I had trouble falling asleep last night. It took as many as twenty minutes for me to reach oblivion. A long time for me.
I had an image that kept flashing through my head. I tried brushing it aside with visions of sugarplums, but it was a persistent bugger.
It was that time in the hospital when we had decided to take Mom off the cancer study (because it seemed to be killing her faster than the cancer) and we had Hospice come in to talk her about using their services at home. I was the only family member in the room and she turned to me in a panic. “That sounds like you think I’m dying! Do you think I’m dying?” Only every time I look at you mom.
That’s not what I said. I didn’t answer her question – I just said that we thought she’d be a lot more comfortable at home and that Hospice could help with that. And she was a lot more comfortable for the next three months.
I’ve replayed that scene in my head a million times since then. I think I gave the right answer. She didn’t want to think about death. She never did.
When she gave me her diamond earrings the last time I saw her she said, “it’s just that they’re too big for my head now.”
It’s been 6 years, 183 days since she breathed her last. I would have thought that the random huge grief would lessen with time. I guess not yet. Not yet.
And I have to admit that losing a mother is just about the most enormous thing a person faces – bigger even than diamond earrings.
I’m thinking today of people who’ve lost their mothers recently, especially Dr. M, Chris, Rachel and Rebecca. Hoping the diamonds outweigh the grief most of the time.