There’s this thing that we say when someone we love dies of cancer. We say Fuck You Cancer. We post #FYC. There are hats and tshirts and bike decals. It surfaces as an afterthought and as a battlecry. It helps when you’re this mad and in that space where you feel powerless against this disease. In that space where there are never any words but you need something to holler.
Once in a while someone surfaces that seems to float above all the traditional feels and shows that the best way to tell cancer to go fuck itself is to live your life right in its scary ugly face. Power set to full joy, face dialled to radiance, and rather than shrinking under a visible wound, accessorizing it with a killer scarf on your way out the door to do the thing you love.
Sandra Carusi was sick for a very long time but Italian Mothered her way through it and relentlessly showed up for us. Barrelled through pain and fog brain to continue her work while at the same time cranking that smile that gave us hope that she’d be fine. Much of her energy went into the building of our careers, which she saw as hers. She loved the comedy community hard and rocked it when she left us.
We’ll try our best best to keep our chin up like a good warm Nonna would advise. We’ll wear black, partly out of respect and partly because Sandra would tell you that nothing is hotter than a little black dress. What I hope for the most is that we carry a little bit of her spark in our back pocket for when we feel crushed and not enough and broken because she made a very strong case for there being nothing greater than comedy.
Nobody fucked cancer harder than Sandra Carusi. It took her, but it can’t take back the impact she had on all our lives. That’s ours. We get to keep that and make good use of it.
Now get out there and give it some juice.