My mom died on Groundhog’s Day. It was 11 years ago, in 2011. Now, it’s 2022. A lot of repeating numbers. It was a Wednesday. Today is Wednesday.
On one hand, of course, her passing is a singular event. Looking back at my blog posts from February 2011, specifically 2, 3, 6, 9, 16, and 27, and subsequently, I had the need to write more about that time than possibly any other. The death of my dad in 2000, before the start of this blog, has been discussed, but retrospectively.
The day before, I had arrived in Charlotte, NC. Leslie was already there and Marcia lived there. They said that mom was doing better than she had been since she entered the hospital the previous Friday. I had heard that people often seem to rally a bit before they die, but I saw no reason to mention that to my sisters.
I slept in a chair, or maybe two, in my mother’s room. About an hour after she had awakened, she sounded as though she were suffocating. So I buzzed the nurse and this army of folks descended on the room. Someone noted to me in a scolding tone that she had a DNR, Do Not Resuscitate. Yes, I knew that.
I wasn’t trying to get her rescued, just to make she wasn’t uncomfortable. To myself, but not to the medical personnel, I muttered, “Sorry, I am not savvy on the stages just before death. This is my first one.”
And, in fact, when she did pass away, I was unaware until someone told me. My sisters were en route, so there was no point in calling them. When they arrived about ten minutes later, one noted that she looked peaceful and comfortable. I got to break the news. I signed some paperwork, as I did for dad. Then there seemed to be this rush for us to identify a funeral home to send her body to. This made me cranky too.
I can recall my emotions to the response to my February 2 post. I had written about four days earlier that I was going to Take The Train To Charlotte after my mother’s stroke. So the early comments were of the “I hope your mom gets better” variety. But after I told Denise Nesbitt via email that Mom had passed, she clearly circulated the news. If I want to cry Right Now, I can just read the later comments.
Now, I feel like an Orphaned Adult but that happened and is now just IS. Life post-parents have allowed my siblings and me to have more honest conversations about the ‘rents.
So when Mom died on Groundhog’s Day, it was a long time ago. And it was last week. One of those funeral parlor quotes, which I suppose I’d normally find overly sentimentalized, I somehow like right now. “There is a link death cannot sever. Love and remembrance last forever.”