The wake, day 2, part 2

We hadn’t even made it to the funeral home yet and I knew it was going to be a long awkward day. My husband was irate. He told me to bring my mom’s truck back to the house immediately and so before the wake that’s what I did. I knew them being so nice was all a big bullshit act. I honestly don’t even think my brother had any clue as to what his wife was doing or saying. 
I still hadn’t had a good nights rest and by time I had reached the funeral home that day I was seriously in a state of complete shock. I tried to put all my ill feelings for my brother and his wife aside and just get through the day. I walked into the room to see my mom again. I walked up to the casket and knelt down and in my head I talked to her. I told her I was sorry. That I didn’t think I could fix things at this point. That I was so disappointed with my brother and I hoped she could see now and understand. 
As I walked around the room and looked at the old photos of days past I noticed there was another board filled with pictures and it wasn’t from me. When I got a better look I realized there was several photos from my brothers wedding. All the ones I didn’t include. There was also photos of my mom’s cousin and then various other people. I asked my cousin Nikki where that board came from and she told me Aunt Bea had brought it. Again that day my uncle Bob, Aunt Bea and even her kids sat off to the side right next to my brother and Satan. It was perfectly clear to me that day that they were trying to get under my skin. 
At some point halfway through I noticed that my Aunt’s and Uncle’s were all missing from the room. I asked someone where they went and I was told the funeral director brought them all downstairs to pick out their urns for my mom’s ashes. Then I noticed my grandmother was still in the room. No one had even thought to bring her down there to pick hers out and so I grabbed her and escorted her down to the showroom. My aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie were down there and as soon as Aunt Bea realized my grandmother hadn’t picked hers out, she grabbed her arm and started to drag her around the room. I left and let them take care of it from there. 
The first viewing had come and gone and my family came back to my mom’s house. After a while I realized that my brother and his wife weren’t there. They never showed up either. Didn’t matter anyway, they didn’t do a god damn thing to help out the day before. I forgot to add this in my post about the previous day so I’ll add it now. I had done all the shopping for the previous day but my brother told me he and Satan would bring the drinks. Of course they would, drinking is Satan’s favorite hobby. They came with a few bottles of Soda and one bottle of Sangria. Sangria for a wake? It just seems inappropriate, something you’d bring for a Cinco di mayo celebration. Anyway; my brother told me they were stopping and picking up drinks on the way there and asked if I needed anything. I realized that I forgot to buy sweetener for the coffee and so I asked him to pick some up. He shows up at the house and reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bunch of loose packets of various artificial sweeteners! He stole them from a local convenience store! I know they sell them there but Satan was probably too cheap to buy it herself. I just thought it was funny. 
At my mom’s house that day everyone had noticed that the lights were flickering in her kitchen. It happened the previous day too, but this day it was a lot more intense and everyone in the house was commenting on it. I had been in my mom’s house countless times in the past year and there was only one other time her lights were flickering like that. It was the day after her birthday. My husband and I were there because we didn’t attend the party at my brother’s house, the day prior. My brother and Satan conveniently forgot to give my mom her birthday gift at the party and so they showed up the next day with it. When they got there, the lights in the kitchen started to flicker like crazy. Satan didn’t like it. She was bugging out saying that it had to be because there was too much electric being used and so she ran around the house turning lights and air conditioners off trying to make it stop, but they just kept flickering. Every took it as a sign from my mom that she was with us. 
That day I really wanted to tell Uncle Bob he was not welcome in my mom’s home. It was very obvious he was visibly uncomfortable. He and Aunt Bea, both planted their asses in the living room that day and stayed there until it was time to go back to the funeral home. I couldn’t get it out of my head that my brother said he knew I was trying to get my mom to write him out of the will. There was only one place he could’ve gotten that from and I was looking right at the two guilty parties. 
By the time the second viewing came, I was completely wiped. I couldn’t talk anymore both literally and physically. I felt like a zombie, like someone had sucked the life out of me. As people were approaching me expressing their sympathy I hardly knew what to say anymore. I had told the story so many times at that point. I almost just wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.
 At one point, my brother’s childhood best friend showed up. He had tried getting in touch with my brother but my brother never responded. I explained to him that my brother was with this succubus who wouldn’t allow him to have his own life. Knowing the story, he still came to pay his respects. A few days after the wake he messaged me to tell me that when he came to the wake he walked up to me and he could visually see that this had taken a huge toll on me. I looked wrecked over it. He said then he and his wife walked over to my brother and Satan and the vibe was completely different. They were laughing and talking like they were at a bar or something. He said they didn’t even look the least bit upset. He introduced his wife to my brother and he told me that Satan just turned her head away. Wouldn’t even give his wife the time of day. Yup, that sounded about right. 
The funeral director had asked us the previous day if we wanted a priest to do a eulogy. Although both me and my brother do not practice any religion we elected to have one because we knew it would bring comfort to my family. My mom was not religious either, but I believe she would’ve wanted a priest for the same reason. I also told the funeral director that I would’ve liked to say something too. The priest came in a few minutes before he was going to do his reading. Since we hadn’t attended church in over two decades, we didn’t really have a priest we were familiar with. He asked my brother and I a lot of questions about our mother. 
We went back in the room and lined up in the front row. I took my grandmother and sat her down in one of the big chairs. My husband sat on the opposite side. There was one chair left and obviously it was for my brother. My Aunt Bea went and grabbed another chair for Satan to sit next to us. It was symbolic of how we all thought of her. She was just an extra chair who never really felt part of the family. 
The priest did his reading in which I felt like I couldn’t even follow. I was really disappointed because it was totally impersonal. He didn’t make any mention of any of the things we had discussed about my mom prior. When he was done, he just said goodnight and walked away. He didn’t even ask if anyone else had anything to say about my mom. He just walked away. I had written a eulogy but I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I felt really strange standing up because by that time everyone started to get out of their seats and walk away. I never got to read my eulogy and I’m still upset about it to this day. 

