That line flashes through my mind when I think of Alan Rickman and David Bowie. Both 69 years old, both died of cancer less than a week ago. I didn’t know either one of them was ill. Did you???
And that’s really the subject of my post. Take Bowie, eighteen months, that’s how long he had been battling cancer or in plain English, preparing to die. Quietly, out of the limelight, by choice.
How do they do it? These are people I’ve never met personally and yet I feel like I’ve known them most of my adult life. Especially Bowie. I can only imagine what went through his wife’s mind and soul during the months leading to his death. Obviously, MUM was the word of the day, every day for eighteen months. Pause on that for a minute.
I’m always astonished by the strength people manifest in death. I ask myself if I could be so stoic. Frankly I don’t know the answer.
And I’m thinking about my sister Augusta. She died of cancer and for over eighteen months, mum was the word. You see, my sister was a healer, some of you are now rolling their eyes, believe me I did it too at first. No, she didn’t wake up one morning and decided to hang a plaque outside her door that said Augusta The Healer.
She had a gift and just to make sure she went to India to study and test her gift. By then she was approaching her forties and had grown kids. When she came back she opened her studio, it’s still there, providing massages and meditation, but without Augusta. When she was diagnosed with cancer she was devastated, how can she help others if she couldn’t help herself? Our little town offers little regarding health and wellness. Her doctor of choice was out of our province, she traveled, she pushed on. When she lost her hair, she wore a wig. It was at about that time I visited home and I went to a rather elaborated party with her and was amazed at the reaction from people she had never met before who all wanted to talk to her. My little sister, who knew??? She’s gone now. To the outside world her death was sudden. To us it had been a slow bleeding that still lingers. And after many years, when I visit her grave it’s always covered with fresh flowers, candles and personal notes from the strangers whose lives she touched.