Journeying in the Dark

So here I am sitting on a dark coach surrounded by strangers heading out of London to Stansted Airport. One woman is having a loud conversation on her mobile ‘phone; most people are murmuring or silent. From the voices in the queue outside Liverpool Street station, I am guessing quite a few are heading for flights home after a long weekend here.
I don’t know if any of them will be heading to stand 24 to catch the next coach as me.
On and off today I have felt tearful. The lump has not been in my throat but in my chest. Aunt’s death, when it comes, will hardly be a surprise; she got her diagnosis of terminal cancer eleven months ago. Then the likelihood was that she would not live to see the autumn, and that old age or underlying health problems would be the cause of her death rather than the cancer.
Her defiance of that prognosis, so long a victory to celebrate, is now something of a double edged sword. The cancer is eroding her, humbling her, making her last days a trial.
This morning the specialist nurse said she might need to move to the hospice. That is not what she wants, I said. To be at home with her friends able to visit her easily, that has been her expressed wish since the start. The hospice is at a distance. Many of Aunt’s friends are elderly. If she moves they will be dependent on others to take them. It doesn’t take a genius to work out she’d see them less, that she’d die in unfamiliar surroundings among kind strangers. That’s not something I could wish for her.

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7 thoughts on “Journeying in the Dark

  1. Isobel, I am sorry to read of the proposed move for your aunt. Isn’t there a visiting hospice? Hope so. I just couldn’t click the “like” on your thoughtful and sad post. Sending words of encouragement for a difficult situation. Thinking of you.

    • That’s a question I can’t answer Ruth. I had always understood that was the plan. Why it should have changed is a mystery. Maybe tomorrow will bring some enlightenment.

  2. Take care of yourself Isobel. It’s a heavy load you’re carrying, and not one that is easy to put down in between times. I hope you won’t think me flippant if I say the heavenly taxi is overdue at two Suffolk locations right now. Hope it’s on it’s way…

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