Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Letter from a Heartbroken Granddaughter

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWF chapter.

Cancer has been a reoccurrence in my family. When I was in fourth grade, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer and essentially given a death sentence, but was able to fight against the odds. In my sophomore year of high school my dad’s father was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. Then in my senior year on her 59th birthday my grandmother on my mother’s side was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She passed away within the last few months.


I will keep this letter short, simply because I think if I write for long, I might start to cry.

Dear No One,

Am I allowed to be upset anytime I hear of a possible cure for cancer? Is it okay that it breaks my heart knowing that the person I now have to live without could have gotten better if she could have held on for a little longer?

My grandmother hasn’t been the only person I have lost to cancer. I lost my grandfather the summer after my high school graduation. My dad has been a survivor for the past 13 years. But now, almost four months have gone by, and I still find myself crying every day.

I would love to be able to wake up one morning and hear on the news that someone has found the cure for cancer. But with each glimmer of possibility, comes a bit of hurt.

My Grandmother is someone I thought I would never have to live without, and it takes everything not to cry when I talk to the amazing man she married, who I call my grandfather. I know she wants me to smile and to be happy, but I miss her smile and her happiness.

She has been someone I have pictured standing beside my parents on my wedding day. That’s saying something coming from a girl who couldn’t care less about getting married. Now she won’t be there.

Is it okay for me to be selfish and wish to have just one more day with her to go shopping, watch movies and laugh? One more day to do all things we used to do together.

Is it selfish to wish that a cure for cancer had come five months ago?

Please tell me.


a heartbroken granddaughter

Hi, my name is Kelsi Gately. I am a junior at the University of West Florida and currently majoring in journalism and international studies. I love to travel and spending time outdoors.  
Abigail is a Journalism and Political Science major minoring in Spanish. She has a penchant for puns and can't go a morning without listening to NPR's Up First podcast. You can usually find her dedicating time to class work, Her Campus, College to Congress, SGA or hammocking. Her dream job is working as a television broadcast journalist on a major news network. Down time includes TED talk binges, reading and writing. You can follow Abigail on instagram and Twitter @abi_meggs