The night was coming to an end and oddly enough, the lights in the room at the funeral home started to flicker just like the lights at the house, and everyone was commenting about it. This was it. Time to say goodbye to my mother forever. I looked around the room and realized there were so many cards. Before my brother could take them, I stated to go around the room and collect them. I also took the guest book. As the daughter, I felt it was my job to write out the thank you cards, to those who had attended the wake. I wanted to hold on to them for dear life. I knew if my brother got them there was no way he was writing out the cards. There was no way I was going to allow Satan to write out these cards. It was MY mother. They got to do everything else, this was my job. I purposely ordered blank cards so I could write a special message to everyone individually. 
I handed the cards off to my husband and told him not to let go of them. A few minutes later I see the funeral director taking them from him. I was so mad. They came in and pulled me and my brother out to the lobby. They had all the cards and photos put in bags. They handed us the death certificates and gave me four and my brother got five. As she stared to pack the Mass cards into the bag my brother asked if he could take half and I said, “no, I want to write out the cards.”. He sat there and argued with me and I firmly told him, “NO! Your wife is not writing out cards for my mother.”. He still took half of the thank you cards. I didn’t care. It was time I put my foot down and took control of my life. 
He and Satan left in a huff. I didn’t care. My aunts and uncles hung around to the end. We all stood there in silence around my mom’s casket. Everyone crying and holding one another. I felt like I couldn’t move. My grandmother went up to the casket and kissed my mom’s head and kept saying, “my baby, I love you.”. It was the most heartbreaking thing to watch. I couldn’t handle it. I broke down. I reflected on the last year and all me and my mom had gone through, all the ups and downs. All the struggles, the shock and disappointment. I felt like together we had gone to war, like we were soldiers of our own army. We both in our own ways fought so hard, right down to the end. I thought about how she suffered and endured so much pain both mental and physical and it was all for nothing. Saying that I felt defeated and deflated in that moment is an understatement. I felt like the biggest failure in the world. I couldn’t save her. I had been trying to save her for the last ten years of her life. Death changes you. My mom changed drastically after my dad died and I felt like I spent that last decade trying to find the old her and bring her back. I failed and especially in the last three years. I am a fixer by nature I just wanted to fix her but she was broken.
When she first got sick I promised her that I would be there with her to the very end, holding her hand and the one thing I could feel good about was at least that. I stick by her side to the last breath. I have never loved someone so much in my life. My mom was one of a kind. A truly unique person. The bond we shared was like no other. I will never be the same. My life is forever changed and I feel this huge void, this emptiness that I can’t even explain. I feel like half of me is missing. My mom was ALWAYS there for me. She loved me unconditionally, and it was truly unconditional. She always had my back and was the only person in this world who really, and purely understood who I was…..because she made me who I am today and I am so proud and lucky that I got to call her mom, for 35 years. 
The night was over. I was the last person to leave the room that night. I rubbed her arm one last time and told her I love and will miss her forever. I told her to go be with my dad. She is free now. Free from all the misery this world brought to her. Free from the pain. Free from the stress. She is finally at peace. I never truly understood what that meant when people said it after someone died, but now I get it. She is in heaven. 
From that day on I knew I was heading into a whole new battle. One like I had never known before and everything I thought was going to happen… well it happened. 

