Featured, Life

brain cancer

April 7, 2019

Brain cancer (a very rare childhood tumour associated with DIPG ) has suddenly taken my 9 year old nephew Henry. Just a few days after the discovery of a deadly tumour on his brainstem and a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis, he passed away. Now my sister and her husband have lost their only son. Henry’s sisters have lost their only brother. Me and my sister have lost our only nephew, and my parents, their only grandson.

I never thought this would happen to my family, but it has, and it’s awful, and I am so so sad. This post will be spent honouring him, so I can share just a little bit about our beautiful Henry… his hearty laugh and his abundant joyful smile with you.

Henry was the most loving and smiley boy I’ve ever met. If there were ever an opportunity to hug or cuddle or tickle you, he’d be the first in line. He was also a very truthful and genuine kid. If you ever needed blunt, honest advice, Henry would be the one you could count on to tell you what you needed to hear.

Despite only being 9 years old, he learned very quickly what it meant to live life to the fullest. Henry would dress in any clothes he wanted, depending on how he felt that day. If that meant he’d be wearing a big sun hat or pink polka dots, that’s what he wore. He never cared about appearance or being made fun of. He was so confident and those unimportant things never even crossed his mind.

Through the years as we grow up, we are taught to believe that we will live a full healthy life. As if we are owed an abundance of life experiences and a happy life is just waiting to unravel around the corner. Birthdays, graduations, friendships, relationships, first job, first car, first home, marriage, children, grandchildren, retirement etc. Then, older people around us will start passing away. Aunts, uncles, parents. Then cousins, friends and siblings will start to pass, and then eventually it will be our turn to go.

This is the way our lives are supposed to unfold, but it was not the path Henry was given.

When he passed, our family shattered into a million pieces. It happened so very suddenly. We all had 4 exhausting days and sleepless nights, as we restlessly awaited news from the doctors. We got dealt the most unexpected and worst possible outcome in Henry’s diagnosis of cancer: death. This has had not only our entire family in mourning, but many people at his school, classmates, teachers, parents, and even the communities surrounding us.

Our friends and family have supported us in ways I never could have predicted, and I am eternally grateful. As I reflect on the trauma of what our family experienced, I feel at peace knowing that Henry didn’t suffer months in sanitized hospitals and doctors offices. He spent his last year exploring the outdoors, eating his favourite foods, going to the Toronto aquarium, playing video games with his sisters, spending movie nights with his mom, attending school and spending time with his friends.

All fun things that every little boy should be experiencing at such a young age.

 



OBITUARY
HENRY MICHAEL ALLOSSERY SIZE
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beautiful, brave boy, Henry Michael Allossery Size, on February 21, 2019.
  He was a gentle soul with an exuberance for knowledge. He loved Minecraft, sharks, collecting things, pets and children of all ages, and facts…lots of facts. He was thoughtful and kind; he was the sweetest boy. Celebrating his life but missing him dearly are his parents Vicki and Mike Size; sisters and partners in crime, Sofie and Molly; grandparents Greg and Anne Size and Perry and Josie Allossery; aunts and uncles Chris, Jo-Ellen (Aaron), Katie and Jessica, and Bobb. Also a large extended family of great grandparents, great aunts and uncles and lots of cousins. 
Henry would’ve celebrated his tenth birthday on April 2 with a sleepover and goofy games and silly jokes with his best friend, Aidan.  Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Henry’s spirit and zest for life will occur in his community of Bruce Mines Community Hall  on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 4 to 8 pm (parking is limited, please carpool if possible).    We ask you to remember the good times and great memories that you’ve made with Henry and to share them with his family in a book of remembrance that will be made available at the service. If you desire, donations can be made to the Ronald McDonald House or Toronto Hospital for Sick Kids whose staff and services were very much appreciated during Henry’s brief stay.
Gone too soon; leaving this life for the next.  We will be together again. He faced his latest adventure fearlessly and lived this last experience as exciting and special.  And now Jesus, his Lord and Saviour, has accompanied him to his next adventure.

