I’m so sorry, what a shock

Was the way I found out my Mother had died. This was the Facebook message from an old childhood friend to my husband’s page, a friend who had only recently reconnected with me after an over thirty year separation.

I knew immediately it was my Mother as I had, quite by coincidence, found out that my Father was dying. So the “shock” had to be in reference to her not him. His was pending, eighty days later as it turned out.

The last time I had seen my Mother was four years prior, we walked past each other in Costco. I recognized her more from her clothing than her face. She had new glasses, round granny glass-style. Not a good look, it caught me by surprise. No words were spoken, just a surprised look on her face. I have no idea what my face would have spoken to her. I ended up almost behind her and my Father in the check-out line. He didn’t look at me.

I have thought often about that encounter over the years, trying to read every nuance that I could. Nothing of comfort ever came of it.

It’s been eight months since my Father died, our last conversation was twenty minutes of him yelling and screaming at me what a “fucking idiot” I was. An all too familiar refrain and all he had to give me over my life. Not like the words eulogizing our friend’s Mother’s life at her funeral today. Words like the” glue that kept the family together”, “always there for her children”, “sacrificing all for the family”. No words like that would ever be spoken about my Mother or Father. Besides the lack of fond memories there was also the lack of a funeral for either one of them. A viewing of my Father attended by my nephew and his wife and Zaia and I was nothing resembling a funeral.