Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: linda theresa plaikner mcdonough
My mother passed away unexpectedly on January 31st. Last week was the worst week of my life and if it weren’t for my family, my friends and my amazing husband, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. It’s as if time slipped into another dimension, and by Monday the 7th, I was pushed back into daily life, ill-equipped to do the simplest tasks.
And there is still a part of me that doesn’t believe any of this is real. I’m an organized person who has to plan everything in advance. I analyze situations and intellectualize my emotions because it makes me feel as if I’m in control. I have to ‘know’ everything, there are no surprises for me. But I’m learning that grief has its own way of doing things.
On Saturday, I was in Dollar Tree buying stupid household shit and I felt a tightness in my chest. A box of Sno-Caps made me cry because my mother used to eat them by the bagful. Am I allowed to watch a movie, read a book? Earlier in the week, at my sister’s house, I expected my mother to walk in the room and join the family for dinner. It felt very, very real that this would happen. Then I remembered why we were there. Her death punctuates all the ordinary things that I do each day. It is difficult for me to talk about her in past tense, and it pierces my heart to type any of this. I will never hear her voice again and knowing this terrifies me. I have never felt this much pain.
This past summer, Jeff bought me an alpine souvenir box at an estate sale. It’s also a music box, but we could never get it to work. And on the first day of my mother’s wake, I opened it to get my rings as I usually do, and the tiny strains of a discordant tune began to play. Jeff and I just looked at each other and laughed. The music wouldn’t stop, even after I shut the lid. It played again that evening when I put my rings away for the night, and it hasn’t played since. I know it was her way of telling me that I would get through those next three days. She was there. Is there. It’s a hard road to normal when nothing will ever be the same.
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