My mother died of cancer when I was 25. The six months that contained the-rest-of-her-life were both fleeting and excruciatingly long. The good days snapped shut like the shutter on a camera. The bad days were months long. On the bad days, we howled at the moon: How much longer can we go on like this? When she died, in a hospital, against both of our wishes, she had been captive there for weeks. I felt powerless to a doctor who refused to return my phone calls and a disease that didn’t care what we wanted.
Afterward, I searched for answers: What did it all mean, and what was I going to do with the rest of my life? To find them, I quit my job, I severed relationships, and I moved back home to New York, a place that was at once familiar and entirely new. I was starting fresh—or something. The truth was I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just wanted to begin again. Read More