Widower Makes a Plea to Not Take Quarantine Time for Granted After Losing Wife to Cancer

April 28, 2020 Updated: May 18, 2020

A widower from Knoxville, Tennessee, who recently lost his wife to her second battle with cancer has a message to the world to not take the quarantine time and shelter-in-place orders amid the CCP virus with your loved ones for granted.

Dad of three, Brandon Janous first penned a heartfelt plea in January on Medium about his wife Rachel’s recurrent diagnosis of cancer, pleading with people to remember to understand that those around them might be going through a difficult period in their life and to practice more kindness.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)

Rachel and Janous had been married for 10 years and been there for each other through thick and thin. Less than two years ago, Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer and defeated it. However, five months ago, the family received the devastating news that she was diagnosed with cancer in her spine, which then spread to her spinal fluid and eventually invaded her brain.

In February, Janous expressed his uncertainty about his wife’s survival chances in another post on Medium and how their family was going to cope, as their world had been turned upside down. He wrote, “[I] know each day that passes is one day closer to me losing Rachel. One day closer to our three kids losing their mommy.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)

Sadly, Rachel lost her battle with cancer on March 1 after spending 39 nights in the hospital. Not long after, the family entered into an indefinite period of quarantine like most of the people in the United States and the world at large, mandated to stay inside in order to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)

Being thrust into a role as a single grieving parent in his wife’s absence for his three young kids, aged 8, 7, and 5, has been undoubtedly difficult for Janous.

In mid-March, Janous wrote in a heartbreaking post on Instagram: “Every day is hard. They say it gets easier with time. So far, it hasn’t gotten easier. In fact, it may have gotten harder.”

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Every day is hard. They say it gets easier with time. So far, it hasn’t gotten easier. In fact, it may have gotten harder. Most days I find myself sitting on our closet floor, just like I am right now, where I can hide from the kids for 15-30 minutes, and just cry. It’s not that I don’t want them to see me cry. Not a day has gone by that we don’t cry together. But these cries are different cries. They aren’t just the “I miss her cries.” Those happen all the time. These are the “I’m scared to death of life without her,” cries. They are the “how am I supposed to do this on my own,” cries. They are the “this wasn’t supposed to happen to you & I wish it would have been me,” cries. They are the “I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder, I’m sorry I didn’t do more, & I’m sorry that it felt like at times we gave up,” cries. These cries are just different. So many things happened during those 39 nights we spent in the hospital that bring me to these cries. So many things happened the last 2 years since our original diagnoses that bring me to these cries. So many things happened the last 10 years of our marriage that bring me to these cries. I wish I could hold her one more time. I wish I could ask her for more advice on how to do this without her. Have one more conversation with her. Watch one more show with her. Hear her voice one more time. Hug her. Have one more meal with her. Watch her be “mom” once more. I’d give anything in the world to just be quarantined with her. All this to say, don’t take this time for granted. There probably won’t be another season in our lives where we will have so much time to be with loved ones. We don’t know how this will end. We don’t know when this will end. But we do know that eventually it will end. As I sit here on the closet floor, I beg you not to allow this time to cause you to love less. Or cause you to point fingers. Or cause you to get annoyed more. I’d give anything for Rachel to be here annoying the heck out of me. If nothing else, make this a time where you love those around you harder. Love your neighbors well. Love your family well. Love your people well. And in the end, just love like Rachel would. #lovelikerachel

A post shared by Brandon Janous (@thejanous5) on

He added: “Most days I find myself sitting on our closet floor, just like I am right now, where I can hide from the kids for 15-30 minutes, and just cry.”

The sorrowful husband said he would like to spend more time with his wife, asking her for advice about to do this without her, watching one more show with her, and having one more meal with her.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)

Above all, the loving husband wrote that “I’d give anything in the world to just be quarantined with her.” In the same post, Janous hoped that during these unprecedented times that have enveloped the world, people would remember not to take their situation for granted and spend it with their loved ones.

“All this to say, don’t take this time for granted. There probably won’t be another season in our lives where we will have so much time to be with loved ones,” he wrote. “We don’t know how this will end. We don’t know when this will end. But we do know that eventually it will end.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brandon Janous)

Janous begged people that they not “allow this time to cause you to love less. Or cause you to point fingers. Or cause you to get annoyed more.”

Finally, he took the opportunity to remind people to love those around them whom they spend their quarantine days with and to appreciate this time with them.

He concluded by writing: “If nothing else, make this a time where you love those around you harder. Love your neighbors well. Love your family well. Love your people well. And in the end, just love like Rachel would.”