Love it All: A Husband’s Farewell to His Dying Wife. {Photos}

Via on Oct 25, 2013

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“Love every morsel of the people in your life.” ~ Jennifer Merendino

Angelo Merendino lost his wife to breast cancer on December 22, 2011—just a few weeks after her 40th birthday. Documenting her journey through photographs, Merendino ensured that his lovely lady would not slip from this world in vain.

These images are beautiful as they are haunting, and I would like to thank Angelo for sharing them. I’d like to thank Jennifer, too; her bravery and poise shine through these shots.

Immortalized in black & white, she teaches us a thing or two about living with grace and strength; but above all, with loveTo that I say: thank you; with more gratitude than a heart can contain, thank you.

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Angelo via The Battle We Didn’t Choose: To honor my late wife Jennifer, who passed at the age of 40 from metastatic breast cancer, I have started The Love You Sharea non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial assistance to women in need while they are receiving treatment for breast cancer. Fifty percent of the net profits from sales of my book will be donated to The Love You Share. I cannot think of a better way to honor Jennifer’s legacy than by helping others. Download a sample here.

 

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{images published with permission; all rights reserved to Angelo Merendino}

About Sara Crolick

Sara Crolick is whiskey in a teacup. She loves elephants, vegetables, vintage typewriters, Audrey Hepburn and the written word, but not necessarily in that order. She raises two inspiring boys with her mister, who is a bona fide music-maker; this works out nicely, as she happens to also love music. You can connect with her via her site, Conversations with a Human Heart, her author page on Facebook and on Twitter, too.

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23 Responses to “Love it All: A Husband’s Farewell to His Dying Wife. {Photos}”

  1. Padma Kadag says:

    ….Wow….remembering my wife's illness…the photos are as it is

  2. Lisa says:

    Some men bring the definition of man to a level of grace strength and beauty that most people never get to experience thank you for raising he bar so high it gives me hope.

  3. rosie says:

    Wow!!!! what a great MAN….!!!!!!!

  4. Im a 34, 215 lb, beard, bald headed, mean looking man. Crying.

  5. Crystal says:

    Wow, that hit me hard. I was born 11-20-1971. Beautiful.

  6. Allison says:

    Wow… I’m speechless… all I can say is thank you.

  7. Ellie P. says:

    No doubt Sara Crolick didn't mean to suggest that Mr. Merendino's moving photographs "…ensured that his lovely lady would not slip from this world in vein," i.e., intravenously. But it's certainly apparent that Jennifer Merendino suffered in vain by subjecting herself to horrendous medical "treatments" that not only failed to prolong her existence, but also ensured that her remaining months would be a special kind of living hell for her and her loved ones. Illness is not a "battle" and death is neither a tragedy nor an anomaly. The body is not made to last, but that's no reason to assault and shockingly abuse it in a misguided "fight" for…. For what? For an iffy and, in the best case, extremely temporary extension of your expiration date? I urge each of you to slow way down before accepting any advice or undergoing any procedures recommended (i.e., sold) by those who are paid to provide them. Don't be in a hurry to receive the promised panaceas while still in the trance state induced by your panic. "Act now or else!" and "a 75% chance that…" are huckster spiels: ignore them. Study these photos that Mr. Merendino has graciously shared with us. Look at the faces, the eyes, the bodies. Take all the time you need to ruminate. Figure out for yourself what's what!

    • Laurel Y. says:

      Ellie P. While I appreciate your opinion, I respectfully disagree. I would fight like a girl with every ounce of my being to rid my body of every cancer cell. I have hope. I have faith. I am a "glass half-full woman". When my time came, I can only pray I "live" it with dignity and grace. Blessings to all.

    • kasilversun says:

      I completely appreciate your position and would, most likely, fall down on your side of the fence should my life's path include the dance with cancer. On the other hand, I'm not sure that after such a heartfelt pictorial of a couple's courageous journey this is the place to set up that soapbox.

      All of life is suffering. Everyone has the right and the free will to trust their doctor, or not, and to make informed choices, or not. Our job is not to judge but to appreciate, be compassionate, learn and send light. Or not.

      Namaste ~

    • Sandra says:

      Ellie P, I am a health care provider with 30 years of observing people fighting for their lives, but I was not prepared for my sister's battle with lung cancer. She was 52 years old and she did not want to die. She fought hard and tried everything offered to her to win her battle. I saw her deteriorate to the sister I barely recognized. But her journey was a testament to her courage and her graciousness that I would not have wanted to deny her of. Our family took care of her and honored her for the life she lived and was fighting to extend. We cherished every extra day that we had with her. She never complained, and the exchange of love and gratitude was extended for 18 months after her diagnosis. If patients and their families are given the information they need to make decisions in their health care, they have the right to chose the path they take.

  8. HappyLucky says:

    Honour and respect to this couple and their struggle; accepting of the opinion of others who found this moving and which inspired compassion in them, but to me this seems like a purely personal and private intimacy and not to be put up on the internet. I sincerely hope that, should I fall so gravely ill, my closest ones would not share such images of me with the world.

    • WifeofWidower says:

      I agree, HappyLucky. Not to mention that these images can cause intense grief in others who have gone through the same thing.

  9. Wow. Beautiful. Haunting. What stage was her cancer??

  10. sabine says:

    Ouch. I don't know why I chose this very private glimpse into the life and death of a stranger on this rainy, cold morning.
    Thank you for sharing this very private journey. It makes me cherish my health and well being even more and reminds me to be loving and kind as often as possible. Life is short and precious.

  11. Joe Downie says:

    Thanks for sharing, Elephant!!! So damn inspiring!!!! -Joe

  12. Jane Lee says:

    How there is grace and beauty in death it makes me cry….peace to your hearts.

  13. dharma1948 says:

    Thank you. This puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

  14. nunh says:

    You two are beautiful. I look forward to reading the book.

  15. Victoria says:

    My husband is dying from a brain tumour and seeing this has given me the strength to carry on to the very last. Not that one has any choice in the matter, but it is so easy to slip into self-pity at this time. Thank you.

  16. Angela says:

    Beautiful photos. They are intimate and private, but they also put a real name and a face to this horrible disease. Having had breast cancer myself, I know that it is a huge mind fuck. We express and share our own experience with cancer in ways that help us to heal or preserve momories of those we've lost. There is no right or wrong way. What Angelo did is beautiful. My soon to be ex-husband recently said to me that he still can't look at the photos of me that look like I was dying. Some of us choose to run from the truth, while others embrace it in their own way.

  17. Marissa says:

    These photos bring back the memory of my late sister who lived through the phase of her life with the same disease for three years and her lovely spirit left her sick body in the same year in July. It's a confronting moment to let go of your loved one going to the other side when I knew then that she would have liked to live longer for the unfinished project at the United Nation to save the environment. However she maintained a good body weight through the end and she had full flock of curly short hair. On the last night after the last prayers with the second Priest that evening after the anointment of the sick, I believed she was healed from her suffering by the Holy spirit. Her puffiness all gone and the greyish skin had changed to her normal skin colour with a tint of yellow. The main reason for her death was undetected kidney failure. Chemotherapy is a strong toxic drug which put so much strain on a patient's kidney. She did not make it to her 45th birthday and to her God daughter's wedding which she was longing to attend. I am thinking of her everyday and I believe her spirit is in heaven now.

  18. Rajib says:

    absolute lover. God bless all :)

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