I was meandering about the supermarket last night after work, trying to find something to take my mind of this dose of man-flu I seem to have picked up somewhere (which is why I was in the wine dept! How does the saying go? “Feed a fever, drown a cold”?) anyway as I approached the check outs I had the biggest fright ever .. I saw my Mother!
No, I have not forgotten she’s dead.. No need to call the men in white coats! This woman just happened to be wearing an identical blouse that is still hanging in Mum’s closet.. Same colour and all. She was of similar build, height and age. Even had the same hair style. If I thought I coulda gotten away with it, I’d have snuck up and taken a pic of this lady – she was the mirror image of my Mum.
Now I know I’m all dribbly and pathetic because I have this man-flu but it is fair to say seeing this woman shook me completely..
I suppose one day I will have to process the fact that she’s died.. does that just happen naturally? Or does one have to force it to start? In the days immediately following her death I was “lucky”, I was busy organising undertakers, services, flowers, clothes – all the things that I now know one can do on auto pilot. I was there for Dad, said all the right things to the myriad people who end up playing a part in someone dying. Seems everyone wants a piece of you when your Mum dies.
Then the emotions sort of get pushed aside / shelved, as life starts to force its way back into your hazy world, post funeral. I remember going back to work a week after she died and wishing everyone would stop asking how I was. I had NO idea how I really was – and what I was feeling was probably best not voiced .. They were strange days indeed.
In the early days immediately after her death, Dad went into “clean up” mode. I was a bit nervous that it was too much / too soon, so took everything he was disposing of and have it at home. I now have some 20 potted plants that were hers. All her make up and toiletries. Her jewellery, and assorted trinkets that she had all over their house .. a whole bunch of tangible “Mum” reminders that Dad needed to remove from the house. Understandably.
So going back to the process of dealing with the death of a close family member – how the hell do we do it?
Maybe I have to delete her address from my email and delete her cell phone # from my contacts – then it starts? I know I had to tell Dad only a few days after her death to change their answering machine message from “Hi you’ve reached the VM of Barbara and Perry” to the somewhat sadder “Leave a msg for Perry after the tone”. Do you suppose all that sort of activity helps speed up “the process”?
And what is the process anyway?
It feels somehow BAD to move on.. It feels .. painful. Disloyal even.
It feels .. mm it just feels. I wonder if that could be a complete sentence 😉
I admit, every time I scroll thru’ the “B” section (Barbara) or the “M” section of my blackberry contacts list to find an address – hers is the first name that pops up. I can’t quite bring myself to delete her. Silly huh..
Well heck, the universe has already deleted her ..
If it’s all the same to you: I think I’ll hang on a tad longer 😉