Mom died yesterday. Born: 3 Mar 1946. Died: 28 Feb 2021. She was almost 75 years old. She died from chronic and acute respiratory failure complicated by pneumonia and septic shock. It was a very quick decline. She was admitted to the hospital on Feb 13, stayed there for seven days, was home for six days where things continued to decline, and was admitted to the hospital on the 27th. She died in her sleep with my sister at her side on the 28th. It was as peaceful as it could be. Her heart slowed then stopped.
I am grateful my sister was there and was able to keep me and my brother informed. Grateful she was able to pass on our desperate “Tell Mom I love her”s. Grateful for the message back: “Mom said to say she loves you both as well.”
In truth, Mom has been declining since the new year. Hindsight is 20/20. She was more tired. Her arthritis prevented her from typing as much. Her calls were short and her DMs and emails shorter. It’s just over 18 months since Dad died. Over and over, Mom said the second year after Dad’s death was not as painful, but it was harder. My sister and I believe it’s because she was less numb.
I’m sitting here with a mess of emotions. Gratitude wars with rage and which is winning depends on the wind and a blink of an eye. The ping-pong of grief is about the size of a beach ball.
I’m so grateful that I got to have a good last trip in Nov 2019. We spent a couple of weeks bonding and getting to know each other once more. But she wanted to see me and the Husband again in 2020, because she didn’t know the Husband as well as she’d like to. She even set up the backroom specifically so it would be comfortable for couples....
But I didn’t go because I was being good and staying home like I was supposed to during the pandemic…
And I’m so angry that all the while there were people still going on fucking vacation to Hawaii or Las Vegas or whatever. Still spreading CoVid. I didn’t get to have that one last good trip when my Mom wasn’t grieving so much at the loss of Dad. And now the Husband is grieving because he liked my Mom, but couldn’t make it out in 2019 and now he will never have that chance.
But I’m grateful Mom had a fast decline rather than suffering. Grateful for her and Shannon. Grateful it was painless and she died in her sleep with gentle dignity and great faith.
Lather, rinse, repeat. So much anger. So much more gratitude.
Now I will fly across the country, wearing a KN95 the whole way (like I wouldn’t do before) to bury my mother. I will spend time with my sister and do whatever I can to help her because she needs me. And I will continue to be both grateful and angry, and no, there is nothing anyone can do to help me.
2020 was a bastard of a year. I just didn’t realize how much until this week. These scars are going to last a long, long time.