my friend, Clint. Clint and I worked together while I was still in banking and very early on he said to me, "you need to know my wife." Little did he know that those words would mean 8 years of a giant lesson in love, Gardner Village witchy fun, faith, courage, hope and what SOLID MARRIAGES look like. When I met Clint he told me he was a cancer survivor. I was shocked that such a fabulous man who was my age had battled an insanely aggressive cancer at the age of 19 and lived to tell about it. Fast forward 5 years and suddenly Clint and Kamille were receiving the news NO ONE wants to hear; "it's back." Well shit. I was still living in Salt Lake at the time and I remember shedding tears and bracing myself for the funeral I never wanted to attend. What I witnessed was one of the MOST courageous battles to fight cancer that I've ever seen. Clint and Kamille were the true example of kicking cancer in the ASS (literally -- the cancer's favorite playground was Clint's glute muscles) and not letting it get them down, even though it did. Did I mention they also have three kiddos? Watch a short video with their story here:
Kamille has been a trooper. She has faced the reality of her husband/handsome boyfriend being terminally ill with grace, truth and raw honesty. She started a blog called "Clint The Cancer Warrior" as well as a Facebook page and the social media community was given a glimpse of many moments: the laughs, the serenity trips to Hawaii and the hours and hours camping at Huntsman Cancer Center with chemo and surgery after surgery after surgery.
So, why talk about mourning again? Because it is happening to a lot of people that adored Clint. But, also, I've learned some new things about mourning in the last month. First of all, when someone has a terminal illness or ailing health, the mourning starts long before the death occurs. It may not be a full force emotional state, but it starts on some levels. I compare it to the pain that is under a band-aid that you know you need to rip off, but you're leaving it on because the festering wound under it is invisible with the band-aid in place. Second, embracing the mourning process also means accepting the facts and embracing the positive with a smile on your face, but the willingness to cry. Tears are healthy, but so are smiles and positive thoughts. The third reality of mourning is one that I especially struggle with and that is the utter sense of empathy that is felt in my heart for Kamille. I know from first-hand experiences that Clint was a true gentleman who ADORED his wife. He was also a first rate father. In Mormon theology we are taught that families are together forever, but how does anyone attempt to believe that when the only human you can't live without is suddenly gone? It's hard. Really really hard. The faith comes in facing each day as it comes. I wrote a guest blog post this week and compared the recovery from depression and being a support for others to a lighthouse standing bright to light the way for those who are still out to sea. I would also say that the same applies to mourning. If you are someone who has been affected by a loss to cancer or the death of a spouse, comment below or reach out to Kamille on her social media sites. I know she would greatly appreciate the added support and words of encouragement.
The moral of the story: Saying good bye to a hero hurts, but the legacy will continue. Clint was such a stalwart example and will never be far from our hearts.
Until next time, my lovelies.
Below is a video that Kamille posted on YouTube just three days after Clint passed away. It shows the true face of her love for Clint and the sadness that she feels for his passing. It's a tear-jerker. To donate to Kamille and her sweet babes, please follow this LINK.