The Thank You Cards Will Have to Wait

I was just sitting down to eat, had ordered a water, no ice, with lemon and told the waitress I needed just a few minutes to decide. She walked away and my phone rang, “where are you?….. “When are you coming down here?….. “You know she passed right?”,  said my mother’s nurse who was visiting her at the hospice facility.  I looked at my table mate and with blurred, wet eyes growled with a hurt moan, ” I gotta go, she passed away”….. My mother, my heart, my love,my priority,my most important responsibility, my teacher, my mommy, was reportedly gone. I had spent the days before holding her hand, playing her inspirational music and sermons, praying for her, ushering her visitors in and out, talking with her although she wasn’t responding, reminding her through her labored breathing, ” I’m right here”…..  When I saw her body I knew her spirit was with me, hand on my shoulder.  She looked…..peaceful. But she was…..dead.   I cried in the bathroom balled up in a corner on the floor. I went back in the room and touched it, I didn’t want to call it her, because she wasn’t there. I kissed the forehead and tried to hold a hand but it was stiff and becoming cool to the touch. After they wheeled her body off and everyone said their goodbyes, I was sick and angry like I could break something and throw up afterwards. The crowding of people coming over, calling, the people I had to call and inform, was all too much. No time to be alone and let it sink in. The wake and funeral came and went. The wake was some newfound form of torture, sitting in the front row with her body: darker, all made up, wearing the outfit I picked out… And a video picture collage playing on the projector. It started slowly ripping away at my sanity. Watching other people cry, hearing them say she looked beautiful, feeling trapped between the casket and the video.    

Since the funeral, I must say that life has been oddly empty and I’m not sure what to do with myself. My dreams have been of her and have been “poking the bear” and everyone who calls wants to address her absence.  I just want to BE for a while… and the thank you cards will have to wait. 

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