My mother died yesterday. But, it wasn’t actually yesterday, it was two months ago. But it feels like yesterday.
Living through two months without my mother has been excruciating. The world is upside down and backward and nothing about the passage of time makes sense anymore. How can two months have passed already? It was just a day ago when our house was filled with police officers and paramedics and grief counselors. It was just a day ago when I woke up slowly and wandered upstairs to make coffee and say good morning to my mother, only to find her unresponsive. It was just a day ago when I frantically called 911 and sobbed on the phone as the woman on the line coached me through CPR and calmly assured an ambulance was on its way. It was just yesterday that a paramedic confirmed my worst fear to be true. But, it wasn’t actually yesterday.
I desperately hoped my mother would grow into a little old lady. Forgetful, frail, weathered, and wrinkled is how I expected her to be in her final months. I expected to be taking care of her. To do her laundry, keep her stocked up on adult diapers, drive her to doctors appointments, and coax her out for walks around the block. I expected the shift in caregiver roles to be gradual, so much so that we never really recognized it happening. I expected my mother’s funeral to be small, she was supposed to outlive most of her friends and family. I expected to have a lot more time.
Instead, in her sixty-first year, my mother was suddenly gone and I am now presented with the unimaginable task of learning to live without her.