12 years ago today my mom died. It was one of those moments you don’t want to believe is happening.. I fell asleep the night before upset at my mom because she had nudged me and I hurt my leg on something behind me, I had gotten mad at her and crawled into bed. The next morning she was still in bed when I left for school. Little did I know she was already dead.
My brother left the house about an hour after I did as he was in elementary school and i was in middle school, My dad always woke up my mom so my brother could give her a good morning hug and kiss before he left for school. That was when my dad found her cold, lifeless body. It had appeared she died several hours earlier. Possibly shortly after she had fallen sleep. The biggest problem that she had was her addiction to sleeping pills, at the time she died there were 3 different kinds of sleeping medications in her system. Even if she could wake up during the heart attack and let someone know she was having one, the amount of medication in her system would have prevented her from even opening an eye. She had basically tied her own noose.
It was a Thursday, When I got home from school I could tell something wasn’t right. Everybody was over at our place. Cars lined the street. As I got off the bus I noticed my Dad and brother walking towards me, My dad had just finished the paper route…. Can you imagine after what he had just seen going and doing a paper route?. My Dad told me what had happened and I immediately went into shock mode. I could tell it hadn’t really hit my brother yet as to what happened, he was standing on the corner half smiling and half crying. My guess is that he was going off the emotion he had seen from everyone else… I am not sure if at that point he understood what death was.
I remember walking in the door of the duplex and seeing everyone there. My grandparents, aunts and uncles. My grandmothers were in cleaning mode.. I remember walking in and seeing both of them dart their head out of the kitchen and start weeping at the sight of me looking completely overcome and shocked. They insisted I sit down and cry it out, or as they said, “Shhh. It’s okay. Let it out” and boy did I ever… I think I must have cried for a few hours. I remember not being able to think clearly at all and the only thing I could remember was being mad at her the night before.. That would weigh on me for a long time.
Right after I had gone into the duplex and was told what happened and cried, I couldn’t sit there in the constant sulking and weeping of everyone, it was one of those awkward moments you wish never to be part of, everyone saying how great she was and how nice she was. I couldn’t stand to hear any of it, in my own way trying to ignore it had happened.
It would be awhile before I could really focus and have a clear conversation with anyone. I left the duplex and walked next door to my neighbors house, whom I had known since I was 2. She was water some plants in her yard when she saw me, she dropped the hose and came right to me and held me. Her boyfriend came out and embraced me as well. Him and I sat on the porch of their house and talked about life and death. He really helped me understand what was going on, and that when God calls up your number, your job here is done.
The rest of that day isn’t clear to me, I am unsure of what really happened after that point… it all turns into a mess in my head. The next thing I remember is the day leading up to the the funeral. She had died on a Thursday and she was buried on the following Tuesday. I don’t remember where i was but my Dad and brother had picked out her coffin. As they put it, “Something Elvis would have been buried in” which it was. We had a grave side service, I have no way of remembering how many people were actually there.. I do remember quite the crowd though. My Dad and brother made their way around to most people saying, “hello”. I really think I must have been a zombie at that point, just aimlessly moving around as people came up to me and gave their piece about my mom, none of which I remembered as I was in shock over the whole thing.
Everything around that day, the hours before and after and even the days are a complete blur. I don’t remember anything I did. I think I took the remainder of the week off from school. I do remember that week being one of the strangest weeks. My Dad pretty much locked himself in his room, only coming out to make food and get coffee. My brother and I just sat around.
12 years. I can’t believe how time flies! This September my mom would have been 52. She died at the young age of 39.
If I had not gone through that, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Thanks for reading.