My apologies for not writing for awhile. For those of you who follow me regularly, you saw on my last post that my mom passed away 11 days ago. Grief is a wicked beast. I have only lost a couple people close to me in my life, which are my grandparents (and lots of pets). Losing my grandparents was horribly difficult because they basically raised me. My mom and dad divorced when I was 2 years old, so I always stayed with my grandma and grandpa while my mom worked. My grandpa was the closest person I ever had to a dad. Even when my mom got re-married, my grandpa was my guy. (I hated my step-dad.) My grandpa even gave me away at my wedding. He was the closest thing to a saint I’ve ever known. After my grandpa died, my grandma lived on for 9 years alone. She had macular degeneration and couldn’t see, but she carried on bravely. She truly amazed me. I talked to her at least once a week and I tell you, she and I could save the world! We had great conversations. My grandparents could have been President together and change everything. Ha ha! Losing them was really, really hard. But now losing my mom is even worse. Of course, I knew it was coming with my grandparents because they were sick. An entirely unexpected death like my mom’s is unimaginable. I don’t even have a word to describe how I feel. She was in the hospital for broken ribs. She never even called to tell me she had fallen and broken her ribs. Her husband told me she didn’t want to worry me. Really?! I probably would have flown down there to take care of her. I could have been there with her when she died. Apparently they were putting a brace on her ribs so she could go home, but she was having trouble breathing. They took her to the emergency room as a precaution and she had a heart attack. They were able to restart her heart twice and moved her to the ICU, but she never woke up. She had another heart attack and died. I hadn’t talked to her in 2 weeks and hadn’t seen her since January. My heart is broken in a million pieces and I just don’t know how to carry on from here.
Last Friday we flew to Florida to be with her husband and sort through her belongings. It’s the worst thing I have ever had to do. I looked through her closet for something that smelled like her and I just stood there and cried. I found a couple shirts and put them in a Ziploc bag so I could save the smell. I brought them home and put them in my hope chest. I sorted through her hope chest and through boxes and boxes of things she kept. She kept every piece of paper that she has ever had! She kept everything from my childhood. Much of it made me laugh really hard. There was a little slip of paper where I wrote “I swallowed my tooth, thank you”. I must have left it for the tooth fairy when I was a kid. I can’t believe she kept that. I kept it now too. She also kept a lot of unnecessary junk, so I had to throw it out because it was cluttering up her house. But, most importantly she had boxes full of letters, pictures, and journals from my grandpa and his parents. I have got my great-grandma’s journals dating back to 1923. I found a picture of my great-great-great grandma from 1908. How fabulous is that!! The sad part is that as I was looking through this stuff, I wanted to ask my mom who was in the pictures. Only she knows. Heaven really needs a telephone.
The morning after I found out my mom died, I had a dream that she was walking down a big marble hallway. She was presented a document to sign where she could come back as someone else, but she had to entirely forget her life and everyone in it, including me. I am her only child. She said no. Then as I woke up, I felt a breeze and a strong scent of my grandpa (he had a very distinct smell). I knew right there that she was with him and she was alright.
I don’t expect my grief to end anytime soon, but I sure wish it would. I really just wish this was all a bad dream and she would come back.