I thought the day my Mom died was the worst day. Or possibly the day before that was the worst, when we all realized for the first time she wasn’t going to make it. Or possibly the day before that when I watched her struggling in the hospital, her left side paralyzed, barely able to talk and not able to open her eyes. We still had hope, then, and were preparing ourselves for a long, hard recovery for her. Or maybe the worst day was a day and a half after she died, when we had to go to the funeral home to discuss…terrible things. Or maybe two weeks after that when we had the memorial service.
Strangely enough, I feel like I’ve just now entered the worst days. Now that the business end of things is mostly over, the planning for the memorial service is now past. In the quiet of these last few days, I feel like I’m just now realizing. This is forever.
I can never touch my Mom again. I can never hold her hand. I can never give her a hug. I can never talk to her again. Ever. Forever. Every single day for the rest of my life will be without her. And it’s a shock to my system over and over, every day.
The only thing I could compare it to would be losing a limb. The initial shock and pain would be terrible. And the immediate concern would be the business of stopping the blood, getting through surgery and medicating for the infection and pain. But you’re busy with that, while you’re laid up in bed, dealing with immediate problems and coming to terms with the loss of your limb, which hypothetically, you can deal with. But the real work, the real pain comes later. When you’ve gotten through those first several days of just surviving. Then you have to learn to function without it, get up, use the rest of your limbs…but always remembering the lost one. Finally ACTUALLY realizing what it means to live without the limb you lost, how difficult your life will be now, how it will change literally everything about how you get through your day. Those are the hard days.
There are barely more than a couple minute reprieves in my day. Sometimes I really do get distracted, my mind focuses on something else for just a brief moment. But then I remember. It’s constant, it aches…and it wells up in me so intensely sometimes that I feel my heart is going to explode into a million pieces of pain and grief.
I feel like we got through those first few days and were able to let go of my Mom because we could see her there physically, hurting, and we knew it was going to happen and we wanted her to go peacefully and we had to force ourselves to deal with that situation. But the afterward…to face every day, feels like it’s a giant open wound. The initial cut hurt terribly, but the sprinkle of salt of realizing this is forever all day long feeds into that red, slick and raw space in my heart and it is terrible.
I just want my Mom. I want her back. I want to talk to her and I want to hug her and tell her I love her. I want her so bad. I want my Mom.