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The wake, day 2 part one 

It was the day before thanksgiving and the final day of my mom’s wake. I woke up that morning still reeling about the email alert I saw on her phone that someone had changed the primary email address on one of her accounts. I had enough of the sneaky bullshit from my brother and his wife and it was time they both knew that I was on to them and wasn’t fucking around anymore. I text my brother first thing in the morning and sent him a screen shot of the email and asked him, “who is making changes in mommy’s accounts?” I also informed him that he shouldn’t be making any changes or doing anything without discussing it with me first. He answered me back, “I’m not doing any of that.”. I asked him, “then who is?”. I also noticed another email that changes were made on her Verizon account and so I told him about that one too. He responded that he had no idea and asked if there were any others. Obviously someone was doing something. These places don’t know someone is dead until they are notified by the family. I then asked him, “How’d someone change the primary email on mommy’s [money market] account?”. I then said, ” It wasn’t mommy because she died on the 20th. I called the inheritance dept and they’re going to investigate it.”. I wanted to give him a chance to be honest but he replied with this, “And side note, if I shouldn’t be in any of those accounts without speaking to you first, should you then not be in any of those accounts without speaking with me first?”. The funny part was, I wasn’t in the accounts. I had no interest in them until I saw the email. I wasn’t finished, I also let told him, “And also, [Satan] shouldn’t be making ANY phone calls to ANY companies, [newspapers], [oil company] or otherwise.”. 
He text me back to call him but I wasn’t about to get into a huge blowout. Plus, I wanted his words in writing and mine as well. At this point in time I knew I had to protect myself. Then he texts me this. “1. I can call about any account that I am a beneficiary on, just like you can. “. I was still explaining to him how I came across the email. “I just got an email alert. I’m not in the accounts. I’m trying to deal with getting through the funeral.”. Since he didn’t yet respond to my text about his wife I wanted to make sure he saw it so I wrote, “[Satan] needs to stop calling. She told my husband. She really needs to step back it’s MY mother.”. That’s when he sent me a text that put me into a complete state of shock and showed me just how stupid he really was. “2. I gave [Satan] power of attorney for me, so she can call on my behalf anywhere…..” and then another message that said, “it’s my mother too.”. 

