April 30, 2016 my world crumbled. My mother died. Even as I type that, I wonder how it could be true. On April 23 she was fine…we were over with my uncle and she was doing her thing with lunch and cofee. How could she die a week later? How could we not have seen it coming then?
It was very sudden…10 hours by my count from when I was told 911 was called to the time she flatlined. This was very good for her, no suffering. But for my father, my 5 siblings, and me, not so easy. We were all in the room with her in the end, which I am thankful for. I do wish I had made it there in time to see her awake but I couldn’t.
It’s actually pretty easy to see how it couldn’t happen under our noses with no warning when I think about how my mother was. Everything was always about everyone else. She was worried about my father, not herself. So, if there were signs before like Rosie O’Donnell says—Hot, Exhausted, Pain, Pale, Puke (HEPPP)—then we would certainly have missed the first few. She would never tell us she was more exhausted than usual or that she was in pain. She had gotten pale, but she was 86 years old, had a cold at some point, and was thinner the past year or so than she had been, so it wasn’t completely abnormal for her to look that way…and in the end she did look bad enough to call 911…after she puked. But by then it was too late.
Like I said, I am thankful that she didn’t suffer. I am thankful that we had her wishes down on paper so she wasn’t kept alive with machines. But…well, but nothing I guess. She went peacefully the way she deserved to go and being thankful is the only appropriate way to be now. No matter how depressed I am.
As I muddle through the fog each day, trying to work and do what I need to do, I can’t help but think I’ll wake up soon and everything will be back to normal. But no, every day I am reminded that I can’t call her, I can’t see her, and she is no longer of the Earth with me. Every day I struggle to keep going. Sometimes someone will say something about her or something will happen that reminds me of her and the floodgate of tears opens anew. But the river that was so filled with them is getting a little lower, and each time the crying is shorter lived. I guess this means that I am through with steps 1–3 of grief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining. I am fully into step 4, Depression. Though I’m not sure I went through them all or if I even followed the order. I just know that I have not fully accepted it yet. I feel like I will never be the same. Nothing will. I go on, doing what I hope she would want me to do.
I love you Mommy. I hope you know how much. I hope I made you proud and will continue to do so.