My mother died of breast cancer when I was 16 years old. At this point, it's 17 years later. I am older, wiser, have a family of my own, and have learned to manage my overwhelming grief in a way that makes it not so overwhelming. And yet, even now, I miss her every single day.
Losing a parent at any age is hard, but losing them when you're younger than 20 is a whole other ballgame of pain. Most people don't get that. But kids need their parents for much longer than we think, and I needed my mom still very much when she died. I hate breast cancer for so many things, but stealing my mother's future when she was only 45 is pretty much the most glaring.
It's an awful disease and my fondest dream is that my children will never have to go through what I went through. Additionally, it's something no one who hasn't lost a parent at a young age can ever really get. Sure, it's the "natural order," but for a child, it's much deeper and much more scarring.