What in the actual fuck, I thought to myself. I seriously thought he was joking. No one could be that stupid!! I sarcastically replied, “Oh really. Ok. Where is the paperwork?”. I really thought he was fucking with me. I didn’t think he was that dumb and brainwashed by her. 
Throughout my mom’s entire hospital stay, I had tried to get him to sit down and talk. He ignored me every time and so once again, I brought up the fact that we should all be discussing this stuff together as a team. I wrote, “Ok well regardless we should all be sitting down and discussing this shit first. Where were you guys when mommy was alive? That’s what I’d like to know. There was no interest in helping then.”. I have to note here that I have said things of this nature to my brother several times since my mom’s passing. He NEVER responds to it. EVER! He doesn’t respond because he knows he doesn’t have an answer. He wasn’t there to help and he knows it. 
I then wrote, “send me a copy of the form. Please.”. My brother was still defending himself and wrote, “You also can’t be going in the house and taking what you want, or “telling me” that you’re taking mom’s truck. That’s not how it works. All of mom’s stuff belongs to the Estate until the will is settled.”. Such bullshit. I couldn’t believe he even said that after his wife called my husband and was offering up things that weren’t even hers. As far as me offering up stuff, did he really have a problem with giving our 89 year old grandmother my mom’s bed? I wrote back to him, “ha ha ok. [Satan] called [my husband] this morning and said I can take the truck.”
Again he was trying to get me on the phone to call him and I replied, “Im not fighting with you. Let’s get through today. I just want you to know that I know what’s going on.”, and then,”You can ask ANYONE, mommy didn’t want [Satan] touching any of her stuff. I have her saying it on tape if you’d like to hear it. So you’re going against her wishes, NOT MINE.” His reply to that, “Her will says what her wishes are. That we get everything 50/50. That’s it. That’s not you taking what you want, giving away what you want.”. What he said next though, was the real kicker, “Don’t try to guilt me. And I know you were trying to have her write me out of the will.”. 
I sincerely have NO FUCKING CLUE where he got that from and it sincerely pisses me off that he even thinks that. It’s insulting. I don’t know when I’ve EVER been known to screw over my family. This is news to me. There was NEVER any type of discussion between me and my mom like that. In fact, years ago, long before we knew of my mom’s cancer, she said to me one day that she wanted to cut my brother from her will because she didn’t want “that bitch” (Satan) having her money. My exact words to my mom, “well that’s fucking stupid! You’re not going to be here, who cares. I told her that if she did that she would be guaranteeing my brother and I would never talk again. I then told her if she did that, I’d just give him half anyway so it wouldn’t matter. That was the first and last time we ever discussed it and that was three years prior to her death. I would never do such a thing. Do I feel after the last three years the way my brother treated my mom that he deserved anything? At times, no but the reality was that my mom still loved my brother. That for the better part of his life, he was a good son to her. I would never, ever, try to fuck my family over like that, EVER! I was so insulted that whoever told my brother that, he actually believed it. 
After that he sent me 7 photos, page by page of the power of attorney forms. I had to make this clear to many people because I’d tell them the story and they though my mom had signed power of attorney over to my brother. No, my brother signed power of attorney, FOR HIMSELF, over to his wife so that she can handle my mom’s affairs, for him! My brother isn’t an idiot. It’s not like he’s a dumb, helpless fool. His wife makes him seem like one but he’s not. 
I sent the photos of the documents over to my husband and as he looked them over he realized that they were signed and dated on the 18th and with that we realized that, that was probably what she pulled out of her bag when him and I walked into the hospital room. It made me sick that her and my brother were sitting right at my mom’s bedside while she was laying there dying, talking about this shit, right in front of her, like she wasn’t even there. Since my mom’s death I’ve found out that those weren’t the only things being discussed by my mom’s bedside. I recently found out that on the day that the woman came from the funeral home, and I had said something to Satan, she went back in my mom’s room where Uncle Bob was sitting, along with my cousin Nikki’s mom and the two of them were talking shit about me, saying how I was “fucking dead to them.”. My aunt walked out of the room because she couldn’t believe how fucking wrong it was. That will haunt me for the rest of my life. How could they do that? They knew how upset my mom was over all of this. How could they stand there and talk about this shit in front of her? 
I replied back to my brother’s last stupid comment to me, “And I’m not taking MOMMY’S Car right now. I told you my breaks are shot on my car.”, and I added, “I wasn’t trying ANYTHING. I NEVER spoke to mommy about her will! EVER. Who told you that? Aunt bea? Wow you are delusional! Mommy actually told me about three years ago that she wanted to do that and I told her I’d be really pissed if she did and I’d give you half of everything anyway. You are fucking sick of you think that. Mommy told ME that she wanted to make me the executor. She told just about everyone she knows that. I NEVER spoke to her obviously because I’m not the executor. “. I had to let him know, “She didn’t like your wife and that’s the only reason why. It was nothing against you.”. He text me back, “you are being blocked, I’m done.”. 
Of course that was his answer. He never wanted to discuss any of the real issues. Whenever he was confronted with reality, he ran away. Whenever he didn’t have an answer, he ran away. Whenever I tried to resolve things, he ran away. His wife controlled his every move in life and now it was more than abundantly clear that she kept his balls locked inside her purse for safe keepings. He had completely lost his mind and control over his own life and his own relationships. I let him know, “It’s obvious that your wife needs to control everything and mommy just wanted me to have a fighting chance since I am the one who took care of her. Regardless she never changed it and you guys and us should talk before you go changing account email addresses and canceling shit……All you fucking care about is money anyway.”. By that time, I was blocked. 
I know my words were harsh and I take full responsibility over them. Everyone has a breaking point in life and he had way more than crossed the threshold. I kept my mouth shut for three years while his wife disrespected my mother, talked to her like she was some piece of trash off the streets, had no empathy for her. They went through her safe, into her most personal stuff, opened her mail, snooped around her home and I kept my mouth shut. I let them bully me into having a representative from the funeral home come to the hospital while she was still breathing, I let them decide when her wake was and how long it would be, I fucking had enough. Was the timing wrong of all of this? Yes, maybe it was. Maybe I should’ve waited but they had no consideration for mine or my mother’s feelings for three fucking years. I was done. 
(To be continued in my next post)

