never be too busy to call your mom
In a time of loss, I’m often reminded of the finality of it all. There’s no take backs once you die. When it’s someone older than you, you suddenly realize that you’ve never known a day without that person in your life, no matter how close the relationship was. Fact is, once someone dies, the world continues on, and it’s the living that has to figure out how to continue on without them.
I have bear witness to that moment when the soul leaves the body, the time when patients have been so far gone they begin to mutter to things they see in their mind, past spouses and parents, saying they are coming home. I have been the one to call a family member saying they need to come soon. I have been the person to have that family member sign the authorization for release of the body form. I have bathed the bodies postmortem and prepared them for the morgue. I’m good at being that person. I find that death isn’t scary when the dying is ready for it. However, I’m also detached from the situation. I’m a professional. So in that aspect, death is all in a day’s work, no matter how hard the loss may be to the family. I fill out my forms, say all the necessary pleasantries, and clock out at the end of the day.
But still, as I stand there in the room where life was once present, I can’t help but wonder, where do we go?
Last month, Matt’s grandma passed. We knew it was coming, and everyone was able to see her once more before she went, but the family was still heartbroken.
It’s then, when someone dies, that you suddenly realize how much you really didn’t know about a person. You find the obituary to be incredibly informative. And then you wonder, should you have known more? Taken more time? Called more often?
I have known and seen loss many times in my life both professionally and personally. I know not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could talk to my friends just one more time, but the truth is, I don’t even know what I’d say.
Today, and every day, the world loses amazing people. Most of the time, we never see it coming. So I guess the point I’m trying to make is, talk to them now, while you can. Make a point to meet for a quick lunch. Even a stupid emoji text is enough to let someone know you love them, or at least that you care.
Today I am mourning for my sister’s loss. And if she happens to read this, I hope she knows that she was the best granddaughter a woman could have ever asked for. You always called and wrote and visited. You were exactly the woman your grandma hoped you would be. Don’t question if you didn’t do enough. You were perfect. She loved you the best.