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By Matt Long

For the dying, the hardest thing about cancer, is the effect it has on the people who don’t have it. You reminded me of that every day. There’s an old saying, “Every hour hurts, the last one kills.” Every hour I spent in that hospital room, watching you slip further from me, hurt me more deeply than I thought possible. You’d fought it off before; I’d almost carried you out of that hell by myself, and then the doctors’ results spun us round, and dragged you straight back down there. This time, there was to be no reprieve, no way out. Six months you had to spend in those depths, and I spent six months mourning a loss to come. You stayed strong for so long, fought for that last Christmas while in the deepest crevice of Tartarus, and I sacrificed my liver, my emotions, my soul, praying for your return. You left me yesterday. You were carried from the pit, into the warming sun. I held your hand as you left. I kissed your forehead, tasting your perfume. I knew I’d never be able to smell a pomegranate again without an ache in my heart.