My Brother: Jeffrey Stuart Silver, 1957 – 2011

My BrotherMy brother Jeff was a simple guy.

He loved his daughter, his work and his family.

Last Friday, July 29th, Jeff succumbed to a two year battle with cancer.

I walked with my brother on his journey to his inevitable end.

It was hard.

Hard for me to watch.

And a thousand-fold harder for him to experience.

I cried.

I ranted.

I talked to everyone who would listen.

I was coached by some of the best life coaches in the business.

In the end, both Jeff and I learned a lot, grew as individuals, and became a heck of a lot wiser.

Was this cancer the way I would have chosen to gain more understanding about life?

Hell, no!

Yet, I did.

And so did Jeff.

We learned that money can enhance your life. It can’t make you happy.

We learned that true friends come through when you need them, even if it’s messy and inconvenient.

We learned that family bonds are unbelievably strong, no matter what.

We learned that we all possess strength to do things we never thought we could.

And, we learned that in the end, we will all always want more.

More time.

More love.

More moments together.

So, feeling my own mortality very strongly right now, I vow to appreciate every moment more.

To love my family and to value them.

To focus on what really matters.

As Richard Carlson famously said:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.

To my brother Jeff.

May his memory be a blessing.



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10 Responses to “My Brother: Jeffrey Stuart Silver, 1957 – 2011”

  1. Nancy Curtis says:

    This is so true Cookie. Having lost someone that I loved because of cancer, I understand the ups and downs. I learned that I could definitely do more than I would have ever thought possible. When called upon to do what I thought was the unthinkable, I did it because I knew it would make my father-in-law more comfortable, and make my mother-in-law rest easier. We are amazing human beings. I believe that is why it has become so important for me to truly appreciate not only those that I love, but myself as well. Thanks to your gentle guidance and your powerful belief in me, I am finding that peace.

  2. Kelly Hoffman says:

    Dear Cookie-

    My sincere condolences for your loss. You are an amazing person to be able to extract the good out of such a sad situation, with how baffling and unfair cancer is. I will hug my own daughters a little tighter because of your wonderful message, and this touching tribute to your brother.

    Kelly Hoffman

  3. You are a wise woman, Cookie Rosenblum.

    Love this blog and love you!

  4. I love that you put his picture here, Cookie.
    A couple years ago i noticed that i wasn’t in many of the family photos on the annual family calendar. It was shocking to me, but I realized I hadn’t made the time to go to alot of family events…too busy with this or that (I told myself)…mostly work and classes and homework.
    I am happy to say in the last two calendars, the percentage of me in photos has gone up significantly…a true reflection of some re-prioritizing.
    Your message is a poignant reinforcement. xoxoxo

  5. Nancy, isn’t it amazing what we can do! It’s like the stories of a person trapped under a car, and the little grandmother suddenly gets the strength to lift the car and free the trapped person.
    Imagine what we could do if we harnessed that strength all the time.
    You are on a great path now into yourself and I am priviledged to be on that path with you.

  6. Thank you Kelly….you have seen me on this journey for a long time now.
    I know that you know how precious every moment is, and I admire your work to make your life the best it can be.

  7. Jen, you have been such a great support. Kisses!

  8. Funny that you say that about the photo, Joan. I, too, am rarely in family pictures.
    It’s good to notice, and do something about.
    Life is now.
    Let’s get in those pictures!

  9. Kay Duncan says:

    Cookie, I’m so moved by your loving tribute to your brother, Jeff, and the profound meaning of your journey together. The clarity of your message of what’s really important is a timely reminder for me. Everything else truly is the small stuff. Your photo is a poignant reminder of the peace we can find when we we live in the moment. Thanks so much for sharing. My love to you and your family. xoxo

  10. Kay, thanks so much for your love, support and compassionate coaching that helped me get through the last couple of years. xo.