This Groundhog Day I get to relive the day my mom died in 2011. I stayed in her room overnight on 1 February, and she died early the next morning. My sisters were already on their way back to the hospital. I suppose I could have called them on their cellphones, but I didn’t see the point. They walked into the room less than five minutes after she died and I got to tell them the news.
As I’ve noted, there was a certain symmetry to this. My sisters were present when my father died in 2000. My mom and I were in route to the hospital. I signed some legal document at the wrongful death lawyer office, as the correspondent of her death, as I was for my father – the joy of being the oldest. The hospital contacted the funeral home, and eventually we went home, shortly after noon.
As it turned out, I had written a blog post, a few days earlier, about my mom’s stroke and me taking the train to Charlotte. Eventually, I checked my email. Denise Nesbitt, the doyenne of ABC Wednesday asked how my mom was. I told her that Mom had died.
She must have shared the news somewhere. Within 15 minutes, I started getting comments that switched from hoping my mom was getting better to condolences regarding her loss. I suppose it’s bizarre to note it’s the post for which I received the greatest number of comments.
I was reminded of this article, Please read this before you post another RIP on social media. The piece doesn’t apply to my situation, but it was nevertheless instructive.
In fact, my grief was documented in several posts that month. My sisters and I have to write an obituary? Post it on the blog. We have to come up with the program? More blog fodder. I still remember someone referred to me as “dispassionate” because I was doing one post in my Joe Friday mode. “Just the facts.” It was/is my coping mechanism.
I’ve been dealing with death for a long time, it seems. My father’s mom Agatha died when I was nine; she lived upstairs from us. My mom’s maternal aunt Deana passed when I was 11; I saw her almost daily. Agatha taught me canasta, which I taught to Deana. I was very fond of both of them.
Groundhog Day is the day I relive when my mom died. I think about how I’m now an Orphaned Adult, a book I recommend, BTW.