Sunday February 19,2017 4:50pm
Snippets of memories come back in a flash the moment I allow myself to fully feel the weight of today. I was just woken out of sleep as my brain tried to process this fateful day. The sound of my sisters voice starling me out of sleep “ I think mom’s dead.” The feel of the hard wood floor as I stumbled, naked to the floor trying to hurry to her room. The feel of adrenaline that coursed through my veins in a split second when I saw her. That shade of purple. The spring in my step as I jumped into the air in a panic and sprinted out of the room “Call 911.” The blue carpet squishing beneath my feet. The sound of my dad’s voice on the phone as I called him to tell her she was gone and the sheer panic, fear, disappointment and disbelief in his voice. The EMT’s arrive with their bags and embroidered uniforms with their patches trumpeting their title “EMT.” I remember how it felt like mere seconds when they crawled up the blue stairs to her room and ascended just seconds later apologizing for our loss. I knew the truth already, you could tell just by looking. But that was confirmation of what my heart already knew.
The police officers arrive. Pictures are snapped. We are interviewed. They question us, I am in disbelief. The take her phone, her belongings. A stretcher is brought into the house. I run outside, harassed by cold February air, refusing to see my mother in a body bag. I cover my ears outside so I don’t hear her body being brought down the stairs as the wheels bang agains the stairs. After that I don’t remember much of the day. Except we ordered pizza. I couldn’t eat, I knew I wasn’t hungry but I asked for garlic bread which went untouched. The embraces in the basement, the tears that were shed.
The next day we planned my mothers funeral. The day was spent in the basement of a funeral home where we picked out a casket and the urn her body was going to go in after the funeral the following day.
The funeral. I saw my moms body in her final resting place. Eyes closed, hands rested peacefully across her chest. I try not to think about what she looks like under her dress because of the autopsy they had to do. I am told by the funeral director that the shade of her skin was so bad they had to put a lot of makeup on her, so don’t touch. She didn’t look right until she had her glasses on. We arrived early so we could have time with “her body.” From the front row it looked like her, just sleeping, but from up close it wasn’t her. She looked wax like and her lips were glued shut. Family and friends shuffle in, friends that I didn’t expect came to support me. I cried and cried so hard during the ceremony, my face buried in my dads chest.
Drinks. We had dinner at one of our friends restaurants. I meet some of moms college friends, they tell me stories of how they used to get in trouble and have fun, how she used to skii. I didn’t know she ever skiied, I wish I could have asked her about it. My best friend Brie, stayed by my side the whole time. I will forever be grateful for her because she let me stay at her house the night my mom died. Her dog Belle protected me, by sleeping close by the bed, something Brie says the dog never does.
Looking back now its all such a blur, and yet so clear. I wear my moms ring around my neck everyday, refusing to ever take it off. I have a tattoo in memory of her, accented by self inflicted scars on my right arm with the words “ let it go this is smaller than you know” by a band we both loved. Loss does get easier with time, as they say. You begin to think of them less, the hole in your heart begins to close a bit, but that pain and hurt will always be there. If you allow yourself to go back in time the memories can feel fresh. I don’t ever allow myself to go back. It hurts too much. The trauma of losing her and the events that lead up to her death haunt me and night so I lock it up and hide from these moments. I have clinical PTSD because of what happened and what I saw and experienced. But I try not to go back, because when I do, its all too real again.