18 months ago today, I lost my mum to kidney failure brought on through the chemo she recieved for her treatment of lung cancer - I was living in China at the time, today I am back in China living and teaching here.
She died a somewhat peaceful death - the kidney failure got to her before the cancer did and she died without pain. She lived her life and went to many place and was a month off 79 - we wished for more but we had no choice in the matter, the hardest thing about cancer and I think we can all agree, is that we all have to sit there and take it, without being able to do a damn thing about it - and that hurts - I remember on one of my runs screaming at the Chinese sky around midnight a few weeks before she passed to give her a few more years and take them off me - but nobody was listening and she left us a few weeks later without me getting to hug her that one final time.
If it wasn't for cancer... if it wasn't for COVID lockdowns, if it wasn't for the stupid, pointless, overlong Chinese lockdown which lead to the people here finally rebelling against the state... I could have seen my mum one more time but all of it, every single part of it, was out of my control, whatever I wanted to happen was beyond my powers.
18 months on, I am in a better place, so much has happened to me that I believe and I truly believe that my mum is with me, looking after me, advising me, guiding me and I still talk to her, still ask her advice and of course, I look like her so when I look in the mirror, there she is! The one thing I have learned is that death is part of life and that is something none of us can escape from, we lose people and we have to prepare for that eventuality, my own mother lost her parents whilst living 6000 miles away from them and she still went to work, still cooked us our tea, I don't remember being of any use except for saying a few sympathetic platitudes - my mum must have been in bits but she was stoic - probably unnecessarily so - looking back at the time, I wish I did more, said more but now I can take some direction from her on how to go on and live my life but the great thing is that I feel she is with me and know she is here and that she is part of me.
I am a teacher here, I can go into class and make jokes or conduct a class without breaking down or letting the bad memories overtake me, I am not a hard person at all, in fact, quite the opposite, I am a very emotional person but I can now live with the new reality and there is a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone who is about to go or is going through this, it will pass and the loved one you lost will still be a part of your life, your identity, your consciousness and they live on within you and around you in many ways, take care and be well.