Bravest Man I Knew

Yesterday, July 3, 2018, marked the four year anniversary since my grandfather lost his battle with cancer. In my poetry class to end my undergraduate career, I wrote a poem about him that I meant to post yesterday, but got busy. It is written in Villanelle format– and its titled Bravest Man I Knew.

Bravest Man I Knew

By James Edgar Skye

For the one you love, it is hard to say goodbye.

To the man, my grandfather, the bravest man I knew,

they gave him six months, you fought a year and a half.


Cancer took the best parts of you. Slowly— always greedy.

You lost so much weight, and yet, you loved sweet Mexican pastries.

When the one you love is fading, it is hard to say goodbye.


A whirlwind of family, well-wishers, and nurses consume your days,

They surround your hospital bed, they shower with you with love.

Six months they said, the fight stretches for a year and a half.


A plain hospital tray held so many wonders, sweet pastries, candies,

and pictures of your granddaughters, the ones you share with every guest.

When the one you love fights, it is hard to say goodbye.


Your favorite time of the day, when your granddaughters visit,

they love you unconditionally, and always bring you smiles.

They told you had six months, you watched them grow for a year and a half.


It was fast, one moment you were there, smiling. It was just three days,

then you lost yourself, then you lost the fight. Cancer is greedy— it wants to live.

When the one you love is gone, it is hard to say goodbye.

They gave you six months, you fought bravely for a year and a half.


My Granfather’s Thunderbird

7 thoughts on “Bravest Man I Knew

  1. Pingback: Bravest Man I Knew – The Bipolar Writer – International Badass Activists

  2. Beautifully written. I understand that pain and confusion. My grandma was diagnosed with kidney disease, cancer. She was only 57 years old. She had terminal cancer and only lived about 2 months after her diagnosis. Which I’m glad because she was in alot of pain and the cancer had spread to her brain. She often forgot who her daughter, and us, her family. That was the saddest thing to see as a child. That was my first time hearing and knowing how a cancer diagnosis affects the entire family. My mom misses her mom each and every day, as she was my mother’s best friend. I couldn’t imagine losing my mother in my mid 30’s. Ty for sharing and enjoyed your awesome, sweet poem. So glad you got to know him and he had such an impact on your life. I was young when my grandma passed. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this so much. Both my grandparents on my mother’s side passed away because of cancer. It was hard to watch them slowly wither away, especially my grandma. They diagnosed her with only a few months to live, but she held on for 2 years. It was hard on everyone, especially her. The morphine did some wacky things to her. But I still love her and my grandpa and will always remember the good times I had with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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