Issue 136 October 2016
When I think of heartbreak, I think of the loss of something. But this heartbreak I am feeling is a strange mix of excruciating grief and gratitude.
My fiancé Marco Bersella, former general manager of Natural Medicine, lost his life to brain cancer on the 7th of September. Some of you may remember the research article I wrote on Cancer and Cannabis Oil as an Ed’s report in issue 106. Marco was given a poor prognosis of a few months and that was nearly three years ago – he took cannabis oil every night.
We would like to dedicate this issue to him. He loved this magazine and was so proud of it.
He knew the end was near and said to me about a month before his passing: ‘This tumour isn’t going anywhere is it?’ He asked that if it came to it, I would be the one to care for him, change him and be there till the end. He did not want to go to hospital or hospice. I made sure to honour his wishes, supported by his young sons, his doctor and a hospice nurse that popped in daily.
Lying in his room, he looked so lost and lonely in his extra big bed – my beautiful man. So thin, that my mind struggled to comprehend his shape. For weeks I cared for his every need and witnessed his deterioration daily. He struggled to accept his loss of mobility, stability, sanity – a struggle reinforced by the shocked looks and speechlessness on the faces of his friends when they came to visit. There is just nothing that can prepare one to behold the ravaging onslaught of cancer on the human form.
Some moments were endearing, others frightening. We wanted a miracle cure. On one day his sons and I would express the wish for him to get up and live. Yet on another day, we would ask him to let go. He was in pain, frustrated, fatigued, frightened, angry, desperate, increasingly belligerent and irrational. But his fragility was strangely opposed by his surprising physical and mental strength. We had never witnessed anything like it. He fought every setback with every breath he took, until his last soft in-breath while looking in my eyes as if to say: this is it.
To Marco for the man you were, the exceptional father, brother, lover and friend. Our hearts are broken but at the same time strangely filled with gratitude for the privilege to have known and cared for you. At the end, your suffering and pain unified people, resolved conflicts, formed unbreakable bonds, and taught us the true meaning of service, dignity, respect, determination, family and unconditional love. May your beautiful soul live in eternal peace.
At this time and with this being Breast Cancer Awareness month, my heart goes out to every person with cancer (or any other terminal condition) and each and every loved one that supports and loves them. A big hug to you if you have lost a loved one and still feel that empty feeling of grief and pain.