On Grief and Luck – after my mom died
What makes you feel Lucky?
These words are on a Lucky Brand catalog I found in a stack of catalogs at my parents’ house. I tossed the pile, but saved that page. Because I need to be reminded that I am lucky.
I don’t feel it when I wake up in the morning.
I feel grief.
I pull the covers back over my head when I realize that yes, it really happened.
My mom died on Sunday night.
When she found out the cancer lesions had spread throughout her brain, she finally gave up hope for a better outcome. No more chemo, radiation, or getting out of bed.
She lived 6 more days after that decision to enter hospice care. So I remind myself that I am lucky for that. To have those 6 days with her and my brother, my dad and family and friends who visited her. Those 6 days were excruciating. It is brutal to lose someone I love.
I am lucky that I got to be alone with her a lot. That I got to be with her, without all her colorful clothes and her wig. In life, she always looked put together. My daughter’s friend called her the “fancy grandma.” Her outside public image did not match the inside of her body which had been stolen by cancer.
So I felt lucky to be with her in the raw state of a woman dying from cancer, bald and fading.
I feel lucky that my mom was a teacher. She taught kids, and teachers, and her grandkids and me. I became a teacher because of her.
I feel lucky for the support of friends around me and Facebook messages and photos of her on my phone and voicemail messages I haven’t deleted. I feel lucky that my husband hugs me every time he walks in the room and sees me crying again.
I still want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers up. And I know that I’m lucky to be here to write.