I finished reading The End of Your Life Book Club last night right before I turned off my light. I wanted to read it not only for the list of books the son and his mom read, but I now realize as a "dress rehearsal", in some ways, of my own mom's death. I know it's coming--just like Will, his mom, and their entire family did.
Will's mom had pancreatic cancer--mom does not--and I just wanted to accompany them on their journey and try to feel what they felt. In that sense, I was successful, because last night I fought death in my dreams like Tarzan with that damn crocodile. I woke up this morning exhausted, and after some coffee and a good shower, I am laughing over what a total goof ball my subconscious mind was to think I could somehow rehearse mom's death. What I'm really running from is the pain--not the death. I can try all I want but I already know I can't out run my feelings. Nobody can. I just got the feelings part and death part, mixed up.
Their book club together allowed them to talk about something they both loved--the written word--at a time when talking about anything can become very difficult. Family members often don't know what to say, whether to say anything, when to say it, how to say it, etc. Will referenced a book on dying, Etiquette of Illness, that he found helpful in negotiating the dying minefield with someone you love.
Will's mom was coherent almost to the end until she slipped into a coma. At the end, right before the coma begins, she repeats several times "It is what it is", and I almost lost it. Mom used to say that all the time.