Trigger warning, this post is about grief and losing my mother.
It's been two years since that Sunday morning phone call from my aunt, telling me that my mother had died, in her sleep, in the nursing home. She was 60 years old. I'm not sure two years is much better than ten minutes after the news. And watching my mother slowly die in a myriad of ways since I was about 10 years old didn't prepare me for her not being here, either, just in case you thought that might have been the case. In fact, it kind of makes it worse. At least before I could always hope (fantasize) that she might recover from her demons, her ill health, self-inflicted or not, that she might someday be whole and sound. Possibly. If I could love her enough. I might be able to save her. It's the not saving her, the never, ever saving her that pains the most. I know it's not rational to have hoped that. But it's what I hoped, nonetheless. Now that she's gone and I've spread her ashes into the surf, that hope (my child's fantasy) is gone forever.
Now it's just the thinking of her, knowing she would have liked a particular book or appreciated a new song, or seeing her grandchildren grow-up or knowing she would have been pissed at a certain news story...it's those things that cause my breath to hitch, my skin to goose bump. It's the memory of her memories that haunt. For years she was fading, I know this. But it's the gone completely, the gone for good that even two years later, feels like ten minutes ago.