Mom died on Christmas Eve, and my heart is broken. I miss her so much.
She had had trouble breathing, so she had been in the hospital, where they found fluid on her lungs. However, then she got a perforated stomach (we never did find out how), and refused surgery.
I think she was just tired, and wanted to go be with my sister Debi. Debi had bipolar disorder, and killed herself 12 years ago. Mom still thought about her every day, and missed her very much. She talked about her a lot at the end.
Mom was 80 years old, so she lived a full life. I reacted much better to her death than I did to my sister’s death (Debi died in her 40’s). Debi’s death was such a shock, while Mom’s death was pretty much expected.
Mom went downhill fast, only over about a month. But even though it was somewhat expected, it was still hard for me.
Like I said, she was in the hospital, and was really sick. I was calling my dad every day for an update on Mom’s condition.
On Christmas Eve, I had a houseful of my husband’s family over for Christmas dinner, and I called my dad for the daily report.
He said my mom was comatose, and that I better head down there (they are in FL, while I am in TN).
So my husband told his family what was going on, and they immediately cleaned everything up for me (dinner had already been over, and everyone was just socializing). We packed and left for FL right then.
We got about halfway and stopped in a motel. We got the call that night that Mom had died. That was Sunday.
We arrived at my dad’s on Monday, Christmas Day. My brothers arrived the next day, Tuesday. And the funeral was on Thursday.
The funeral was exactly the one that my dad had promised my mom she would have, the one that she said she wanted. It was very Jewish. There was a rabbi and everything, and the service took place at gravesite and was closed casket, all per tradition.
We had expected only about 20 people, but more than 35 people showed up. All my mom’s favorite people.
The rabbi asked for the family to say something. My youngest brother got up to speak. In all his life (he is in his 50’s now), I have never seen him show emotion. But he went to speak, and he cried the whole time. Which, of course, made me cry.
Then my other brother, the one a year younger than me, spoke. He is a lawyer, and spoke like a lawyer. Very dry. But he talked about Mom, so I cried some more.
I was afraid to talk, because I was afraid I would do nothing but cry and wouldn’t be able to say anything at all. But that wasn’t what happened at all.
I started talking about my mom, and I just smiled, thinking about her. I talked about her great Jewish chicken noodle soup, and how no matter how much I tried to make it like hers, it never turned out like hers!
Then I talked about how before she got sick, and before I left to move back to TN, we had sat down together and took out our guitars, and played the old folk songs and sang with each other. It will always be one of my most treasured memories. I felt so close to her then. Then I sat down.
It was shortly after that time that I talked about that Mom started going into her bipolar episodes and physical ailments that required hospitalizations over the past two years. Then the dementia of the past four months. So that in the end, she really wasn’t my “mom” at all.
I had thought (and wrote about) that I had already grieved the mom I had knew and loved, but now I realize I didn’t. Nowhere near, in fact. Now I grieve. Now my mom is really gone. Now my heart is broken. God, how I miss her.
Wishing you joy and stability,
Remember God loves you and so do I,