I try to make sense of her sudden absence but every hour, every minute, brings some new and usually terrifying development
- This is part of a series of essays by Australian writers responding to the challenges of 2020
A week into March my mother, Denise, texted to say she was back in hospital. It wasn’t a surprise: she’d been in and out for months, caught in an exhausting and often traumatic cycle of release and relapse as her cancer worsened. This time it was different. The week before she’d been admitted twice as a result of intestinal blockages caused by tumours and adhesions from previous surgeries. She was now so weak it was obvious things could not go on as they were. The next day doctors told her they were going to discontinue treatment. There was nothing left to be done.
Because she had been sick for so long, and had survived so many crises already, it was difficult to believe we were finally at the end.