The wake, day one 

I woke up early the next morning. The wake wasn’t until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I took some coffee and I ran straight to walmart in my pajamas. I was so thankful my my cousin and my mom’s cousin had gathered some photos for me. The rest I randomly selected off my mom’s Facebook page. I printed 109 photos in total that morning. 
I rushed home and like a machine I glued them all down to the boards. By the time I had finished I had enough time to get in the shower and get dressed. My husband and I opted to not bring my son to the wake. Although I wanted him to say goodbye to my mom, I didn’t want to put him and myself through the trauma. At three years old, only one month shy of turning four and he was at a weird stage where he was aware something wasn’t right but he couldn’t really understand what. I didn’t think he’d understand why my mom was laying there and not moving or why she couldn’t wake up. I thought it was too much for him to handle and so we had my sister-in-law watch him. 
My husband met me at the funeral home. Miraculously that morning my brother informed my husband that my mom’s life insurance plan didn’t lapse and so the funeral expenses would be paid by that after all. Personally I don’t think there ever was a lapse in the insurance. I think that was Satan just being vindictive because I was down with her Irish pub idea. 
My cousin Tina came out and helped me carry the photo boards into the funeral home. We waited in the lobby as the funeral director set up the boards. It was time to enter the room. I took a deep breath and walked through the doors. I was overwhelmed by the amount of flowers that were sent. They spanned the entire wall. My whole family had arrived by that point and we all walked in together. My husband and walked up to the casket. For the first time ever I didn’t feel scared at a funeral. It was also the first time I ever touched a dead person. I rubbed my mom’s arm. It felt hard and cold like a piece of wood. In a strange way, this part was the easy part to me. She was finally at peace. What I watched her endure for the last few months of her life, that was the hard part. I had non-stop anxiety for the last year of my life. I worried about her constantly. I never felt so helpless and powerless in my life. I lived in a constant state of fear, worry and stress. The stress had gotten to me so bad that it was starting to take a physical toll on my body. For the last few years I had started to break out in these two small patches of psoriasis on my scalp. When my mom was in the hospital that last month, the psoriasis covered my entire scalp. I had to wear a hat to the hospital everyday to cover up the medication that made my hair look oily and greasy. Still my itchy, greasy scalp was absolutely nothing compared to what I watched her go through. Seeing her finally at peace was actually a relief, in a weird sense. 
I had asked my brother to print some more photos because I had forgotten to print the ones he sent to me. I told him to take whatever photos he wanted down and to replace them with his photos. It was an honest mistake. To be honest though, I had not used all of the photos he had ha fed me the previous day at the funeral home. I used the one photo of my mom and his daughter and two of the five wedding photos that were in the envelope and that was already two too many. One of them I ripped in half in anger, knowing my mom was so upset that day and what that day caused her to go through. Yes it was an immature and stupid move. I have no excuse. I didn’t want to be accused of not including him so I made sure I chose a lot of old photos with him in them. I personally had no photos of him from the last three years because we didn’t speak. 

