Death Cluster

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 10th, 2008

Talk of the Mothman or Mokele-Mbembe curses aside, I find myself in the midst of some times that have me reeling and beyond my understanding.

My stepsister Shelley Atkins, 57, who was diagnosed with bone cancer less than two weeks ago, died around 7:30 pm, last night, June 9, 2008, in southern California. Shelley was also within my kinship tree as a cousin. (My mother’s second husband was my mother’s first cousin’s widower husband, and thus the children who were my mother’s second cousins then became her stepchildren – and by extension, my stepsiblings.)

Shelley’s death follows my mother’s sudden death on April 9, 2008, in Riverside, California.

After my mom (Anna Atkins) died, as mentioned before, my younger brother Bill suffered kidney failure and other life-threatening health concerns. He was in the hospital, near death, for two weeks. He’s not out of the woods yet, even though he’s at home.

My youngest brother Jerry, who has written two Fortean books of some import, was diagnosed with throat cancer on April 25, 2008. Although he was supposed to have had an operation to remove his lymph nodes and more from his throat by now, it’s been delayed to check out his heart.

Death news clusters, I guess.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

27 Responses to “Death Cluster”

  1. MattBille responds:

    I lost my sister this past January, so I have some small idea of how you are feeling. All I can do is exress my sincere condolences.
    God bless you and your family.
    Matt Bille

  2. tirademan responds:

    Loren, so sorry to hear this news. My best wishes to you and your family.

    Scott McClean

  3. greywolf responds:

    Loren: I will keep your family in my prayers…My son had cancer , my sister had breast cancer……both in last 3 years..We all have some one touched by cancer or other major health issues.. You are not alone. All we can do is support them in there time of need and go on with life. If life was an easy path I’m not sure it would be the great adventure that it is.

  4. LotaLota responds:

    I wish you and your family comfort during these difficult times.

  5. John L. Johnsen responds:


    As I have said before I offer you my sympathies and condolences for your present trials. If there is anything I can do please feel free to ask. You and your family are in our prayers.

    John Johnsen
    Grendel Films

  6. Munnin responds:

    Mr. Coleman, you have my sympathy and my best wishes for the most positive outcome from these instances. Death is natural a part of life, to be sure. But that doesn’t necessarily lift our spirits when we are left behind by our loved ones, or know that they are in great pain; moreso when this is true of several at once. May tomorrow be a brighter day.

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    As always Loren, you have my deepest sympathies in these troubled times.

    Take care.

  8. Ceroill responds:

    Loren, I am at a loss for words, so I will simply echo the sentiments of those who have written before me.

  9. Bast responds:

    Thinking of you and yours.

  10. HulkSmashNow responds:

    Mr. Coleman,

    My family’s also had a rash of unfortunate passings in the past few years. It’s never an easy thing to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours during these trying times.

  11. airforce47 responds:


    I echo the feelings of the posts above. We wish you relief from the grief of the deaths of members of your extended family and we hope you can find peace. All of us wish you and your family the best in these trying times. God bless,

    Larry Lesh

  12. gkingdano responds:

    Loren, you may want to have a VERY intense medical checkup yourself — just to be sure. We will all pray for your family and the other families in this type of concern.

  13. Monsterlegends responds:

    Loren, I am so sorry to here your loss. You have my sympathy. Take care.

  14. graybear responds:

    Mr. Coleman, you have my deepest sympathies. I have buried both of my parents and several uncles. My wife has buried her parents and several uncles as well. Sometimes it does seem as if life or fate or whatever is testing our strength. It may not mean much, but in times like these, the best we can do is be there for our loved ones and to simply keep on going. Smoother times will come.
    I wish for the very best for you and yours in these hurtful times.

    With sincere hope for the best for you
    James Vaughn

  15. size 13 responds:


    It has been said before by a wiser mind than mine that we are crying at birth when others are smiling and at death others are crying while we who smile.

    A life lived well and as full as we can live it is what we should do between birth and death. Experience of Love in Life we take with us when we leave, to you and yours all the Love.

    From the Heart, Danny Sears.

  16. jodzilla responds:


    I don’t know you. But stupidly I feel like I do because of the books I have on my nightstand and maybe the fact that I went to SIU. This breaks my heart. Keep the faith.

  17. springheeledjack responds:


    I do find the adage “When it rains, it pours” an accurate one. I have been through a gauntlet similar to yours a few years back, and the only encouragement I can offer is that you remember to breathe and take it one day at a time, no more no less. Find things that keep you busy, to focus on, and keep your mind from dwelling too long on the loss, and let grieving take its course.

    It’s never easy, but I also believe that everything has a purpose, and somewhere in there, a positive purpose. Life doesn’t always seem that way, but I do believe that.

    In the meantime, hang in there.

  18. springheeledjack responds:

    Sorry, don’t want to babble, but I forgot my original thought: just also wanted you to know how much I appreciate your constant input into this site. I hit this place at least 5-6 days a week to see what is going on and what everyone is chatting about. Cryptomundo is an important website to me, and I value all the work you put into it (and the others too, I do not forget the rest of you. 🙂 Your time spent here for cryptozoology is not forgotten or taken for granted, especially while you are having difficult times.


  19. sschaper responds:

    You are not alone. All of us out here, and all the ones near you who will just sit with you, or distract you, whatever you need at the time. Tell them, they won’t know what to do.

    It -is- wrong. It was never meant to be.

    But it is not the end. The loss will be healed.

    We live in hope of the resurrection.

    The last enemy to be destroyed, is death.

  20. CryptoHunterJD responds:


    I am sorry to hear of your loss, and the illness in your family. I do not know why there seems to be clusters of illness or passings, but I have seen it among my friends and relatives.

    Cancer is a common cause of death in both sides of my family. It has caused me to be active in the American Cancer Society, and volunteer my time at the annual Relay for Life in my community. It helps me to remember the family who have passed from cancer, to support the one who is still fighting cancer, and the hope that someday we will find a cure.

    May God be with you and your family during these difficult times.

  21. sausage1 responds:

    Condolences and best wishes to your and your family, Loren.

  22. mystery_man responds:

    Wow, this is absolutely shocking news. I can’t even fathom the pain you must be going through. My heart goes out to you, Loren. Nobody should have to go through this sort of thing. Just remember that everyone on this site is here for you and we support you.

    Some of the comments above are genuinely touching, and it gives me great happiness that so many people are pouring out such heartfelt things. What a great bunch of people.

    My deepest sympathies and condolences to you, Loren

  23. DWA responds:

    Thank you for keeping something important going.

    Condolences and hope for whatever peace lies at the center of storms like this.

  24. Ole Bub responds:


    Sorry to hear of your losses…only time and reflection will assuage your sorrow.

    I will pray for Jerry’s full recovery.

    God Bless you and your family in these trying times.

    Live and let live…

    Steve Summar

  25. jerrywayne responds:

    Kind host,

    Tragedy compounded, but do not become despairing. Remember, you have a very large family; a cyber family of folks you have never met personally. They are with you; you and your family are in their thoughts.

  26. Huntress responds:

    So sorry to hear that you have had another loss. My deepest sympathies to you and yours.

  27. Maine Crypto responds:

    As you can see by all of the fond wishes posted above, you are truly cared about. My heart goes out to you and your family. From the brief time that we meet, I could tell that you are a genuine person, as I had gathered from your posts. All of us, the ones who have meet you as well as those who now hold a special place for you in their hearts, you have, and will continue to change lives. My prayers are with you.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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