If you follow my Facebook page, you already know. And if you don’t, here it is: my mother has died. I know lots of people say “passed” but that to me is a soft word, and my mother’s death is the harshest, ugliest, meanest thing that has happened to my life thus far. So I say it like I feel. She died. She’s dead. It was sudden and painful and left her with little dignity. My brain cannot yet process it so for now, I’ve stopped trying.
That’s going to be harder this week as I am in CT for my mother’s funeral, which I planned with help from my younger sisters (I am the eldest child). Harder still because my 8-year-old is starting to miss her, and my 2-year-old is starting to ask questions.
“Mommy did Gramma wake up?”
“Where she is?”
“Is Gramma still be sick?”
Yes, Logan. No. I don’t know. I can’t figure out what to say. Because it’s my mother, and because it’s her grandmother. It hurts me so much and I’m an adult, I can imagine how they must feel. Helpless. And confused. The fact that Logan doesn’t fully “get it” is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t need for her to know that my mom is dead, but I would like to be able to give her a concrete answer as to where she is. She’s asleep. For a long time. When our last plane landed today I told Logan we were in Connecticut and asked if she knew who lives here. Yes, she said.
“Yo mom!” As in, I GET IT, THIS IS WHERE GRAMMA WENT, AND NOW WE ARE GOING TO SEE HER AGAIN.
I smiled. “No, Baby.” I was whispering so the passenger next to us wouldn’t hear the disgusting news about my mother. “Gramma doesn’t live here anymore. Gramma is asleep, remember?”
“Ooooh, yeah.” Logan looked at me and laughed.
“Aunty Tiffanie and Uncle Sean live here!” I made my voice sound excited even though I was hurting at the thought of my mother.
“Yay!” Logan said. “And…yo Mom lives here.” She turned around to wait her turn to exit our row, and I stared out the window, thinking how beautiful everything is from whatever altitude we’d just been at. And that my mother won’t ever see those things again, at least not for a very long time. I have a hope. But I miss my mother.