The week following my mom's death was the most surreal time in my life. It's likely the closest I've come to an out of body experience - I know I was present, but looking back on it... it feels more like a series of dreams and nightmares. I experienced life at the greatest of highs and the lowest of lows, all in seven days.
Shortly, after saying our final good-bye to our mom at the hospital, Frank and I were with my sister, Jeff and the kids in a dark room listening to the heartbeat of their littlest one, anticipating the confirmation of the baby's sex during an anatomical ultrasound. The circle of life unfolded before our very eyes in seven short hours. I lost a mother, but I gained a niece.
Being the bearer of bad news is never fun. When spreading the word of death to loved ones... it fractures your already broken heart into a hundred smaller pieces - over and over again.
The outpouring of support, condolences and kindness from the least expecting sources are touching, but silence is deafening.
Returning to my mom's house the day after her death was more than I could bear. I shattered in her drive way, I think I left shards of my heart behind that day. It simply sucks, I knew it would, but I wasn't prepared for how great of a loss it would be or how deeply shaken to the core I would be or how alone I would feel. The grief makes you want to curl up in bed to avoid facing the world, but it also makes you lie awake at night as thoughts flutter a million times a minute. You're flooded with the why's and how's and you begin to ponder your own mortality. There is much to be done, but where to begin? You want to push pause, just to take a minute to breath, but life marches on. I must say it's unfair to navigate uncharted waters in this state. I can barely read a paragraph and comprehend what I read, yet, I must proceed with the checklist I found on Google, because no one ever told me what to do when your parent dies. Responsibility has never been this great before, and I have never felt so weak.
When you would be typically burying your loved one, Frank and I were hosting friends and family in a Villa at Caesars Palace. We had the rare opportunity to stay in $40,000/night suite. It was amazing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that couldn't be missed. I only wish I could have enjoyed it more. A day later, I was feasting on a meal at Guy Savoy, which is bucket list material. While I enjoyed the experience, and both were such a lovely escape - it's still incredibly hard to get out of your own head. I felt like a princess, but not the one who was living her happily ever after, but one that was lying in wait of the spell being broken.
The next day I was getting blood drawn and completing paperwork for surgery. I'm allergic to many antibiotics, it's typically easier and it usually suffices to name the one I can take and stick to that family. However, the nurse handling my pre-op care wasn't satisfied. She wanted more information... "sadly, the one person who might know is no longer around to ask," I sobbed. She quickly hugged me so I didn't fall apart.
And then, leading up to the morning of my ankle surgery I was wrecked with worry. It was a routine procedure, but what if something went terribly wrong. Thankfully, the team at the hospital took excellent care of me, and Amy was at my side to continue my care at home. Where I would go to begin to heal - mind, body and soul.