Book Review: Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery

Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery
Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery by Jane Lazarre
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of several “uncorrected page proofs” I received as an intern at Duke University Press in the late 90’s. I’m looking to give them away to friends now, so I’m trying to (finally) read at least a bit of each of them.

Many times, I found this memoir too personal for me. I felt surprised and uncomfortable by just how much Lazarre was revealing about her inner thoughts, her dreams, her therapy sessions. Read More

More Waiting

Still no new news about my aunt. Which in itself is something of a relief since there’s only one piece of news we’re expecting.

She’s in the hospital receiving “Comfort Care.” She’s not lucid, although it’s not clear to us if that’s from the condition of her body or from the large amounts of painkillers she’s on. We’re waiting and then feeling bad when we think about what we’re waiting for.

She’s forty-nine years old, the seventh of eight children and the youngest of the six girls in the family. We estimate that things may have started as long ago as ten years when she first found the lumps in her breast. She said they were cysts. But given that she’s not had medical insurance in years because she and my uncle own their own business and can’t afford it, we suspect now that this was an incorrect self-diagnosis and that the disease has just been progressing and spreading since then.

I wonder how often doctors today get to witness the results of a disease like breast cancer running its course with no treatment whatsoever. When she entered the hospital last night, they were surprised that she was still alive, given her condition.

I find that I’m taking a lot of comfort in my children. Their cuteness and their cuddles help a lot. Both have been extra sensitive today, crying more readily than usual. I wonder how much of this is their reaction to my pent-up and confused emotions.

I’m still waiting to figure out how to feel.

I feel like I’m in a kind of limbo-world, a realm no longer under the protection of ignorance but not yet in the place where the story is done and the narrative can be written.