My Mom died last week, and suddenly everything changed.
It’s interesting how different people react differently to the same situation. Mom was sick for a long time, and I became used to the problems, almost immune to her daily ills and complaints, aches and pains. Always upbeat, I was a kind of cheerleader – let’s do this, please attend this concert with us, come over for dinner. I also became able to do what had to be done–nights in the ER, hospital visits, prayers. I did what I committed myself to doing, I showed up, listened, talked, helped as much as I could. And, for me, the act of doing made everything else tolerable. Till there was nothing I could do for her, and my world came crashing down on me. The whole thing runs together somehow, in the tumbler that is my mind right now.
Other family members who weren’t in such close touch had wildly different reactions. Some out-of-town relatives seemed quite suprised at how ill she had become; some very sad, and wondering why I’m not as upset as they. Some are as bewildered as I, wondering how the world spun out of control so quickly.
My little granddaughter (GD1) has visited me since she was about 18 months old; and, especially lately, we have included a visit to “GG” for (great-grandmother) each visit. There was a cupboard of toys at Mom’s, toys different from those at home, or at my house. There is also a large book of paper dolls here at my house, puchased by Mom for GD1. The night of our family get-together here for Mom, GD1 wanted the paper dolls at bedtime, and she played with them until she relaxed enough to sleep.
Our precious little girl must have had a profound connection with those visits. Yesterday, when her family was headed home, GD1 decided that she would stay and visit. It wasn’t a clear cut, easy decision. After the visitors were gone, she wanted to go to “our village”, which is Greenfield Village, visited by us many times, and many with her.
The Village visit was interesting to us, as we followed her lead. We hit all the high spots, the train, the cars, the carousel, the bus. Additionally, she had a mid-afternoon snack of potatoes and gravy at the Taste of History. After some ice cream, as we made our way back to the car, she said, “Well, everything is still here, ” to no one in particular.
So, while I’m trying to figure out why the world continues to turn and no one seems to notice my Mother is gone, GD1 takes comfort from the fact that the world does indeed continue as before.