Somewhere between living and dying

So my life partner is dying with cancer. If the oncologist was right – back at the beginning of May – Kamalashila may live till August. This is me having checked this on the calendar, which is of course unspeakably strange and random. It is unclear when he will die. But it is likely it will happen sometime in the next few months. I am grateful we have this time for preparing for his death, for as much as we can. Hopefully we can soon leave the practical details behind so we can concentrate on what is really important. Which is? The first few weeks after the prognosis I was quite clear about it. Love. Love is what is most important. And being real. I still think that. But somehow there is also grief, dread of loss and riding with change. There is planning ahead for a life that comes to an end, and another life that will continue. I cannot think too much about what it will be like when he is not around anymore. There is so much vying for attention and so much to adapt to and accommodate. I try to accompany KS as best as I can and also look after myself. He doesn’t need much practical help at the moment. I also try to keep my own life afloat. Some things are too much for me now. I do not have a lot of energy for other people except for KS and myself. I am trying to figure out how to keep everything together between all of this living and dying.

I felt so much more clear and energetic just after all of this started: KS being checked into the hospital with hypercalcemia. He was put onto fluids immediately. I didn’t know at the time this was to save his life. Back then. A week longer with rising calcium levels and a less than optimal kidney function and it is likely he would have died before his birthday on 14 April. I went back and forth between home and hospital. A tumour was found the day after he was admitted to the hospital and put through a CT scanner. My life goes between these kind of facts about the cancer and a wide array of emotions, interspersed with pleasant intervals of nothing much happening. Sometimes grief is close to the surface, sometimes in the background and sometimes it is finding expression through tears that seem to start in my bones and well all the way up from my toes. My nervous system is holding up for now, but I need to find strategies to replenish, nourish, let go.

Yesterday I went to the Expressionists exhibition in the Tate Modern. I took more time with a Kandinsky and a Franz Marc. I allowed my heart to be moved and lifted. So beauty helps. What also helps is work, conversations with friends, talking to a therapist, baths, light reading, nature, walking, clothes shopping, meditation. Yoga would help, but I do not do enough of it. A friend suggested sports yesterday. I am contemplating swimming. And then I feel so fed up with doing, and having to do stuff. Writing also helps. It has always helped. But yet, I haven’t done much of it since this started. Hence this blog. To help me.

Kennington Park Rose Garden Early June 2024