My parents came over and they seemed relatively okay, although my mother was not comfortable about her chemotherapy. And not just because chemo does not make one comfortable in general!
She said as much herself:
“I am so ugly.” With reference to her hair loss (replaced by a very fine and realistic wig, by the way).
I feel a lot is still unsaid about this issue, and that this road of chemo is in an odd way a road that makes my mother feel … ill. Lost. Outside of life, so to speak.
I suspected as much.
Even if she is not ill. Even if she is doing it only as an extra security, after many hard considerations.
I think the only way here is to gently remind her that as far as everyone knows there is a future now. This is not the illness, although it may feel like that.
This is not even a shut-out from life, although it may feel like that.
It is just a choice, to do something particular for – all things considered – a valid reason.
It is hard, yes, but it is just that – nothing more.
And she is not ill. She does not have cancer. She has a future.
She has just chosen this way of continuing into that future.
Now we have to help her imagine it.
Is it her future as a grandmother?
As a traveler?
As a musician?
As a wise-woman for the next generation?
Yes, you could laugh and maybe she will, if she knew. But we have to insist on shaping our future, in our minds and seeing all the very real and best possibilities, without resort to metaphysics. And knowing perfectly well and accepting age.
But still seeing the future, for what it could be. Not for what we fear it will not be.
And we have to help each other do that. Day in and day out. All of us.