Wrecked

Today, on this grey and chilly fall day, my sister and I buried our mother.

As we stood around the small hole where Mom’s urn would be buried, we stood with our husbands, our children and our brother-in-law. We told a few stories about Mom and my husband read a poem out loud because I wasn’t able to. (“If I Should Go” by Joyce Grenfel)

I looked over at my big sister and she, like me, was a wreck. She said, “Remember when Grammie died?” My first memory was what my niece recalled, how my mother shook her head as we stood by her mother’s grave and kept saying “I can’t do this.” But what my sister reminded me was of Mom’s comparison to losing a partner to losing a mother. Just the year before Grammie died, our stepdad died suddenly of heart attack at 58. It was devastating. But the day of my grandmother’s funeral, Mom said that when your partner dies, yes it’s awful and horrific. But when your mother dies? You just want to follow her.

What you see here is me leaning against my sister. I was sobbing at this point, not wanting to put our mother into the ground. It may have only been her ashes at that point, but I could still touch the box she was in. It sometimes gave me a weird comfort. But our mother’s wishes were to be buried beside our stepdad.

So that is what we did.

Before we left the cemetery, once again my sister says between sniffles, “Well, no more of this. Let’s not do this again!” I shake my head and this time whisper, “There’s no one left.”

8 thoughts on “Wrecked

  1. I’m so sorry. My dad died, suddenly, 13 years ago, and it was a long time until I healed. What helped was having Mom still around. But she’s now in the hospital recovering from surgery, and I’m scared she might go soon (she’s 94). That’s why I plugged in “grief” here! I’ll have to face it, though, unfortunately.

    Eventually, you and your sister will remember the good times and think of your mom with smiles and laughs, as I know my brothers and I will with our mom. It just takes time. Hang in there.

    • Thank you, Pete. Our dad died 7 months ago and our brother 2 years ago. It’s just so much loss to comprehend.

      I’m sorry about your dad. I do hope your mom gets well. I know you said you’ll have to face her death eventually, but, as you know, it isn’t easy. No matter how much you “prepare” (how do we even do that?!?), it always feel like hell.

      Thank you for your kindness.

  2. I am so sorry for all the loss your family has had to deal with.
    Memories is all we can honestly KEEP in our hearts that no one can ever take away from you. HUGS

  3. I’m so very sorry that you had to go through that. I can’t imagine. When Dad went it was really hard, but I can’t even think of Mom going. And at 93 with a weakening heart, I know it’s inevitable. Just keep being the daughters that she was so proud of, it’s the best tribute to her you can give. Love you.

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