I've been laid out for the past couple of days with a bout of intestinal nastiness. Nothing like an icky little virus, and accompanying blinding headache, to force you to pause and reflect. I've been on a bit of a downward trajectory lately (lately??, for awhile now), and Mom visiting didn't help. Or maybe it did, since it was good to see her, and the things going on in her life help bring my problems into focus. And then I saw this photo series thanks to Dooce, which broke my heart and made me cry, and think, and cry. Most of these men and women died of cancer, most of them look pretty healthy, some of them seem very young. I guess I'm preparing myself for the inevitable. Mom is 69, which isn't young, and she isn't taking the usual steps to control her cancer, and while she believes in miracles, I have my doubts. She's lived her life continuously procrastinating, denying, and avoiding, mostly to her detriment; why would I think she would treat dying any differently?
It's interesting when I find themes from my life echoing in the wider world, but then, there is always a commonality of experience. I'm not afraid of death, I'm afraid of how I'll feel when Mom dies. I don't want to hurt, don't want to grieve, don't want to clean up the mess she'll leave behind. And thinking about these things isn't easy, and makes me face up to how and what I've been doing with my life. It's not a particularly great assessment. But that can change, and I really need change right now.