I’m the weird person who has a song associated to every major or memorable life event. Happy or sad occasion, I have a song that will take me right back to that specific day and time as if time hasn’t lapsed.
Currently it’s Good Days by SZA. Until this particular day, I had never truly listened to this song…I had just done one of the last things I ever wanted to do in life alone. Physically alone, because Brother was on the phone.
I was making my Mother’s final arrangements while she was still alive…
The hospice nurse thought that it would be easier to handle before rather than during this transition. I cannot tell you how much I tried to prepare myself for this. I couldn’t. My heart raced. I was fucking scared. I screamed. I was fucking angry. I threw shit, I banged shit and I broke shit. I just wanted to end the entire world. I didn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone at this point. I have never been here and I was completely ALONE. I am nearing the point where I have to tell my Mother, Goodbye. Goodbye. The word we did not say. See You later was our term. Goodbye was FOREVER. This felt like someone stabbing me in my chest and turning the knife counterclockwise. Over and over again, while I just sat and endured the pain. Digging deeper and deeper past my physical body and deep into my soul. My muthafuckin SOUL was aching!!! Do you understand what kind of pain that is???
After I sit in the car and give myself multiple pep talks, I walk inside. I’ve called because I don’t want to do too much talking. I’m 100% sure I’m going to fucking cry. I sit, shake and fiddle endlessly inside the funeral home. I still cannot make sense of me choosing a casket and vault for my Mother who is very much alive. I have not made peace with her transitioning soon. I don’t want this to be true. This woman…was not just my Mother…she was the truest of my true friends. She was my everything. I sat quietly with my Brother on FaceTime. I am sure to refer to her in the present because she is very much alive.
This is just planning. “Girl you are just planning, this does not mean anything. Get it together!”, I tell myself over and over again. I’ve been here before. But this time is different. THIS IS MY MOTHER!
I remember countless random conversations that we had about end of life. Things she said she wanted and things she absolutely did not want. Her biggest hell no was being put on display. We shared the same sentiment in this regard. I am just me. She was just she. She didn’t think she was pretty and neither do me. (That was our rhyme…❤️) We we just we. No label. In competition with no one. But one thing was for certain. We did not want people looking/staring at us. It’s funny because as I sat there at the table with the Funeral Director, I laughed. My Mom was truly a nut. Always being silly. (I’m sure that’s where I got it from) If someone stared at her a moment too long, she’d stick out her tongue. Smh. A grown woman. She was she, as I said. There was no one else like her and she didn’t give a shit. I loved that about her. She didn’t care what anybody thought. Her life was her own and she made of it what she wanted. No one else mattered. Except me and Tonka Truck Head lol. That was one thing that she always taught me. She’d say, “You are magical girl. There’s no one like you. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. And you better not come down off your thrown for no woman or man. I create nothing but greatness!” Once I got older I’d laugh at her speech. I thought it was funny…magical…ok Mom… (P.S. I’m a mermaid 🙄)
“No cars, no church. Private graveside service. I’ve already purchased the plot. Short, simple and sweet. No wake/viewing. No newspaper announcement. Immediate family viewing only after My Brother & I’s approval. I will write the obituary and complete the program. I’d like to assist with the design of the programs.”..I word vomited it all while tapping my foot and staring at the clock on the wall. All I could think was I have to wrap this up and get back to Best Friend. She is probably wondering what is taking me so long. She hated when I said I’d be right back and it was hours later. Say what you mean and mean what you say…that was her motto. And she stuck by it and tried to hold everyone else to it too.
I asked Brother if I covered it all, he agreed and I hurry the hell out of there. When I step outside and the sun hit me, I dropped my mask and take the deepest breath I could. My chest feels like ten elephants are sitting on top of me. I get in the car, hang up with Brother and head back to Best Friend. I get this strong feeling that she need me. She swears we were telepathic. I always played along. But foreal though…Mom I’m coming was what I was subconciously thinking just in case this shit was true. At this point, I believe in genies, fairies, vampires, zombies, heaven & hell, angels, Iron Man, WonderWoman, shit Donkey Kong. I reverted to an entire child again wanting nothing more than my Mother. If you don’t know how that feels, well I can’t make you. Believe me I don’t ever want to be there again.
I run not one but two red lights. I don’t even care. Mail me a ticket. I gotta get across town. I get a text from my aunt. Come on back now. I’m on the way Auntie…as fast as I can promise me. I reach the light not even a half a mile from her…
I sit and wait for it to turn green….I hear SZA and I sit and stare beyond what’s in front of me to listen,
Good day in my mind, safe to take a step out
Get some air now, let your edge out
Too soon, I spoke, you be heavy in my mind
Can you get the heck out?
I need rest now…Good Days by SZA
The song is interrupted when my phone rings…I look down and it’s the hospice nurse. My body instantly turns into an ice block, my heart seems to stop and I feel like every piece of hair I have on me is standing straight up. She asks me if anyone had called me. I hesitate to reply. I am approaching the stop sign to turn into the facility parking lot. I’ve never really been scared like this in my life. I didn’t want to hear anything she had to say other than my Mother was speaking or something positive. She says, I’m sorry Hun, your Mother passed away about 10 minutes ago…..she continues to talk and I hear absolute. nothing.
