As I was having tea with my dad this morning he casually mentioned that he was going out to lunch today with a friend. My mom died a little over two months ago so I was glad that he was staying busy and being social. What I didn’t realize (at first) was that his lunch date was with a woman.
“What? With who? Where? Today? What?”
Okay, so I may have over reacted just a tad.
Turns out his “lunch date” was with a dear friend who lost her husband a few years ago. She’s a very sweet lady whom I chatted with at my parents summer party this past June. She has a grand daughter the same age as my daughter and we hoped maybe they could meet up one day.
Still, it felt a bit odd.
Would I want my spouse to be going out for lunch with another woman that soon after I died? I don’t know. I like to think that I would be. Really, it’s just a casual lunch right? Why shouldn’t he enjoy the rest of his life?
As I drive home I thought….”I bet they spend the whole time talking about how much they miss their spouses.”
Tonight it hit me. Tonight the tears fell.
It’s been three days since my mom died.
I finally realized why I haven’t gone through my photos to find the perfect picture for the reception. Why I haven’t decided on a caterer. Why I have told people it was “for the best” that she wasn’t suffering anymore. Why I have gone to work and kept busy.
It was because I didn’t want it not be true. I didn’t want it to be real.
I didn’t want my mom to be dead.
But she is. My sweet, feisty, occasionally inappropriate, mom is dead. Not passed away. She hated that expression. She always used to say.
“People don’t pass away. They die.”
The first time I walked into the apartment after she died I was shocked to find that she wasn’t there. Where was she? Why wasn’t she sitting at her desk? Why didn’t I hear her voice? Why was I only making one cup of tea with honey?
I have lost my comfort person. The person I call when life sucks. The person who always picks up and knows that something is wrong before you even speak. And right now I need my comfort person. Because right now life sucks.
She was so brave in these last weeks. She tolerated the imaginable and still kept her sense of humor.
At one point my brother, bless his heart, was trying to get her to take a sip of water from a straw. On the fourth attempt I could see the exasperation in his face. He really wanted….needed her to take some water. She was having none of it. Without even opening her eyes she put her hand up and said “Piss off”. Classic mom.
I know that she is still here with me in her own special way. Telling me that it’s going to be okay. Maybe she’s right. She usually was.
The Best Thing in Life is that I will have eighty four years of memories to keep me company. But tonight, the tears will continue to fall.
This Saturday my husband and I will attend a memorial service for a man we worked with earlier in our careers. He was forty seven.
In the last five years five young men we worked with at that same company have passed away. Some from disease, others from sudden fatal accidents. With the exception of one, all men had children. Some as young as two or three years old. They left behind spouses, parents and colleagues who cared for them deeply.
Without exception all five men were great guys. Kind, hard working, decent men.
Why don’t the assholes die?
Have you ever noticed what happens when a young person passes away traumatically. If the media is involved they interview their friends and family. The reaction is typically predictable? “They were always smiling and happy. Everyone liked them.” Have you ever heard anybody say “Ya, he was a total jerk. Mean to everybody he encountered.”
Happy pictures are shown. Happier times are remembered. Making it all the more devastating.
Why don’t the assholes die?
Now when I say as assholes I don’t mean the guy who cut you off getting onto the highway this morning. Or the woman who didn’t pick up her dogs business at the park yesterday. Not even the boss who fired you just because he thought that he could get some young hot shot to fill the position you’ve given your heart and soul to for five years.
I’m talking about those people in your life that give you consistent aggravation. Ones that go out of their way to make your life more difficult simply because they can.
Why don’t those assholes die?
The five men that have died in the past five years were not that person. They were funny redheaded goofballs. They were gentle hockey loving fathers. They were guys who always “knew a guy” who could help you out. They were wizards with Christmas lights and skateboard ramps. They were work colleagues who boosted you up instead of climbing over you.
They weren’t assholes. And yet they died.