Liked The Last Days of George Orwell by an author (Literary Hub)
Nineteen Eighty-Four was due out in June. Terrified by its dystopian reality, his publisher told Muggeridge that booksellers who read it claimed to be too scared to sleep at night
From Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time. Courtesy of Knopf. Copyright © 2018 by Hilary Spurling.
Replied to Talking about dying by jennymackness (Jenny Connected)
Having watched ‘Awakenings’ I think I should have had more faith that she could ‘hear me’. I remember on the day before she died the District Nurse told me to go and sit with my mother and talk to her. I felt awkward about this. I hadn’t had a conversation with my mother, or really talked to her, for years. But I did what the nurse told me to and the last thing I said to my mother was that she was not to worry, she would not be moved from her home into a hospital (her wish was always to die in her own home) and she would not be left alone. At the time I wondered whether she had heard or understood me, but now, with hindsight, I think that she did, and that she knew I was her daughter and was reassured that she would die at home. My regret is that I didn’t talk to her more during her last weeks.
Thank you for sharing Jenny.

I think that I was probably in denial as I watched my mother die of cancer. The biggest shock was the body transformation. I cannot think of any film (I have not seen Awakenings) that authentically reflects this. Maybe I was naive? Not sure what I did expect. Was a challenge none the less.

Something that you might be interested in (if you have not already come upon it in the past) is this podcast capturing Sacks’ last days:



One of the most moving things I have listened to.
Liked HEWN, No. 269 by Audrey Watters (Hack Education Weekly Newsletter)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I can be struck – deeply struck – by the loss of a celebrity. Like the loss of Carrie Fisher and Prince in 2016, this one hit me hard. We tend to attach a lot of meaning to stars – and not just the meaning that Hollywood star systems and the like hope we will. Stars matter because they are inspirational and aspirational, and even when they are larger-than-life, they are, in the end, fragile and human. They live and breathe and love and suffer and die like the rest of us.
Replied to Memento Mori: Learning about life, by knowing you will die (W. Ian O'Byrne)
One of the things that I do believe, and most people do not understand, is that most of the wonderful things I have in my life are present because of my mother’s death. Most of my large family comes from my father remarrying. Events in my life have unfolded to put me in certain places in certain times.
Sorry to hear your loss Ian.

I really enjoyed your reflectoon. It has certainly led me to think a little more deeply. I was particularly taken by your point about your mother’s death defining you in so many ways. I think that can also be said about a lot of those life choices not just death. Being the grandson of a European refugee who fled Communist Czechoslovakia, I am often left wondering what if, only to realise that there is no what if, just what.

Thanks you again for sharing.

Aaron

Replied to Death is a friend of life by jennymackness (Jenny Connected)
Iain McGilchrist’s stress on the importance of poetry, music and presence at a time of the death of someone you love, or indeed of anyone, resonated with me. I am fortunate to know at least two people who really understand this. As many testified at her death, my mother was unique. Had she not existed there would be a Betty-shaped hole in the Universe.
My sincere condolences Jenny. Sadly, death seems to be a topic of reflection at the moment.

Your post has me reflecting on the death of my mother. Although it maybe a part of life, I am not sure I was willing to accept death. I naively thought she would be around seemingly forever. I remember missing our last moment together:

My last real one to one chat happened when I was least expecting it. With my step dad out picking up my brother and sister from school, I had a few moments with my mum. All of the sudden the tone of the conversation changed from being chatty, talking about this and that, but nothing in particular, to being more serious. I am not sure if it was something that I said or whether it was something that mum was just waiting to say, but she learnt forward from the couch and told me that I was a great brother, an amazing son and a fantastic husband and that I should not listen to anyone who says otherwise. In my usual manner, I tried to dodge these compliments. Like my mum, I just don’t like being pumped up. However, it didn’t occur to my till much later that these were mum’s last meaningful words for me. Although we had a few more conversations, none of them were as deep as this moment.

I am not sure how I thought she would pass, but no-one and definitely no movie prepared me the change and transformation associated with cancer.

I find your mention of music interesting. My sister and I played Miley Cyrus’ The Climb over and over in our last night with my mother as she lay there slowing passing. I remember the track playing randomly on my phone in class one day. I had to check myself, let alone somehow explain why I had Miley Cyrus on my phone to a bunch of teens.

Thank you Jenny for sharing.

Aaron