Saturday, November 6, 2010

the day

     The day my mom died. Every one has seen it in the movies, someone dying, but its not like that. Its not noble or dramatic or sweet sadness, its ugly, uncontrollable, and is like something is ripped away from you with hidden power you didn't know existed. And I think it is like that for the person dying as well as those who were close to them.
     It was just another day, mom had been having a rough few weeks, she had lost weight and was in bed a lot, but she would have good days when she was up and eating and hanging around in the house, and bad days when she was in bed and didnt talk much. On those days it was like she wasnt really asleep and resting, but just sort of out of it, not making an effort to do anything. We knew she was getting worse, but I still hoped that she would fight her way out of it. But today she was really out of it. She was awake sometimes and would look at me and I would know she was seeing me, but no smile of recognition, no sign of her being able to rest from what she was fighting. Her breathing had gotten sort of hoarse and she looked tired and cold.
     In the early afternoon dad called her doctor, who came by the house and looked at her, and then talked to my dad for a while. After he left Dad called my brother and sister and told them to come to the house.
    By late afternoon is was obvious that something was wrong, she had not been at all really conscious and aware at all of her surroundings since morning. She seemed to be awake, but not really.
     We were all in the bedroom, Dad on the bed with her, sometimes gently saying things to her and stroking her hair. Shelly on a chair on dad's side, by brother on the foot of the bed and me on moms side. She wasnt awake and not asleep, but it was like she was dreaming, and figgiting. Her eyes would move around, looking, sometimes open, sometimes closed, but not recognizing anything we were. Then for a while she was relaxed and seemed asleep, breathing deeply and calm. We all relaxed and just hung out in the room. It was good to see her calm, she seemed to have been fighting so much. We snacked and dad had some classical music on, Bach, moms fav.
     Then she sort of woke with a couple of quick breaths and seemed to be reaching for my dad, who took hold of her, holding her to him. She seemed to be fighting, tense, but breathing slow and shallow, not really conscious, and then she wasnt breathing.
    And in the next moment, oh god, I knew that all the things I ever should have said to her, done for her, asked her, were lost  forever in a way I had never felt before. I suddenly realized what was now gone from my life. A gigantic hole, or more like a gigantic place where nothing could ever be again. Mom wasnt anymore. I'm crying now writing this, but not the way I was then, so deep and hopeless and lost.
     Dad layed with her sobbing, we were all sobbing. There was nothing else to do.  I layed on the bed next to her to and touched her hand for a moment, but SHE WASNT THERE. Oh god.

    It seemed like hours or maybe minutes, it was like a dream you couldnt wake up from, but Dad got up and called the doctor again and called the funeral home. An hour later a van came and they put her in a bag and took her out on a wheeled thing. Mom in a bag on a cart, except she wasnt mom anymore, just something to be taken away. I remember watching them push her through the living room and out the door, and hearing the van leave. I felt like I didnt know who I was or where I was. We all went to sleep later without eating.
     Next day waking up was strange, it only took seconds to remember she was gone, and going out into the house knowing that I couldnt find her if I looked. I started coffee and bacon and pancakes, waffles are fun food. I remember thinking how disrespectful it would be to make waffles. I scrambled eggs, and people woke and came in the kitchen. I think we all cried silently off and on and ate quietly, drank coffee, looked out the windows.
    Dad showered and dressed after a while and left to go to the funeral home, moms doc was a family friend and they met there and drove behind the van to take mom to the crematorium. Mom was funny, when ever death came up, like years before, she always joked and insisted that we burn her and not embalm her, and if we didnt do as she said she would come back and haunt us. I wish she would.
    Dad said that he made sure she was (she? there was nothing of her left but a dead body), she was treated right and that he saw her go into the chamber and the flames start. Then he left and came home. The next day he went back and brought back a little square plastic box with a bag in it that was what was left.
     We took that, her?, up to our vacation house on the coast the next weekend and threw parts of it on her favorite beach, and some into some flower beds in the botanical gardens. She had said to. Funny, its not ashes, they dont blow in the wind, more like sand and chunks, but we spread her out like she had wanted. I dont know if she was there or what. I had always though that I would be able to tell if she was, and she said she would, but its blank for me. I want it so much too, some sign of her. Some life of her still. But nothing.
     Its sunny cloudy right now with the softest of breeze, not cold, nice day for a walk. It feels funny to post this story of such a sad thing, on what could be a nice relaxing saturday. I have too. I am going for a walk now.

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