I’ve had a message from Linda’s (Zig’s) daughters to say that she died last night. Sad as we all will be, we must not regret her death, only the awful illness that caused it. She was a wonderful woman, as all of you will know who read her blog, both in previous, happier times and more recently when she confronted her illness, hopes and fears with such bravery.
I couldn’t have done it – perhaps I could be stoical, but I couldn’t dare to hope as she did. She said to me, back in the summer, that she didn’t truly believe she was dying. It isn’t something your brain can comprehend, not really, she said. She had no religious faith but still hoped for a miracle, taking on all the medical intervention available to keep herself alive and active for as long as possible. The course of chemotherapy she started about five weeks ago was against all sensible odds, but she said that she couldn’t just lie there waiting to die. She would rather try and keep hoping, even if the medicine killed her.
Her friend Henrietta died earlier this year of the same cancer, unable to eat for the final six weeks. Effectively, she starved to death. That end was what Linda feared. She didn’t have it. In that respect, she died as she would have wanted to – except that she didn’t want to die.
The lovely people at the hospice cared for her wonderfully and her daughters are amazing. I don’t know how they have borne it all, but they gave Zig everything. They never cried, so we mustn’t either.
I’m so glad that Tim and I had lunch with her last Friday. They’ve been wanting to meet for so long, having known each other through blogging and through me – though they have both been here for a blog party, it was in different years. Linda was going to come here, complete with her whole menagerie, to spend the summer with me, but she needed another emergency operation and it was not possible. We both regretted that so much. Mig has been a wonderful friend to her and visited regularly, being an hour away. She had a lot of good friends, she was very much loved.