My mother would have been 78 years old today. My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow and this year will be the first year we don’t have a combination party. My daughter is not the most emotional soul but I suspect she will miss sharing her cake with Nana.
Life handed me both the cards of how you say good-bye to a parent last August. 27 years after my father died in a vacuum, distant on the other side of the world, when I was young but still very used to not seeing him having been away to boarding school and then college, my mother died in my arms, up close personal, next to me.
My father’s departure was instant. My mother’s was slow. I was completely blissfully unprepared for my father’s death. I was completely prepared for my mother’s. Completely is the wrong word. I was very aware that my mother was going to die. I said everything I needed to say. I slept on the floor of her hospice room. I spent hours, days, watching her breathe. And then I watched her breath stop.
Better, worse, I am not sure. But someone you love can go in an instant or over a year or two. I know.