Wednesday, April 30, 2008

After All

After all the confusion of hospice, meds, caring for someone who is dying, my life is quiet now. Mom died three weeks ago today.

She stays with me in two ways.

First, I'm surrounded by stacks and baskets and boxes of stuff from her apartment (as well as more boxes of things from when we moved her out of her home in 2001), including some twenty framed photos of her that stand all around my living room on tables, window sills, etc. I need to sort and discard and pass along many of these things, but so far I haven't had time. (There are two weeks left in the semester of the course I am teaching.) I also need to call several of her old friends and report her death to them... not done yet.

Second, I keep thinking especially on Sunday or at 4 pm on other days, "I need to go visit Mom--wait a minute, I don't need to go visit her."

The constant sense of responsibility for her hasn't yet left me. I keep thinking I need to buy Depends or V-8. At this time in the afternoon, I start feeling guilty for doing whatever I'm doing and not yet going over to her residence. But then I remember she's gone.

Aisles of the grocery store or drug store trigger automatic responses: "What's the price of Depends?" It takes will power not to go check on the price, not to buy flowers to take to her, not to buy Hershey's kisses to fill the candy dish for her caregivers.

I haven't stopped by her place to see my friends there who took care of her: Marnie, Susan, Esther, Stan, J.R. The last time I was there, nine days ago, it seemed as if she must be just around the corner in her room, waiting for me, the same as ever.

Being so close to where she lived, I felt her absence more keenly.

I'm grateful that she's not suffering and that I have my time for so many other things on my To Do list--but it takes time to get used to her not being here.

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