I can’t tell you what happened. I just remember being in the hallway sliding down the wall to avoid hitting the floor. The nurse walks me to her side because I’m adamant that I see her. I enter her room and I’m met with my Mother, who looks like she’s sleeping.
The little girl inside me is kicking, screaming and yelling. Her Mother is gone. On the exterior, all I can do is silently cry and hold her hand….my Best Friend is gone. What in the entire fuck!!!
What part of the game of Life is this???
My Mother was a huge lover of all music. It is why I use music to get through so much in life. It why it is always playing around me. It’s not surprising that of all songs to play, this one was playing when I was told she had transitioned. Right down to the words…she was heavy on my mind and heart before I got the call. And just the mere title of the song confirms for me that she was ok…and that she didn’t want me to be sad. It was a Good Day. She was no longer suffering, no longer depending on someone else to care for her when we know that she hated it.
So, this song lyrics loop through my head several times a day right now. It triggers so much for me. Sometimes I hear it and I can smile, knowing that we had some good damn days. And other times I can hear it and cry, knowing that this was the song that I was listening to when I was told that she’d left me.
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Here I am, 4 months after your transition…
Still not easier…in fact, it’s harder than last month.
I temporarily lost access to my best friend. The love of my life. The other half of my soul.
I reflect on how I wish you were able to meet him. He’s really a great guy. I can only imagine the conversations that you two would have had. Oh my goodness. You’d talk for hours. He’s the one that would have a beer with you. I even think, he would of been the one that could sweet talk you out of the house on a trip with us.
There is still so much I want to pick up the phone and talk to you about. My feelings, what’s going on, and get your advice, hear you sing or make a joke about anything and everything.
Your picture scrolled across my TV when it went to sleep yesterday. I looked at it and smiled. It was Brother’s going away party. You were standing next to him with his friends. I remember that day like it was yesterday. You were tired that day and you didn’t feel well but you made your way to his party. The party that I orchestrated. You were ready to go before it got dark so that you were at home. It was super hot outside and for a moment I had to make you come inside. You were sweating profusely and just didn’t want to be around “family”. Oh I understand now. Hell I don’t want to be around them now myself.
I sometimes find myself mad that I didn’t understand things that you told me growing up. And then I think maybe back then those weren’t things that I needed to understand. But now I have so many questions. I can hear you now. “Just shut up talking and listen! You ask so many damn questions. Inquisitive Ivy…” LOL. I loved it. You may have been one of few people who walked this earth who can make me hush.
There are days where I really forget that you are truly gone. And when I remember it hurts like it’s Day One all over again. I restart the stages of grief at least a few times a week. But it is ok. My new grief counselor says it’s normal. You never get over it. You learn to live with it…now that sounds better than time heals all wounds.
Protected: It’s Not The End…Just the Beginning…
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Grieving Today…I lost my best friend
PTSD Awareness Day…the mind replays what the heart can’t delete…support those you love who are suffering…it means more than you will ever know.
It’s been exactly three months to the day since my Mom left me on this Earth. It’s been very difficult to navigate. Often times I don’t feel there isn’t anyone that I can talk to who can truly relate.
I isolate myself quite a bit. I enjoy being home in my place of peace where I feel most protected. I’m cautious of who I let in because everyone doesn’t emit good positive energy.
Some days I can spend the entire day crying. Crying because I heard one of her favorite songs. Crying because I have no one to talk to, when my Mom was always a phone call away. Crying because I just genuinely miss her. It still doesn’t feel real. I still forget some days and call the facility to check on her. And some days I’m perfectly fine.
It’s hard no doubt. And this isn’t something I’d wish even on my worse enemy.
I try to spend a little more time outside these days in the sun because it makes me feel happy. When I begin to cry and I can’t stop, I go outside in my front yard, barefoot and I just stand or sit in the grass. Surely my neighbors think I’m nuts but I don’t care. Taking care of my mental is of upmost importance. And I don’t worry how others view me. (Lesson #999 From My Mom:
What they eat don’t make you shit Darling! Fuck how they feel about you!-My Mom
In the three months she’s been gone a lot has been revealed to me. A lot has happened, some good and some bad. It forced me to put together my final arrangements for my own life. I spoke with my ex-husband to discuss how to handle our kids in my absence. Outside of him and my Brother, I don’t want anyone else having access to my children.
I learned that family and so called friends can be deceptive, conniving, deceitful, manipulative and controlling…but only if you allow them. I always thanked my Mom for how she raised me. And I still do every morning. I’m cut from a different cloth and that’s not to imply I’m better than anyone. It is to imply that I have values and morals that may not be like most. And one thing I don’t do is change how I treat people. I always operate out of a place of love. I always move cautiously to ensure I’m not harming anyone intentionally. I help those I can in ways that don’t interfere with taking care of me and mine. I listen, I give advice if I’m led to and overall I just try to be a good person. As abundantly blessed as I am, I am not stuck on how much or what I have in comparison to others. I’m content with being able to take care of me and my babies. I’m reserved and intuitive.
I now listen to my intuition more than I ever did. This was a rough month to endure but the lesson I learned is to be careful of who I let in my corner. Wolves dress in sheep’s clothing in all aspects of our life. And these wolves aren’t always strangers. I stay protected in all the ways (spiritually, physically and mentally) and stay in my peaceful bubble. I know I will have good and bad days but it’s always nice to look back on how far I’ve come. Time doesn’t heal our heart…only we do.