Last night I dreamed of you, Sandra: you were sitting at the bottom of a wide marble stairway that ended in the clouds. You had your eternal smile on your face and your hair was long with colored braids like it was when I met you at the beginning of your Reiki sessions, before chemo. You were wearing one of those long hippie skirts that you like and talked and talked calmly with a dreamy look in your eyes and your little girl’s voice.
At first I thought “she looks great, maybe she feels better now!” Then I realized it was just the image of your soul that, unlike your body, was never ravaged by the illness. Your soul, Sandra, was always powerful, glowing until the end.
I still remember one of the last Reiki sessions that I gave you: you were very weak and tired, but the first thing you told me when I stepped into your house was “I am so sick and tired of this illness that I would pull my hair up! Oh, wait! I can’t! I’m bald!! “And we both burst out laughing! Your oncologist was bowled over by your jokes about cancer, she was not used to that dark sense of humor. Like the day when you complained about the fact that the radiotherapy helmet had made all your hair fall, except for a little tuft at the nape that looked like a mustache. “I will draw a mouth and a nose on the back my head, so it will look like I have two faces.” You joked about everything! You said that life isn’t worth it if we don’t laugh from time to time.
I thought I knew how to feel grateful and push my limits, but then you came to my life and gave me a masterclass, my dear. A simple thank you was not enough for you: you kissed us and hugged us a thousand times before and after each session because you wanted to make absolutely clear how much you appreciated our work. If you were tired or in pain you would come to the sessions anyway, nothing would stop you “If I die because of this illness, I will die on my feet!”
You tried all the treatments, no matter how much it cost you physically and spiritually: “I have a 10-year-old son and I’ll do everything that’s in my hands to stay alive as long as I can”. And so you did. Sometimes we couldn’t understand where you got the strength to keep standing from, but I suppose that child was the answer to all the questions.
At the end of the dream you got up and, before climbing the stairs, you promised me something, remember? You told me that you would come back and kick me in the ass every time I stumbled in doubt or forgot to be grateful for everything I have. I’m counting on it, okay? Don’t forget! Cross the border from time to time to remind me of your legacy, my dear.So long, Sandra!
Cover picture by Fabrice Van Opdenbosch