 #23
progressoid Aug 2012 #33
We are Devo Aug 2012 #40
calimary Aug 2012 #46
mahina Aug 2012 #53
midnight Aug 2012 #19
radhika Aug 2012 #20
myrna minx Aug 2012 #21
kooljerk666 Aug 2012 #26
LineLineLineReply .
myrna minx Aug 2012 #34
Hoyt Aug 2012 #29
myrna minx Aug 2012 #35
skeewee08 Aug 2012 #22
Maraya1969 Aug 2012 #24
JDPriestly Aug 2012 #25
Frustratedlady Aug 2012 #27
av8rdave Aug 2012 #28
Odin2005 Aug 2012 #30
flamingdem Aug 2012 #31
fascisthunter Aug 2012 #43
flamingdem Aug 2012 #47
fascisthunter Aug 2012 #57
flamingdem Aug 2012 #58
Fla Dem Aug 2012 #32
G_j Aug 2012 #37
ProfessionalLeftist Aug 2012 #38
spanone Aug 2012 #39
smirkymonkey Aug 2012 #55
ailsagirl Aug 2012 #41
fascisthunter Aug 2012 #42
WillyT Aug 2012 #44
Swede Atlanta Aug 2012 #45
Curmudgeoness Aug 2012 #48
Astazia Aug 2012 #49
LineNew Reply .
Bobbie Jo Aug 2012 #50
classof56 Aug 2012 #51
OnyxCollie Aug 2012 #52
vietnam_war_vet Aug 2012 #54
Bonobo Aug 2012 #56
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2012 #59

Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:03 AM

2. My daughter was diagnosed this Spring.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:32 AM

10. I sincerely hope she recovers

I know this is devastating for you and your family. I'm so sorry.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:55 AM

13. Before 1970 I knew maybe three people who had cancer.

Now, it is almost an assembly line for treatment. She is doing very well or I should say, much better than expected. It is a rural area, but her Doctor is out of M. D. Anderson and has been very good.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:16 AM

16. I'm glad to hear she's doing well

We really do have good health care in this country. That's not the problem. It's the damn insurance companies that keep us from that healthcare.

I'm glad for you. Hugs again.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:14 AM

3. words are inadequate at a time like this. The picture says everything /nt

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Response to still_one (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:10 PM

36. Agree with both statements. eom

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:19 AM

4. Very touching picture.

Please accept my condolences for your and your family's loss.

I very recently had a breast cancer scare which, thank goodness, turned out to be nothing, but I had that terrible fear for a good 6 months or so. Luckily, I found a program in CA for low-income women with no insurance that paid for a mammogram. For those of you who have not had a pelvic exam, breast exam, pap smear or mammogram because of no insurance, PLEASE don't put off testing. Most likely there is a program in your state (many are federally-funded like the one in CA) that will pay for these very basic exams/tests. In California the program is called "Every Woman Counts."

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:24 AM

5. Thanks for the thoughts, but

this was written by Xena Jardin.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:29 AM

8. D'oh!



Oh well, the information is still valid.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:03 AM

14. No harm, no foul.

Your thoughts are still valid also. If nothing else, they remind us all of 'the kindness of strangers' and how much gentle and loving wishes matter in what can be a cruel world.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:26 AM

6. So sad and moving

I'm very sorry for anyone and their loved ones who has to endure this.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:28 AM

7. I'm now weeping after looking at that picture.

My best wishes to Xena(great name, btw) and her boyfriend, and to his sister's children in this horrific time, and to Jethro, who truly embodied the words "good dog" in that photo. I think Jethro knew what was happening, somehow.

May all of them find healing.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:31 AM

9. Beautiful. Sad. Loving.

To be surrounded by those we love when we go.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:36 AM

11. This is just one reason why hospice care is so great

My mother had home hospice care and it was the best. She died in her home, quietly and with such dignity that it still makes we cry with gratitude for those who devote their lives to making the end of life as good as it can be.

Our dogs visited with her all the time and they also said goodbye. Dogs know when it happens. They just know.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:38 AM

12. I have a similar image burned in my brain from over 40 years ago when my mother died..

Mom died of breast cancer and my father of prostate cancer only a couple of years later.

It doesn't help that my daughter shares her name with the woman in the picture, this really hit me hard, I'm typing with tears streaming down my face. Poor Aileen, poor Jethro, poor Miles.

If I could be said to hate anything it's cancer that I hate but really cancer is only our own cells getting confused about what they're supposed to do.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:11 AM

15. I am so sorry

My sister passed away from this horrific disease on Dec 11, 2011. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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Response to bec (Reply #15)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:17 AM

17. Welcome to DU

I lost my brother many years ago. It's terrible to lose a sibling too.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #17)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:39 AM

18. Thanks Lunatica

It is very hard to lose a sibling. I'm not sure if you ever recover from such an event.

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Response to bec (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:05 AM

23. In my view

I don't think it's necessary to ever recover from losing a loved one. What I did was realize that my brother was worth every bit of the pain I felt. That's what helped me. I was honored and lucky and enriched to have him in my life, even if for only a short time.

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Response to bec (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:32 AM

33. I finally visited my brothers grave yesterday.

It's been over two years and it still feels like it just happened.

