Early this morning I went to the city crematorium to say goodbye to my mother, who’d died four days ago. She’d been diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago, but back then had responded well to the treatment. This summer, though, after some alarming symptoms the doctors found that she’d developed metastases in the brain and several other organs. They fought the symptoms with radiation first and then chemotherapy, which worked relatively well for a while, but it was clear from the beginning that she would lose this fight, and sooner rather than later.
I don’t usually write things here that are this personal. I don’t have this blog in order to share my life with the world at large. However, even if it’s usually about films, books or video games, the blog is where I express my thoughts and feelings.
My mother was an important part of my life. We weren’t necessarily all that close, although most likely I was the family member who was closest to her. Even like this, though, we didn’t talk much about her illness and even less about where it would take her. We had one conversation about the possibility of her death and what would follow afterwards. No, we didn’t talk about the notion of an afterlife or about God or resurrection or any of these things, but we talked about the memorial service. (Her main wish, very typically of her, was that it shouldn’t cost too much.)
Was I of any comfort to her during the last few months and weeks? I don’t know. I hope that I was as much of a comfort as was possible to her, but it’s clear to me that her main comfort towards the end was morphine in large amounts. I hope that I did as much for her as she would let me do. I hope that she suffered as little as possible. I hope that I will honour her with my memory – that I’ll understand what that means and that I’ll do it.