On January 16, 2017, very early in the morning, I got a call from the hospital and was able to listen to my mother take her last breaths. It was a horrible experience. A feeling of helplessness I never before experienced. Yes, my world is not the same and in many ways, I am still searching for my way back from this devasting truth.
But that is not why I write.
I write because the one thing I remember most vividly was how my children took the news of their “Granny” dying and of how they were impacted by her death at her funeral.
First, I did try to keep them abreast of what was going on and why I was rushing back to NY to see about Granny. One child was stoic and the other emotional.
After her death I did call them and talk to them directly about Granny dying. I answered all their questions. I told them I was really sad; so sad that I cried and that it was ok if they felt like crying too.
I also told them how Granny loved them and how we will always have photos and memories of Granny to look at, laugh about and talk about.
When they came to NY, I did shield them from the business and process of death. I just didn’t think they needed to be aware of all of that; but I did think it was important for them to be at her funeral and for them to be able to say goodbye the same as everyone else.
While most of that day, while organizing and planning the entire thing, I don’t really remember. However, the one thing that is burned in my memory was that I could offer them no words of comfort.
What hurts me the most was that this pain, I could not make better for either one of them. My hugs, my kisses, my reassurances that all would be ok was not what they needed.
And so with one in my lap and the other at my side, we felt the pain of saying goodbye together. We sat there and we cried together.
Time will have to tell if that was enough.