I didn’t want this to go out so close to such a happy time of our life. Jack is amazing. Andy is just wonderful. Life is beautiful. I have so much more than I ever expected. But as per usual, life is full of ups and downs, goods and bads, happys and sads.
I saw my mom’s death certificate for the first time this weekend. It has been 5 1/2 years since she died. But this was the first time I saw it. And while I knew she was dead. There was still a part of me, a desperate part, that thought ‘what if she just ran away?’. ‘what if she needed a long vacation from life and she is still out there? she is just about to come back. I will have her back’. I can’t even tell you how amazing that would be if it were true. I would be a little mad, sure, but I would get over it in no time.
Seeing the certificate sort of dissolves those ideas…..although I have to tell you my first thought was ‘you can fake a death certificate so easy’. Which just goes to show how much I am obviously desperately clinging to any possibilities of her still being alive.
I’ll have to get into why I had to get my mom’s death certificate from my dad some other day. It is all tied in with my grandpa’s death and involves lots of juicy family drama. So stay tuned for that.
But when I opened the pdf and read: her name; her date of death: November 12, 2005; cause of death: Acute subdural hematoma; “other significant conditions”: Metastatic Breast Cancer, Acute Pneumonia; and under “manner of death”, the box checked “accident”. I told myself ‘I suppose it is officially real’.
It isn’t like I wasn’t there. She fell on November 1st. I flew to Colorado that day and saw her in ICU. I was there when we moved her to hospice. I heard the doctor’s say ‘she isn’t going to recover from this’. I let those last threads of hope go and told myself ‘this is happening’. My dad, my brother and I rotated nights staying in hospice with her. I said my goodbyes. I willed her to let go so she wouldn’t be suffering any more. When it looked like she wasn’t going soon, the hospice nurses said she might not want to go while we were there, I decided to fly back home on the 11th to take my GRE…..I knew she would be pissed if I missed it. She wanted me to go to grad school more than anyone. So I left. As hard as it was, I didn’t want her to hang on any longer than necessary and I knew she would want me to take that stupid test. She died the next morning. My brother called before I left for the testing center. It was strange. I was obviously horribly sad, but strangely relieved. Most people would probably have said ‘fuck it’ to the GRE. But I went. Like a little robot. It was weird. It was probably irrational. I know now it was the beginning of my ‘distract yourself from really dealing with the loss of your mom by focusing on school for the next 4 years’ plan. I know because after school was over, I really started feeling it.
I guess this is a sign I should really stop trying to deny that she is gone. She isn’t coming back. I think I have had to tell myself that several times in the past three years. Especially when dealing with the whole Dad and Shelly thing. I was holding on so hard. Slowly my grip started to slip and I think now it is time to let it go the rest of the way. She’s with me in my memories, I hear her laugh, I see her in my smile, I look at my hands and see hers.
I was lying in bed the other night, softly rubbing Jack’s head as he nursed. I imagined my mom rubbing my head as a baby. It made me cry, but happy at the same time. Weird. I don’t know if I will ever be able to not cry when I think of all she is missing. But it is slowly getting better….it is slowly getting easier. And I am slowly letting go of that rope that tethers the idea of her still being alive. I have a plan. A plan of how to really, officially let her go…..I will share it with you soon.