My co worker’s mother died a few days ago. Some of us from work went to the wake. Jill’s mother looked beautiful, laid out in the casket, in a smart red suit. Her beloved Jelly beans and a deck of cards were tucked in beside her.
Jill’s mother was 95 when she died, in Jill’s house, where they had been living together for years. Jill was by her side when she passed. Jill’s daughter was there too. It was a “good death”, if such a thing can be good.
Of course, seeing Jill and her mother brought back a lot of feelings about my own mother’s death.
I was there near the end, with Mom, but not at the end. Mom was in hospice. I was not really a welcome visitor in my mother’s room. I did not go to Mom’s memorial service. I did not view her body. She was cremated immediately. I longed for one last look, but it was not to be.
I had no choices regarding Mom’s care, her service or her remains. I am her firstborn, and natural next of kin, but adoption erased all that. I was merely an unwelcome stranger.
Someday I may bury my adoptive mother. I’ll be the next of kin. As an only child, I’ll make all the decisions. But, she is not my mother. My mother is dead.