Normally, I think of something to write about here, knock off about five hundred words, and post it a few days later. I might change the odd word, maybe even add a sentence, but it goes out more or less the same. Four Visits to my Mother’s Deathbed is a projected longer piece of writing, more complex than I usually attempt. I want to make more than one draft, and more than tinker with the layout. It is a big subject for me. I was present when my mother died of cancer in 1996. She had had breast cancer seven years before, then bowel cancer, and finally liver cancer did for her: when they found chemotherapy was inhibiting growth of the tumour but not reducing it, she stopped chemotherapy.
Twice since then in a therapeutic or personal growth setting I have been taken back there, and the experience was different. She stopped in 1996, her life was a whole, but I carried on changing and growing, as did my understanding of her and attitude to her.
I want to write of the experience as it was, who I was then, and how I saw her; then of going back, and why, how I had changed and how my perception had changed; and finally making a new visit, how that could be and what it could mean. Themes interlink, and change subtly. How can I avoid repeating myself? Should I write chronologically or start in some other way? Creating a draft is exploring what happened, and also exploring who I am: I may change while writing, and want to capture that. I have changed and I want to express that. Should I interweave my visits or deal with one at a time?
I have just written a sketch for a fourth visit- what might going back look like now? What might I want from it? What meaning might it have? After writing that, I realise that imagining it for that sketch is different from doing it.
My goal is a complex piece of writing about four times in my life and my relationship with my mother who lives on in my mind, still forming me. Even writing it may change me. It is in response to the writing 201 challenge.