I don’t really know how to start this...and it’s hard to even type the words, which is probably why I’ve put it off.
My mom died last week. She did NOT have Covid, for which I am forever grateful. She had had a few more falls lately, including the last time I talked to her two days prior. I called and she was able to answer the phone but not get up from the floor to hit the alert wall call button. I called the AL front desk and they got her up and she seemed okay.
Two days later she seemed more confused than usual, so they took her to the ER for a CT scan. My saint of a sister, who lives four hours away, had gotten that call at something horrible like 4 a.m. and when she got to the hospital they wouldn’t let her in the ER due to the forty Covid positive patients waiting in the ER to be admitted. My sister could see the people through the ER windows and she said it was a scene from hell and my sister was a nurse.
The internal medicine doctor called my sister that afternoon to say they were planning to admit Mom overnight, just for observation, if they could find a bed, but that she was doing well, laughing and making friends with everyone there. The CT scan was negative and everything else checked out.
At 3 a.m. my sister was called at her hotel and told that Mom had died. Her heart rate, despite the pacemaker, just kept dropping and she quietly moved on. The hard part, like so many these days, is that she didn’t have family there. I couldn’t even get on a plane to go help, before or after, because it’s a five hour trip and just not worth the risk. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas.
No service. My sister took her ashes and my father’s and spread them to the winds, together, near where they lived for 45 years.
She was 92. The thing about my mom, though, is that she was always so ALIVE. She was a natural, genuine extrovert and could make six new best friends in a gas station parking lot if you left her alone for three minutes. She was smart, kind, a terrific audience, and and even in her dementia years, still occasionally very funny. She sang all of the time, seemingly out of nowhere and was endlessly positive and cheerful.
(Needless to say, I take after my dad.)
Anyway, I’m still just sort of in shock. This is a woman who successfully battled severe heart disease for 25 years...her heart had been restarted twice. It sounds kind of ridiculous to say her death was “sudden”....but it was. Now it’s nothing but paperwork and more paperwork and every once in a while, I suddenly think, “Oh SHIT I forgot to call Mom today!!!” before I remember.
It could have been so much worse...cancer, being bedridden, her dying alone in the night at the AL place... so there’s that. Our relationship was complicated by the fact that she thought my father could do no wrong and he and I did not get along. At all. So, feelings.
So this is hard.
My best to all of you who are also going through stuff. 2020 is just one rough, rough year.