I DETEST the smell of that flower

I made a promise to myself that I would try to write more. More meaningful things. Things that define who I am. But how to find the time? And where? I decided here is as good a place as any. This post is a memory. A vivid yet blurry image that will seem disjointed to those that don’t know me, but that’s OK, because what’s important is that I write what I’m thinking about right now.

The smell of that flower actually makes me physically ill. It reminds me of the time I had to say goodbye to everything I had known up until that point.

I remember standing there, seeing all this white. Nurse after nurse after nurse in their traditional uniforms. White dresses, white tights, white shoes and those hats that just make you feel like you are being taken care of. All coming to give their last respects to that imposter in the casket. I didn’t know why I had to stand there and endure one more person looking at me with those watery sad eyes like they knew something I didn’t. Couldn’t they see that that woman looked nothing like my mom? It just couldn’t possibly be. It just couldn’t. It was all a mistake. And why did they keep asking me if I wanted to touch her? Why would I want to touch someone I don’t even know? Who is DEAD? What do all of those weird faces mean? Is that what grief looks like?

Grief looked like the little girl who finally realized that that woman really WAS her mom and that she had to say goodbye. And the smell of that flower was stifling.

Comments

  1. 1

    triplet mama says

    Angie, you must have such haunting memories. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be an 8 year old little girl trying to process your mother’s death. Thanks for sharing some of your deepest and painful thoughts with us.

  2. 2

    Laura says

    I have always thought how horrible this was for you. At just 8 yrs old you whole world was shattered, literally. Your sweet mother must be proud of you and your beautiful family. You have truly honored her. I am so very sorry for this loss.

  3. 3

    The Pruetz Family says

    Angie — This is beautiful, and so well said. I lost my mom, too. While she didn’t stop breathing until I was an adult, she became very ill and esentially died when I was a teenager. Thank you for sharing your thoughts — I don’t feel quite so alone.

  4. 4

    Doug & Stacy Fournier says

    WOW Angie, you did a great job on the posts! It gave me a clearer picture of what it must be like to lose your mom at such a young age! I’m so sorry for your loss!

  5. 5

    Kristin says

    I remember her funeral. You’re right, it didn’t look anything like her. All I remember is Barbara wailing and you three looking lost and confused…just not fair. She was a beautiful woman, you remind me a lot of her.

  6. 6

    Heather says

    Gut. Wrenching. I have to second the idea that you must make her so proud. Because you make me proud to know you and didn’t even birth you. I wonder if your memories and/or your grief change (not get better, mind you, just a different perspective) now that your a mother yourself. I imagine that now that Grace is close to the age you were when your mom died, it must give you a real dose of how hard it must have really been for you, how young you really were, and also how much your mom must have loved you. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I know that I think about my brother’s death in a different way especially when my children are the age he was when he died. I grieve it as a parent, in a sense, and I have some real anxiety of how to protect them. OK, officially blubbering now. Let’s get together soon.

  7. 7

    angie says

    Heather,
    I’m glad you posted because I was wondering why suddenly I’ve had this need to write down things about my mom…..I think you are right on target about Grace being almost the age I was. Also, my grief/memories have changed….some memories are more clear seemingly less confused while others are forgotten. My grief has changed, too. Time has made it much, much less painful and less real if you know what I mean.

  8. 8

    Debra says

    Angie,

    I cannot even imagine how hard this must have been for you. There is no doubt that your mother is proud of you. You are an amazing woman and an incredible mother. You must have learned (how to be a mom) so much from her in the 8 yrs you had her with you. I am so sorry for what you’ve had to go through. Joseph is 8. He has a hard time when I go to a hotel for 24 hrs to get some time to myself. I cannot imagine what you went through.

  9. 10

    Shannon says

    Angie,
    I cannot for a moment imagine what that experience must have been like for you. And now having to process it in such a different context – as a mother yourself. I am so impressed with your ability to express your feelings. You are such a strong woman with such a soft heart. Truly awe-inspiring! There is no doubt that your mother is beaming with pride at the amazing woman she brought to the world!

  10. 11

    Sarah says

    Angie, I have loved your past several post. You are so introspecitve. I can’t imagine how hard it must of been and what a dream it must of been like to have lost your mother. Your mother must of been a pretty amazing person to have the memories that you have from such a young age.

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