When Mom Dies

Thirty-five days ago, I received a call from my younger brother that our mother had been taken to the hospital for something akin to acting strangely in her apartment building with common, shared hallways.

A minor bladder infection was identified and treated. There being no safe way to send her home alone, she was transferred to a rehab facility. By the time my older brother visited 4 days later, she appeared confused and disoriented, unable to immediately recognize people and events, though she ‘covered’ well – being the brilliant person she is.

In the last four weeks, it has become apparent she is dying, whether she wants to or wills it so or is victim of an unwelcome predator.

I’ve occasionally lain awake nights for two years contemplating what to say at her funeral. Shall I mention the elephant in the room – that everyone knows she had an uncontrollable temper? Should I talk about her willingness to give the shirt off her back to a stranger, but possible inability to grant her children a disagreeable lifestyle choice or two?

I could talk about her genius at making something out of nothing, like Christmas out of a few used bows and some tattered wrapping paper. Some scraps of cloth and a needle and thread.

Or I could rehearse the scores of insults and put downs, intentional or not. What does a kid know?

One thing seems undebatable: there is nothing so life-altering as the passing of ones mother. You’re either left with guilt, or guilt that you don’t feel guilty, or longing, or longing that you don’t feel longing, or…or…

Now you’re the grownup, while some small part of you is still a child, the product of this wonderful, dazzling, horrific creature that was your mother.

This is not a needle’s scratch on the surface. No one can possibly know the effect of a mother until she is gone for a decade.

Stay tuned. She isn’t gone yet.

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One Response to When Mom Dies

  1. Lin, updates on Mom? Quite the blog you have here and I just got started reading. I was going to say hi on facebook but will do it here instead. You have always had this way to cut through the BS and clearly that portion of you has not disappeared in the ten years since last said hi.

    I do not know if you and connected on this or not. My mother, Marjorie passed away one year ago next week. I ran a blog on her final years that ended June 9.08 and you are so correct, nothing compares to losing Mom.

    Hang in there, hold your friends, say hi back if you wish, craig philpott

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