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Response to bec (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:22 PM

40. Lost my sister..

to pancreatic cancer a year and a half ago. It is devastating.

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Response to bec (Reply #15)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:53 PM

46. Welcome to DU!

That's just such a sad but exquisite story in the OP, isn't it? Especially with that dog Jethro.

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Response to bec (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 12:30 AM

53. Aloha e bec,

welcome to DU.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:40 AM

19. Other countries can provide cancer treatments that don't compile this unnecessary financial

devastation along with the cancer devastation. I suppose when the Health care lobbyist get one of the few seats at the table to assist in writing our affordable care act, this financial aspect gets loaded onto the backs of those who can least carry this burden.... I just wish for medical equity in this country, because if their was, our family could receive Cheney care without the burden of worrying how to pay for it....

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:47 AM

20. So sorry for your and Miles loss, beautifully said.....n/t

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:52 AM

21. *Sobbing*

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #21)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:41 AM

26. me too.............

 

bless you Jethro, he stuck with her thru thick & thin.

And did a better job than most people in my life have done for me.

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Response to kooljerk666 (Reply #26)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

34. .

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #21)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:56 AM

29. Sobbing, but with a faint smile too.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #29)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

35. Yep.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:03 AM

22. Sorry for your loss

May she rest in piece

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:19 AM

24. I'm so sorry. What a beautiful picture.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:29 AM

25. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:41 AM

27. What a tender scene.

My sympathies to the loved ones who were left behind...and, to Jethro.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:44 AM

28. So sorry for your loss. Thanks for posting such a touching picture

Also sorry you and your have been so devastated by this awful disease. My family has also been hit hard.

All the best to you in this difficult time. How selfless and giving of you to find the time to share your story and the picture.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:19 AM

30. K&R, I have a cousin who is a Breast Cancer survivor.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:30 AM

31. I met Xena Jardin a while ago

and it's difficult to imagine that she has cancer because she is young, brilliant, beautiful and vibrant. She has appeared on Rachel's show discussing new technology, that's her thing along with many other interests. I wish her well and will follow her recovery.



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Response to flamingdem (Reply #31)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:39 PM

43. she was beautiful

inside and out.... we lost another good person.

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #43)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:04 PM

47. Xeni is still alive!

Her boyfriend's sister is the person with the dog, and the one in that touching photo.

The irony is that it made Xeni go get a mamogram and she herself has breast cancer.

If you google her you'll see lots of info, she's a very interesting writer - journalist.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #47)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:56 PM

57. Oh good god... I totally did not read this carefully enough

I saw the photo, read the headline and just thought about my dad. My apologies to everyone...

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #57)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 03:36 PM

58. If you look at other responses

you'll see that almost everyone thought that the original post was written by the sufferer!

Some confusion here but still worthwhile

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:31 AM

32. Tears running down my face. Unconditional love. n/t

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:15 PM

37. that photo

tears my heart out!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:17 PM

38. How horribly heartbreaking.

R.I.P. Aileen.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:19 PM

39. what a moving, loving picture

thanks...

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Response to spanone (Reply #39)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 03:41 AM

55. Plus one.

There are no words to sum up the poignancy of that photo or the sadness of her passing. RIP Aileen.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:34 PM

41. Heartbreaking

There are no words

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:38 PM

42. Oh man..... just too much for me

my dad died of brain cancer not too long ago. Every picture of his I could find has the sincerest smile, and I'm reminded of how such a sweet, honorable gentleman we all lost. It's now taken my over a year to finish his portrait in pencil.... it's so hard for me to complete.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:44 PM

44. Wow...



K & R !!!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:20 PM

45. As an animal lover and a compassionate individual....

 

I had to get the tissue box......what a compelling photograph. Thank you for sharing but more importantly....Love for your from your fellow DU friends.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:06 PM

48. Weeping. That picture is dynamic.

And the tribute is so moving. I am so sorry for your lose. Hopefully, one day, we will have a way to deal with this horrid disease.

RIP Aileen.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:07 PM

49. Miles rocks! Tears streaming down my face..smiling at Aileen & Jethro

Peace be with you Aileen, your brother Miles, your two daughters Katie & Aileen, & your son, Jethro.

May your memories of happier days keep you closer than ever & may your Mom/friend/sister run into her Mom in the hereafter.

Grits/Xena; may your pain be less & your full recovery sooner than soon.

Bless Aileen's sweet soul.

Hang in there all!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:34 PM

51. Words aren't adequate to express my sorrow that this beautiful person has left you.

The Earth was a better place by her presence. Several years ago, a dear friend died at home after receiving hospice care, and when he took his last breath, his dog Sunny jumped up next to him and licked his face, as if to absorb that final breath of life.

My heart aches. Blessings to you and your family.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:26 PM

52. (sigh.)

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 12:44 AM

54. My tears....

....flowed. Dogs have such an advanced sense of empathy, love, and loyalty. This photo so displayed. RIP, Aileen. May Jethro also find peace. -- Michael

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 03:45 AM

56. Boy I didn't need to see that.

My mom died of breast cancer and it was horrible and soul-crushing.

This brought me right back.

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