Henry got to live a perfect life, right up until the day he died.
Rather than having the looming diagnosis of terminal brain cancer or having to prepare for death, he was spared of those things during his final days, and instead, was comforted every single minute by his parents and family. The cancer would have taken him regardless if it was caught earlier or not. At least he didn’t have to suffer through chemo or radiation. That’s not a life for anyone to live their final months. So, he went the best possible way that anyone with a terminal cancer diagnosis could go.

I’m sad that I didn’t get to spend more time with Henry. If I could go back and do things differently, I would have spent more time with him and his sisters. I would have played more. I would have asked him to teach me about his favourite video games. I would have taken him to his favourite places involving sea life and nature. I would have been fully present with him, instead of being too busy and worrying about work or relationships. None of that little stuff matters, and it’s so clear now.


A brand new custom song that I wrote for a client 2 weeks before Henry died. It’s no coincidence how fitting it is for our loss. This song has become our family’s anthem as we lovingly remember and miss Henry dearly. Listen on bandcamp, itunes & spotify.

 

 


I asked Henry to help me write a song for his celebration of life ceremony, and this is what we created together **All proceeds of this song in 2019 will go towards Ronald Mcdonald House – the foundation in Toronto that housed my sister and brother in law during the turmoil of losing their son. Vicki and Mike said many times how kind and helpful all the volunteers and services were during their brief stay.

 

Every DAY matters. Your day right now, this very second matters.
The people around you matter. Your friends matter. Your pets matter.
Being kind to strangers matters.

Worrying or fighting or brooding or holding resentment are all things that shouldn’t be on your radar, because those things just don’t matter.

Henry wanted to live and he fought so hard. I am so sad and I miss him more than I thought I’d miss anything. But, I take comfort in knowing that his final hours were quiet, peaceful and pain free. His mom and dad and nana and auntie were all with him, laughing and playing and smiling and talking with him, up until the very end…even when his eyelids became too heavy and weak to open.

Henry lived a life far too short, and so many milestones and wonderful experiences were taken away from him and from us as his family. But he lived his life happily and vivaciously and full of joy every single day. I believe he was taken so soon because he already learned everything he needed to in this life time. Now in the coming months and years, it will be his turn to teach us what we need to learn, as we step into our own life paths without him.

Eternally missed and never ever forgotten, a beautiful boy now watches over us from up above.
It’s an honour that Henry chose us to be his family. I am thankful that we have our very own little guardian angel, protecting and guiding us from up above, through our good days and bad.

Finally, I look forward to the adventures ahead where Henry will be present in spirit, giving comfort and protection along my journey and into the rest of my life.

I love you Henry. Until we meet again.

xoxoxoox

Auntie Jess

 

PS. Due to this recent tragedy in my family, I have postponed my upcoming house concert tour until further notice. I will be spending this upcoming year revamping my Patreon page into a record label, and focus on creating music and a healing meditation podcast.

Feel free to watch a very personal tribute video I made for Henry’s celebration of life ceremony. This video will let you get to know him the way we know him, see his beautiful smile and hear his hearty laugh… all the best parts of him we will remember for the rest of our lives. ❤️

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply dean shannon July 15, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Jessica, I have not been very connected to my social media lately. As such, i have only just now come to hear of your sister’s and your family’s traffic loss with Henry. It sounds like he was a lovely boy. As you know from my experience, there is no greater pain as a parent. I’m thinking of you during these sad and difficult days. Please extend my heartfelt condolences to your sister and brother in law. Please share my contact information with them too should they ever like to meet up or talk.
    In support, and much love
    Dean

    • Reply Jessica Allossery July 15, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Oh thank you Dean, and thank you for your kind words of support. It’s nice to hear from you. I do think about you and your family often, and hope you are doing well teaching and enjoying the summer!

  • Reply Julianne Manchur April 19, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Much like Catherine Stewart from West Virginia, I fell gracefully upon your post about your sweet nephew Henry after viewing your camper conversion post, which in turn lead me here. I’ll try not to get too wordy, as I tend to do, so I’ll just say this….I don’t know you or your family but I feel we are all divinely connected in some way, through love, laughter…pain. I felt the need to write to you, to let you know how much the compilation video of Henry’s life touched me. I can tell he must have been an incredibly special boy who touched a lot of people during his short time here, bringing such a great amount of joy and love to those around him. Losing a loved one, and so suddenly; is a painfully difficult endeavor, especially when that loved one is so young. It just doesn’t seem to make any sense. Please accept my heartfelt condolences, for you, your family, and all those that love him. His spirit will go on. XO from Vancouver, BC.

