A friend posted on Facebook this morning: What does a person do when their mom dies?
My response was one of condolences and advice to stay busy during the next few days and to not be surprised to feel like she was walking in a fog. Since my mother died on Christmas morning, I was able to spend the remainder of the day un-decorating the house and cleaning up the holiday detritus. I remember we were invited to a New Year’s Eve party and the partygoers couldn’t understand why I had to leave early. None of them had lost parents at that point in their life. Having lost both of my parents, I understand that life seems a bit off-kilter for awhile. It’s very hard to put on a party face.
My dad died right before my sixteenth birthday, during summer break. By the time I returned to school in September, I was doing okay. No one at school mentioned that my father had died over summer vacation nor did I talk about it. I did my school work and excelled as a student, just as my father would have expected.
I was 48 years old when my mother died. I had a month leading up to her death to prepare as the doctor had told us right after her stroke at Thanksgiving that she would live only five days. She hung on until that Christmas morning. I was again on break from school. By the time Christmas break ended, my mother had been buried and I was ready to get back to work. Again, as with my dad’s passing, I did my school work, this time as the teacher, and excelled, just as my mother would have expected.
So, in addition to my previous advice, I think I will tell my friend to do as her mother would have expected her to do.