The Big C Club

I have had rather sparse nocturnal dreaming of late until last night. Last night I dreamed of a former neighbour. He and his wife lived in the big farmhouse and we lived in the farm cottages. Our postal addresses and postcodes were very similar, and we often used to get parcels meant for them.

Back when I was doing private tutoring, I had my cancer diagnosis. It came after / during the exams in 2015 and I had several months off tutoring until the autumn term.  I did not tell my clients that I had had major surgery and it transpired that at least two of them, both women, were also members of the big C club. Around the age of 50 the incidence increases. Part of the reason for me being employed was to help with the emotional fall out of cancer.  One of them was very upfront about cancer and I was able to say, snap. The other was much less so, her hair started falling out and it wasn’t until the following exam season that her son told me what was going on. I offered to talk with them if they wanted to, but they did not take me up.

Not long after my operation I was walking to my quiet spot in a nearby wood. It is / was a spot where I would go to attune and meditate. On the way there I met my neighbour’s wife and her daughter. They both used to route march around the countryside. We stopped to talk, and she asked how I was. I explained to her that I had not long had surgery for cancer. Normally I would have just said not too bad or some such but for whatever reason I told her. At the time it seemed somehow fated.

It turned out that not long after our meeting she had a diagnosis of an advanced and aggressive form of cancer. When the MacMillan nurses came to visit her, they would often knock on our door in error. It was a bit freaky for me to have the MacMillan nurses coming to visit. Once they got into routine, they stopped knocking. I went to her funeral a couple of years later. That again is a bit odd. People knew that I too had been a club member, there was a lot unspoken.

Whilst all of this was going on my father-in-law was dying of prostate cancer. The wife had a lot on her plate… Visiting him in a terminal care hospice was also a little freaky. I did a full Phowa transition ceremony for him and a lesser version for my neighbour.

After his wife died the neighbour sold the big house and moved nearer to his daughters. He would still on occasion drive up, park in the farmyard and take his dog for a walk in the woods. We would meet him occasionally in Café Nero in town. He must have walked those woods for decades.

In the dream last night, I understood him to have passed. So, I will shortly do an Amitabha blessing for him.

Strange and completely out of the blue.