It will be two weeks tomorrow since we buried Mom.
I have gone back to work. I know it might seem to be too soon, but at work I have to pretend to be happy and pleasant. It’s a break from a day like today, where the only thing I accomplished was to clean the kitchen. I have been very good at keeping a clean kitchen since I got back from Florida. And making the bed, more or less.
Other than that, on days like today, I cry. In fact, I am sitting in a Starbucks (where else?) near work, tears silently coursing down my cheeks. In half an hour I will need to put my game face on and go make phone calls.
Intellectually, I know everybody grieves differently. I know that just “wishing it were over” or “wishing it didn’t hurt anymore” isn’t productive. I know that Mom was 87, that nobody lives forever, and that realistically, she had just about as easy a death as anyone could ever ask for. I don’t think I believe in God anymore, but Mom did. Part of me — the more or less good Catholic girl who went to the same church where Mom’s funeral was held — thinks that the manner of her death was the reward from a benevolent God who recognized a true and faithful servant. Then the nonbeliever kicks in and mentions that she was an elderly woman with occasional cardiac problems who had just contracted a respiratory infection. Given that, it would have been more surprising had she not died in bed.
There are few people I know who made such a difference to the people around her, in the small ways that never make the papers but which change the world. If there was an award for simply loving people — even at their most unloveable — they would have to retire the trophy with Mom’s name on it. She was a very good nurse for a reason; she cared for people deeply.
She was so… alive. It was very easy to forget how old she was. She seemed like she would be here forever.
I wish I could have another talk with her. But I know that that would never be enough: I would want another conversation after that, and another. I would wish that I would not have outlived her, except that would have caused her immeasurable pain. She had to bury a child years ago — no parent should have to go through that twice.
I want my Mom back, damn it.