    P.S. Happy Place is a beautiful song and I think it’s the perfect song for Henry.

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 22, 2019 at 11:45 am

      I got chills Julianne – thank you so much for your heartfelt message and condolences. It means so much that so many people are taking the time to watch Henry’s video to get to know him better. I’m so glad we are now connected 🙂

      • Reply Julianne Manchur April 29, 2019 at 6:19 pm

        I’m glad we have connected, albeit under such a sad circumstance. However I find that’s when many souls find connection. Keep the love flowing through your beautiful music, Jessica! XO

  • Reply Catherine Stewart April 12, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Jessica, I came across your camper video by chance (or maybe not!) tonight. I was fascinated by your camper redo and kept reading about you on your blog. Then I came to the heartbreaking news of your sweet nephew. First, let me say that I can only imagine the pain your whole family is experiencing. My heart goes out to you and I will pray for God’s grace and comfort to heal and protect you as all of you discover your new “normal.” I also want you to know that your thoughtful words about what’s really important so encouraged me today! I lost my mama to breast cancer when I was 13 and on Jan 29 my worst fears were realized when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then I have had a double mastectomy and am home recovering with one more surgery looming. I burst into tears when I read the news about how fast cancer took your Henry. I hadn’t even realized how much I was hiding from life. Thank you for reminding me how truly blessed we are in this life. Because none of us knows how much time we have, there is no time to waste pitying oneself! I don’t believe in coincidences. This was a divine appointment. Thank you for your courage, strength and positivity. May God bless you in all you do to make this world better by touching the hearts of people around the globe. With love from West Virginia, USA💜😇

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 15, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Catherine
      Thank you so much for your condolences. I do believe things happen for a reason, and I’m so glad you found your way to my website and story.
      I am so honoured to be a small part of your healing journey as you venture into a cancer-free life!

      Sending many hugs your way.

      -Jessica

  • Reply F Tiffney April 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Your family was blessed and Henry is always there, just like in the picture.

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      We are so blessed and yes he will always be with us now, wherever we go!

  • Reply Darian Stavans April 7, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Dear Jessica, I can´t even move after reading what you wrote. I lost my father three weeks ago. He was an old man now and his timing was on sight. Nos that I have gone through that pain, I can not even imagine what you all are living now. Henry´s story is something that hursts so badly I can´t deeply bear it.
    All my love to you and to all your family. Please give my best to your sister and husband please!
    Anything you need please don´t hesitate to contact me. All my love!

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 7, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      Your condolences and thoughts mean so much. I would also like to send you love and hugs and healing for the loss of your father. Loss in general is just about the worst kind of pain out there. At least we know that we’re all in it together.

  • Reply Heather Bunn April 7, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Wow, this is tragic. I just lost my brother to brain cancer…. and I can tell you for sure that it is a blessing he didn’t suffer for long. The surgery, medications and side effects in the long-term with brain cancer are devastating as well. Praying for you and your family. I was at your house concert in New Bern. Much love!

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      So sorry to hear about your brother and I also send you my condolences. Cancer is just the worst thing, truly. Thank you for connecting. I miss New Bern! <3

  • Reply Steven Hill April 7, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this! I’ve lost 3 family members to cancer… but 9 years old. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for letting us know about Henry through your video tribute. Hour family is on my prayers.

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 7, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      cancer can shove it! Taking all our important people 🙁 Thank you for your thoughts and prayers

  • Reply Valorie Staley April 7, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Oh Jessica my heat breaks for your family, what a precious little boy Henry was. My sincere condolences. Thank you for sharing his beautiful life story with us and thank you for this heartbreaking but eye opening post about life. You and your family are in my prayers. ❤️🙏

    • Reply Jessica Allossery April 7, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you very much Valorie. Your prayers will help lift our spirits and energies in one way or another, so thank you. <3

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