A Year Since Mom’s Passing
Posted on October 13, 2020
I knew a guy whose mother passed away when we were still in high school. We were never friends per se, but we’d gone to grade school together and knew of each other. I remember thinking how awful for him, and I couldn’t fathom losing either of my parents at that age. People do, though, and in many respects, I am lucky to have had mine as long as I did. I was 45 when my father passed and 48 when Mom did. This still feels too young to have lost them both.
I went silent for the most part after 2017, and especially after losing 90% of my previous blog posts. Just didn’t have it in me to start up again. I wasn’t sure either if I’d ever write another book either after losing Dad. I did. It’s dark, but a story I’m proud of. Mom never read it and I’m glad for that. Grandma didn’t either, though both read Falling Awake. Grandma preferred stories with happy endings. Mom wondered when I was going to start writing comedy again.
One of the things I did when Mom was in hospice is read to her. I read chunks of Falling Awake 3 to her, parts I thought she’d like, and parts she inspired. There’s a lot about a mother’s love in that story. Three mothers, and three children, and their very special relationships. The bond between mothers and sons is very special, and I wanted to celebrate that a bit.
But then she passed. I cried. My aunt cried. My mother’s friends cried. Ralph cried.
I did something after Mom’s passing she and I should have done after Dad’s. I went to a grief therapist. There’s no shame in it. I needed to talk, she got paid to listen, and Ralph didn’t have to put up with my inner monologues seeping out through my mouth. Win/win.
Are things back to normal? No. And that’s okay. I still haven’t finished going through Mom’s things. I still haven’t sold her house, though not for lack of trying. I still haven’t taken Dad’s and her ashes to their final resting place yet. Next year, I think. I watch movies and still catch myself thinking “I need to give this to Mom. She’ll love it!” I walk through Meijer near her house and remember the times I walked with her while she recovered from her first stroke. I pass places we went to during that time and remember back. A year hasn’t dulled the sharpness of the memories and they sometimes continue to cut like a hot knife through butter.
Her dog has taken up residence in our house and adapted much better than I thought he might. He hates not having the run of the place, hates not being allowed on the furniture or bed, and hates we don’t live for his luxury the same way Mom did. He gets over it, then gets crabby every once in a while. He also has an unerring knack for licking his privates far too frequently. Oh, and he snores too, by the way, but almost in a charming kind of way.
I sometimes feel Mom near me. I didn’t for a while, and I think it’s because she might have thought I didn’t want her to be, so I made sure to start talking to her each night before bed and tell her it’s okay. She heard me.
There are days I still feel like I’m sleepwalking through my waking hours. Still dazed. Still confused. Then there are other times life holds me spellbound. I’m not where I want to be in life. I’m not where I thought I’d be. But that place where I thought I’d be? The place that exists in my head? It’s somewhere else in time and far beyond my reach.
So here I am. One year later. Still recovering. In a place I didn’t think I’d be. And that’s okay. Some journeys end. Some continue on. There’s a Chinese saying; some people build walls when the winds of change blow, and other people build windmills. I built a few too many walls.
Maybe it’s time to try building a windmill.