Betty's tragic and terminal lung cancer diagnosis last night broke my heart into a million little pieces. I've spent all day reflecting on her life, and upcoming death, gearing up for the loss of maybe my favorite character, and favorite show. Her death has been foreshadowed in prior episodes, chronological order
  1. Betty's own mother's death, Season 1, Episode 2, "Ladies Room"
    One of the first intimate pieces of information we get regarding Betty Draper is that her mother passed away (from cancer) two months before Mad Men begins. Betty tells Mona this in the Ladies Room while her hands are too shaky to apply her lipstick. Betty suffers throughout the first season with her mother's death.
  2. Betty's dad, Gene, scolds Betty for smoking Season 3, Episode 4, "The Arrangements"
    Gene dies later this episode. Betty and Gene sit down in the Draper kitchen to discuss his funeral arrangements. Betty goes to light a cigarette and he reaches over and stops her, saying "I don't like watching you commit suicide. Neither do your kids." Betty calls her fathers prolonging of the conversation "selfish and morbid," which is in line with the concise -and calculated way she deals with her own death with Sally in last nights episode.
  3. Anna Draper's death, Season 4, Episode 7, "The Suitcase"
    Don is visited by Anna Draper's ghost in his dreams, the next morning he finds out that cancer has taken her life. In the following episodes we find out Anna donated her body to science.
  4. Betty's cancer scare in Season 5, Episode 3, "Tea Leaves"
    We meet fat Betty in this episode. A doctor finds a possibly cancerous lump in Betty's throat. She calls Don, who reassures her. (I am getting this from Wikipedia, trying to rephrase but they say it well). Betty thinks about what dying would do to her young children. How could we have known then that Betty's Tea Leaf reading would be so tragic?
  5. Sally's classmate's mother dies, Season 7, Episode 2, "A Day's Work"
    Sally and her friends morbidly joke about wishing their mothers would die, Sally says "I'd stay here [boarding school] till 1975 if I could get Betty in the ground."