Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12

June 12. June 12. June 12. I see that date everywhere. I hate it and feel reverance for it all at the same time.

Two years ago today at 2:45 p.m. my Mom passed away. I blogged about it last year too. This particular day is always hardest for me because all I think about is her death. I think about what happened that day. What I saw, heard, smelled and felt.

I remember things I don't want to remember like sitting outside on the electrical box in the front yard after she passed away because I couldn't bear to stay inside.

I remember holding her hand and calling her "Mommy" which I hadn't done in at least 25 years. I just kept repeating "I love you, I love you" and "it is OK to go, we'll be alright."

I remember how long it took for the funeral home to show up and how we finally told friends and family not to go inside anymore - they didn't need to see Mom that way.

I remember all of the family that came. They drove in car by car and we all gathered around that darn electrical box. I remember how happy and loved I felt to have them there. I remember that the neighbors brought over their own dinner to feed everyone and had Papa Murphy's instead for themselves. I also remember feeling sad that family was all there after she was gone - why couldn't they have come when she was still here?

I remember the smell of death that wasn't strong, but very obvious in her room before and after her passing. I remembered how I smelled that scent everywhere the weeks afterward. I'd stop drinking when I smelled it on the top of a pop can and everyone would smell it for me (and smell nothing), but still clean it to try to get rid of whatever odor I thought I was detecting.

I remember looking at Mom after she'd passed away and noticing her toenails needed trimming. I considered doing it then so the people at the funeral home wouldn't think no one loved her.

I remember not wanting to call Corey. It was awful having to tell my brother over the phone that his Mom had just died. I think that is what I said too, "Corey... Mom died."

I remember feeling protective of others when they arrived at the house and wanted to go in and see Mom. I'd tell them, "I'll go with you." I had meant to do that for my brother, but he'd gone in without me knowing. I rushed inside and he wasn't in Mom's room. I found him on his knees in the spare bedroom. A heartbreaking sight I'll never forget.

I remember people saying over and over that it was a "blessing" that she passed away and was no longer suffering. I remember thinking, Am I the only one who didn't see it as a blessing? I was still secretly praying for a miracle.

I remember the white van pulling up the driveway from the funeral home. I panicked and my Aunt rushed me into the backyard. I just couldn't be there when they brought her outside. I couldn't see my Mom leaving her own home wrapped in plastic on a gurney. Instead, I stayed in the backyard and was so upset that I was actually choking and gasping for air.

I remember thanking God for text messaging. Not only was it invaluable for my Mom who was able to communicate with us through her cell phone when she could no longer speak. But, it was how I told all of our friends and family that she'd passed away without having to make individual phone calls.

I remember being so scared of when Mom actually passed away - thinking that I would be frightened to be with her. A friend in our support group told me, "Your Mom is only going to die once, Courtney. Stop imagining her death in your mind over and over. Things will be different when it is time." I remember how it wasn't scary at all - it was just my Mom.

I remember looking at my mother knowing we had so much in common that sometimes looking at her was like looking at me. We had the same hands, the same feet. Seeing her lying on her bed after she'd died I realized it was the closest I'd ever come to seeing my own self no longer alive.

I remember Annie and Mom and Dad's dogs barking outside Mom's window when she was dying. I was wanting to "shush" them when the the hospice nurse said, "It's OK. They know. They know."

I remember so much. Today, I am going to attempt to NOT think about it constantly. I am not going to go to her grave today. When I do talk about her today, I will talk and remember her life, not her death.

I love and miss you, Mom.


Sara said...

I'm crying with you now! Will remember with you always. And will pray for you continually today! Deepest love for you, friend; and heartfelt wishes for a day of gratefulness, encouragement and strenghth!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful and honest words, Courtney... thinking about you a whole bunch today. Know I understand...


The Norris Clan said...

Courtney... thank you for being so candid with your experience, and thank you for allowing me to share in your loss. I pray for you...


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