When Saying “Goodbye” Breaks Your Heart

I have always loved the ocean and every time I visited the beach, if it was possible. My cousin, Martha, came and stayed with us. We walked for miles along the shore and talked about everything from our jobs to our families. We shared every intimate detail of our lives and placed our complete love and trust in one another. If there is a problem with loving someone too much, it’s that when you lose them the goodbye is so painful it colors your world an ugly shade of gray.


Today I am looking at the ocean we both loved and it’s as if Jesus is crying with me. I know she’s in a better place. I know she’s no longer suffering. I know that I have years of precious memories of time spent with her that I can think about in the days and weeks to come. I know.It will eventually, but not now.

As I try to prepare myself for her visitation service and funeral, none of that helps. She has been in my life since I was six months old. How can I tell her goodbye?

Cancer-0 Martha-Winner

If you have visited NanaHood over the years you have probably seen pictures of Martha and read about her decades long battle with breast cancer. This is one of my all time favorite pictures of her. It was made this past February when we went to the Keys. We had so much fun and I’m so thankful she felt like going.


Even though she’s gone I still don’t think cancer won. It never took her faith, her sense of humor or her love for others. Give the Pink Gloves and trophy to the toughest woman I’ve ever known. Martha Temple Todd 1956-2015.

There’s a new angel in heaven and she will be waiting for me on the other side.



  1. Donna Highfill 26 Oct, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss, but what a soul she had. I can see it through her picture. And, she will be near you. You wll feel her power. But it doesn’t make the loss of them in this world any easier. My thoughts are with you!

  2. I’m so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your memories are comforting you right now and I hope you’re able to hold them tightly for a long time to come.

  3. Sympathy goes out to you and your family. Having such wonderful memories will help sustain the pain of grief you will be experiencing in the days and weeks ahead. My prayers will be lifted to you.

  4. Angela Brooks Brown 26 Oct, 2015

    I am so sad! Looking forward to seeing the tributes to Martha tonight and tomorrow, but sad at our loss st the same time. She was my mentor and my inspiration as a Christian woman. I don’t want to let her go….but will try and teach others what she has taught me!
    As I am wiping away tears I will say again, “I love you Martha!”

  5. Jeanne 26 Oct, 2015

    So sorry for your loss! Hold those memories close and know that you are being thought of and prayed for!

  6. I am sorry to hear this, what a nicely worded post and a fitting tribute to her 🙂

  7. mail4rosey 26 Oct, 2015

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. I know how deeply it touches when you lose someone you loved very much.

  8. Haralee 26 Oct, 2015

    I am sorry for your loss. Words are difficult, but you expressed yours beautifully.

  9. NanaHood 26 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much.

  10. NanaHood 26 Oct, 2015

    Thank you Rosey.

  11. NanaHood 26 Oct, 2015

    Thank you Steve.

  12. pioneerpat1 26 Oct, 2015

    I am so sorry to hear this. Prayers to you and her family. A long-distance hug.

  13. Create With Joy 27 Oct, 2015

    I am SO sorry for your loss. I remember your trip to the Keys and the joy it brought you. I am sending you a HUGE cyberhug!

  14. Caroline Fernandez 27 Oct, 2015

    My condolences! I hope you find peace in your happy memories together.

  15. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

  16. John Roberts 27 Oct, 2015

    Like the others, I am terribly sorry for your loss. But, as you have so eloquently stated, for the Christian the disease in never the victor. The life, the testimony of that life, and the faith lived by that life claim the victory over the disease and death. May the God of all creation wrap you in His arms and give you strength, comfort, and the peace that passes all understanding.

  17. LuAnn Braley 27 Oct, 2015

    What a moving, beautiful tribute! *hugs*

  18. Indah Nuria Savitri 27 Oct, 2015

    Nana.. I am crying reading this and all I can say is that Martha was a great fighter! Her undying love and courage will stay forever in our heart as well. And I will continue to fight, fight, fight against breast cancer.. Big hugs..

  19. Clairejustineo 27 Oct, 2015

    I am sorry to read this 🙁 hold onto the special memory’s you shared together x

  20. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much.

  21. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you sweet Indah! I am proud to know you! Continue the fight for yourself and for others who are battling on!

  22. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you LuAnn!

  23. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you, I appreciate that John.

  24. Sorry to hear of your loss. Deep condonlences to you and your family xoxo

  25. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Sending strength and prayers. xo

  26. There are far too many ‘goodbyes’ to women with cancer …I am so sorry….

  27. Sarah E Lee 27 Oct, 2015

    Well said, Teresa!!! My only Joy these past few days is knowing I will see her again in heaven. Today’s weather was amazing! Tears of rain from heaven that stopped long enough for us to go to the grave side. Then they started again as if telling us “don’t linger here at Martha’s grave. She is enjoying her new home in paradise.”

  28. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    I agree Sarah!

  29. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Amen, Denyse!

  30. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much Deborah!

  31. NanaHood 27 Oct, 2015

    Thank you Ai!

  32. tabithablue 27 Oct, 2015

    Awe, I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a beautiful woman, from the inside out. Cheers to her!

  33. Sorry to hear your sad news. It sounds like you have great memories of times with her. Thinking of you at this time!

  34. I am so, so sorry for your loss! I remember sending prayers your way after reading one of your earlier posts about Martha. The photo you shared is really lovely. This is a beautiful tribute.

  35. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Teresa. The earth’s loss is heaven’s gain, but that doesn’t ease the loss for those of you left behind.


  36. BethFishReads 28 Oct, 2015

    So sorry for your loss.

  37. I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for linking up.

  38. Awww I’m not going to say sorry for your loss instead I’m going to say so happy for your gain! Such wonderful memories you must have!!! My Mom had breast cancer when I was about 11 and she was in her 40’s I think and you know what she didn’t leave us until she was 84… God blessed us & her for having her all that time. You’ll have as much time in your hearts!!!

  39. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    Thank you for your very sweet comment!

  40. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    Thanks so much.

  41. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    Thank you, Beth.

  42. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    So true, Shellie!

  43. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much my South Africa friend!

  44. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much!

  45. teresak 28 Oct, 2015

    She was, I appreciate your comment!

  46. I am very sad to her this Teresa…I am very, very sorry for your loss…!

  47. NanaHood 29 Oct, 2015

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kindness!

  48. NanaHood 29 Oct, 2015

    Thank you so much Marie!

  49. Please, don’t mention it!
    I wish you a pleasant day.

  50. Merlinda Little 30 Oct, 2015

    Condolence. RIP to your friend.

  51. NanaHood 30 Oct, 2015

    Thank you my friend