First off, I want to say thank you to everyone for reaching out to us, pitching in with our son's care, providing an endless supply of empathy, and condolences to our family, from the diagnosis of my mother's fatal cancer until her death this July. She under a week shy of her birthday, she would have been 69.
Similar to having a child, I don't think anything prepares you for the death of a parent. My mother and I were incredibly close, literally and figuratively; she was my best friend, my fierce advocate. Throughout my life, there had never been more then 50 miles of distance between us.
Within that 50 miles we would talk daily, color each others hair, share outfits, discuss politics, family gossip and everything else you could imagine fitting into our daily conversations. It was a constant banter, an endless stream of calls through out the day as one of us had a thought, Idea, opinion of the smallest of things to the most challenging. The work that was involved as mother and daughter to get to a place where we could be so incredibly transparent, living and honest with eachother was not easy, but it was absolutely the most rewarding.
I feel so fortunate to have had a mother that grew so much with me; she was never static, or unforgiving, she was dynamic, fluid, loving, selfless, and had a growth mindset. For 43 years we grew up together.
I know I will miss her forever. There's no getting around it. And I don't want to. I don't think there ever will be a time when I will not want to call her to share all the little silly moments in my life that mean zero to everyone else, but meant so much to her.
When she was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer, she kept it from me for two weeks (a lifetime in our court!). And when I found out, I screamed a string of curse words (I won't repeat). I could not believe that it would be her turnto give you some context in the last ten years, Sean and I buried: my father, stepfather, both grandmothers, our last grandfather, I somehow avoided death, but at times I wanted to die from the cancer and the treatment I had, and now it was her turndon't people get a break?
My brother and I swore we had PTSD by this point and honestly really weren't sure how we'd come out of this one.
So I spent every moment I could with her, every moment I could steal, I would take.
Eventually the once vibrant woman that I loved more then any other, started to slowly fade away, so many goodbyes during that time: goodbyes to planning for tomorrow, little things like shopping, and long conversations, until we had our final goodbye, with her kids surrounding her, holding her hands, kissing her forehead for the last time.
But we did it, all of it with full intention, honesty, and some bravery on all our partsespecially moms, she was so brave.
I didn't think I would want to live without my mother. But After her death, I knew I would and could go on, if I have learned anything from so much death, it's that we are just a short click away from our own. Mom would never want me to dwell on her death. She'd want me to process it and move on quickly and (with German efficiency). And I am, she's made me stronger for it.
And I don't mean to say there won't be extraordinarily painful times, the kind where you don't want to get out of bed, where you feel dehydrated because the tears won't stop rolling down, or just the low grade sadness that clings to some days with the horrible reality that she's just not here anymore and there is no way to reach her...and I could, always reach her.
So with all of that, we will go on, like most do, and maybe someday it will get less painful, or maybe it won't. And we will just have to live and make the most out of the moments we have together.