To this day, I haven’t deleted the last text thread I had with my mom. It’s there on my phone. And tonight, without meaning to I landed on it and started reading our last words. Emotion flooded me. I miss her. And as much as I know she is happier now than she was while here, the loss sits with me daily. It’s amazing how death works. It’s the ones left behind who are hurting, not the ones who have crossed.
I’ve been talking to her a lot lately. We were very close while she was here. I have to say, I think we are closer now. Many won’t understand that. But I believe there are those of you who will. I remember vividly the night she crossed over. I was called and told she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. It didn’t look good. I flew into action. One moment I was about to turn off the light and go to bed. The next moment I was dressed and in my Jeep driving the sixty miles to the hospital.
What’s odd is that my family worried how I was doing during the drive. They feared my emotional state. And yet, dear reader, I have to say in complete honesty, my emotional state was calm. I was upset. Yes. But shortly after getting on the road I started talking to my mom. I sat with her. And I told her that if she really wanted to go, I was okay with that. And, I wouldn’t blame her. She had a rough life. There were nights, when we were young, when she would wake to a .357 against her temple. Life with an alcoholic. It shaped all who resided under that roof. She’d been through a lot. She was tired. And I knew that.
As soon as I said those words, I felt her. I felt her presence inside the Jeep. And I saw her. I saw her sitting in the passenger seat just as she had been so many times before. Here body positioned exactly as it had been during our many outings over the last decade while my Jeep dutifully carried us to and fro. And in that moment, I knew she was gone.
Those waiting for me at the hospital did not know I had that exchange with her. So they feared that if they told me she had passed I would be beside myself. What they didn’t know was that she rode with me to the hospital. My Jeep had never felt more calm. It was the most beautiful feeling. And at the same time, the most sad because I knew what that beautiful feeling meant. The most poignant form of heartbreak. Words can’t describe it. They can only offer a glimpse.
Like always, I steeled myself for the wave of emotion I knew was headed my way. The only thing that gave me strength was knowing all she was able to let go of. The uncertainty. The worry. The fear that seemed to follow her wherever she went. And as much as it absolutely gutted me letting her go; allowing her to free herself from all that troubled her trumped how I felt.
When I drove away from the hospital, I let out a sigh that embodied every cell within my being. And I told her it was done. She filled the passenger seat once again. I felt her there. Oddly enough she might’ve been smoking a cigarette; which would’ve been so defiantly her. The very thing that led to her demise. But I felt her in a way I wasn’t able to before. No restrictions. I could tell her anything. I no longer had to worry whether she could handle the stress of what I was telling her. I could just talk. I could finally share without limitation. And share I did.
I talk to her every day. The pain of not having her here is ever present. And yet the joy of knowing she is without pain overrules that of my own. I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, dear reader. Maybe there’s something within these words that will help you. That has always been my prayer before I let my fingers touch the keyboard; that these words be of service. Sometimes that service solely helps me. But, if perhaps, you have lost someone and feel that loss – please know they hear you. They are here. And they are finally weightless.