Holding Love and Loss in Your Heart on Mother’s Day

At the JEDI Rare Cancer Foundation, we often talk about the scientific side of cancer. But we also want to shed light on the emotional side. Mother’s Day is a special time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the moms who have raised us, nurtured us, and loved us against all odds. For mothers who have lost a child, however, Mother’s Day can be heartbreaking. As a mother who understands firsthand the pain of losing a son to rare cancer, Jed Taxel’s mother, Linda shares her thoughts on grieving and remembrance to offer hope to other mothers and their loved ones on Mother’s Day.

“The last Mother’s Day card that I got from Jed was shortly after his cancer diagnosis. What he wrote is so positive in terms of looking at life. He wrote, ‘There is beauty in every day.’ Which was just a kind of positive recognition that, as terrible as things might be, we have to look for the good. And that he had love, gratitude, and devotion.”

Linda Taxel

Celebrating Mother’s Day by Remembering the Past

Every Mother’s Day, Linda takes out the cards that Jed sent her and reads them again. She feels deeply that the person you lost never leaves you even though they’re no longer a part of your life that you can reach out to and touch. While it never replaces the loved one, Linda believes that reading cards that they wrote to you can be a healing way to remember all the special life moments you shared. This helps her reflect on who her son was and find peace with the realization that whomever you hold onto is finite and precious.

Joining in on Other People’s Joy

When you’ve lost a loved one, it can be tempting to close yourself off from the world. But Linda says it’s so important to hold on to the joy and celebration that life has to offer. When you have already lost so much with the passing of a loved one, don’t let this grief strip you of life’s other blessings at the same time.

“I celebrate what the people I care about have in their lives,” she emphasizes. “I want the people close to me to be able to talk about their own children, their own grandchildren, whatever it is that feels important and significant to them. I don’t want to close that door by saying, ‘I can’t hear any of this,’ because then I will have lost even more.”

Journaling to Express Your Love and Grief

Grief can be a constant companion when you’ve lost someone to rare cancer. It can visit you very quickly, a cruel reminder of who you lost, and you have so much love stored up for them that you weren’t able to express. To this day, Linda Taxel is still trying to fathom what she’s been going through. A practice she has to express her grief is journaling. “Since Jed is gone, I’ve kept journals. It’s not the kind of thing where I sit down and write something every day,” Linda explains. “It’s my way of connecting, and it’s another way for me to express and put in words the heartbreak that I feel.” She considers journaling a safe place to share her feelings and pour her emotions without putting her pain onto someone else.

More Healthy Survivors, Less Family Heartbreak

When Jed was initially diagnosed, his family had no idea that rare cancers make up approximately 25% of all cancer diagnoses. Heartbreakingly, rare cancer patients have a much lower survival rate than those with common cancers because the medical community is unsure of how to best help these patients. It comes down to money—rare cancer research tends to get less funding than other types of cancer research, so lifesaving treatments do not exist.

Linda and Mark Taxel started the JEDI Rare Cancer Foundation to advocate for and empower investigators, physicians, and cancer research institutions’ rare cancer efforts. They hope that by shining a light on cancers that don’t yet have established treatments, it can help more people and enable hopeful outcomes for rare cancer patients and their families.

A Special Mother’s Day Fundraiser: Together, We Will END Rare Cancer

Together, we can fund vital research that improves outcomes for people with rare cancer. This Mother’s Day, we invite you to donate in honor of someone you love. For every $20 donation received by Tuesday, May 7, we’ll send a Mother’s Day card to your mom, daughter, grandmother, or anyone you designate acknowledging your donation as a Mother’s Day gift in their honor. Thank you!

More news & events

Remembering Mom: A Conversation With JEDI Board Member David Lord

How Rare Cancer Research Revolutionizes Treatment Across All Cancer Types

More healthy survivors, less family heartbreak

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The Jed Ian Taxel Foundation for Rare Cancer Research | P.O. Box 683501 Park City, Utah 84068

The Jed Ian Taxel Foundation for Rare Cancer Research, Inc. is a 501 (C)(3) Non-Profit Organization, accepting Tax Deductible donations from individuals, corporations, family-advised funds and foundations. Federal Tax ID 86-2610819

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