Wednesday, October 9, 2013

such stuff as dreams

Earlier this evening my mom came into my room crying. She's been extremely emotional lately, crying often, and she was concerned tonight about me. She worries about what will happen to me when she's gone, and I would imagine she worries about those last moments--where she'll be, if I'll be there, if she'll be in pain, etc.

"I'd like to be sitting with you, drinking a glass of wine," she said. She hates wine, but I know the sentiment. She wants to meet death on her terms and that is a situation that very few of us are ever afforded. And so I briefly began to look at, for lack of a more pleasant yet concise term, euthanasia. Needless to say that didn't last very long. I like the idea of us both sitting down, saying "enough," and enjoying each others' company as it ends. But she's stubborn and I can't imagine her ever reaching a point where she has had enough. Were she in pain, yes, she would ask for relief, but I don't think she would consider that as accepting death.

It has taken her over a year to come to terms emotionally with her prognosis. She still has moments when she thinks she can "beat" it, but for the most part she acknowledges that this will kill her. It's a sudden wave for her. For me it has been a sea change, the slow ebb of the woman who was my mother.  I've had over a year to grieve, slowly, and in my own (surely unhealthy) way.

After writing the above I decided to look up the origin of the term "sea change." Wikipedia and Shakespeare...what would life be without them?

"Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
Into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
Hark! Now I hear them, ding-dong, bell."

-From The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2, here. The brief wiki article is here.

Appropriate I think.

Image: John William Waterhouse's "Miranda," 1875.

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