Well, it’s incredibly embarrassing to admit but I’m not sure if my mom died three years ago today or if it was four years. I do remember the eight weeks leading up to it though; that special form of hell is something memory isn’t kind enough to erase. Maybe because it fell during the most dull days of winter, between Christmas and the first stirrings of Spring, it felt even more dark and desolate and like it would never end. Well, it did, after weeks in the hospital Palliative Care Unit, which was the absolute last place in the world she wanted to die but the only option given the strength of her mental illness. No, it wasn’t the cancer that put her there because we could have managed the pain at home. She was just unmanageable, full stop. And it wasn’t the cancer that killed her: she gave up, just like Nan Cobourne did, and chose to starve herself and slip into death. Perhaps a blessed and pain-free option on her end. Fucking gory for us. But Emily and I were there at the moment she finally let go and that was a beautiful moment, one of the most powerful experiences of my life.
Now for the most part I can say that our relationship is stronger than it ever was in life. I get to pick and choose the memories, allow the nastier bits to recede, and let time take care of the rest. I actually have photos of her on the wall which is something I was unable to tolerate in life. Love you, mom. Bye.