Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Four Months

It’s been four months since my mother died.

I sat in a meeting today, one I would not have been invited to without the resources she left me, and kept thinking about how fresh it still feels.


The last few days, I have been tearing up over the smallest things. Getting ready for a party or sitting in a meeting. Driving home today, I started to cry uncontrollably. It was the kind of moment I wanted to share with her.

Damn her for making me wait until she died.

I came home and curled up on the couch with an old coat of hers. Okay, it’s a fur coat and what the hell else am I ever going to use if for other than a blanket? I stuck my nose into the fur hoping to smell her again, if only a little. Cigarettes and White Diamond perfume. I’ve had the coat for too long. It smells like me.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.

It started the other night. Jeanine reminded me she was going to my mother’s condo for the weekend. Meeting her mom and aunt, they will spa and shop and relax.

Do you want me to do anything with your mom’s stuff? Like her clothes?

And I was angry. No. It’s mine to do. No.

You know, we could help…

No. Absolutely not. Don’t touch anything.

There is so much post her death I have no control over. There is a bank person who is the executor. I don’t live in the same town where her house is so I have no daily understanding of what is going on with it. I receive long, complicated bank statements in the mail I have to decipher.

On my own.

It’s the kind of thing I would call my mother and say, HUH? What do I need to do? How are these people? What do they want? What is reasonable, what is not? I could draw on her experience. She’d always have one funny story to tell.

And one careful reminder to watch my back. Never let anyone buy you lunch. Always know what they want.

I feel her absence intensely right now. The way she would have an opinion- a strong, carefully worded one- and let you know what, in her mind, was the right thing to do. Sometimes I agreed, sometimes I didn’t, but I always valued her input.

Well, about finance, philanthropy and community involvement. Her insights to my personal life usually hurt.

I don’t want Jeanine to touch her things. I want to do it. It feels like a part of the grieving process I have not had the chance to do. To take the clothes off the hangers, carefully fold them and place them in a box.

Maybe I’m a hypocrite. I spent so much time fighting with my mother over the years, why am I so sad now? What right do I have? Why should I get to demand anything? Why do I want anything?

I don’t know.

I only know it’s been four months.

And I want to smell her again, cigarettes and White Diamond perfume.


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