The most recent photos I personally had of him was from my son’s christening when he was 6 months old. 
After everyone kneeled down at my mom’s coffin and said their prayers, it was time to open the doors and let the public in. I turned around and saw my grandmother sitting in the second row of seats behind the big chairs that are usually reserved for the closest family members to the deceased. I told her to come sit in one of the big chairs. That was her baby. I placed my coat and purse on the other chair. I looked over to see my brother and Satan sitting off to the side in the rows where the non family usually sit. Satan was sitting down and I observed my uncle Bob entering the room. He walked over to her and sat down right next to her and put his arm around her as if she were the grieving daughter. For the entire length of the wake, my uncle Bob never came up to me and expressed his sorrow for my loss. He never even looked at to me. 

 

To me, my Uncle bob had made it distinctively clear that he was on my brother’s side. I still cannot believe that he used my mom’s death as a way to get back at me for “outing” his child molester son. I never had any type of argument or fight with him or my Aunt Bea for that matter. All I did was speak the truth that my family took the side of his son, the perpetrator, and not the victim, in a letter that I wrote to my aunt Debbie. I know she showed him that letter. As angry as I was with their son I always treated my Aunt and Uncle with the utmost respect. The fact that my uncle could stand in that room and not even so much as say sorry to me, shows what type of person he really is. I will never talk to that piece of shit again. He’s lucky I didn’t ask the funeral director to escort his ass out of there. 
A serious situation like a death will show you the true colors of the people around you. My Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob put on a very convincing act for the rest of the world. Where I come from, when someone dies you put all the bullshit aside. In the days leading up to and after my mom’s death they showed me who they really were and what they were all about. While my Uncle clearly showed me that he had no use for me, my aunt Bea was still going with the charade. I didn’t see it until two days later but she sent me a text the morning my mom died that read, “[my name], I am so sorry 💜 at the same time I was glad to know that you were with your Mom during her final hours. I KNOW she felt true comfort in you being there and I prayed for her to leave us peacefully with you by her side. She told us all how good you made her feel. God bless you 💜”

When I finally did see it, I never responded to her because I know she was totally full of shit. She was just one of 100’s of text messages I received that day. If she supported her husband and his decision not to so much as express his sorrows to me, she could go fuck herself too. I almost have more respect for him than I do for her. At least he treated me how he truly felt. They made me feel completely uncomfortable in an already extremely uncomfortable situation and that is something I will never forget. They made it very clear to me, as they sat right next to my brother and his wife at the wake, that they were 100% behind them and not me. I came to find out at that time, words from my brothers own mouth that my Uncle Bob was the one advising him while my mom was in the hospital that whole month. I had a feeling that was the case. My gut told me that ever since the day I saw them having that private conversation near the elevators. That only made me hate them more. They were the reason my brother and his wife were harassing my mom in her final days, to get her affairs, that were already in order, in an order that THEY would be happy with. I fucking hate those assholes. 
I was so overwhelmed at the wake. I felt like a zombie. I hadn’t really slept in days. I didn’t even know what to say to people when they came up to me with their sad faces. It was too much to handle. We got back to my mom’s house after the first viewing and everyone stuffed their faces. My brother, his wife, my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob sat in the living room and none of them lifted a finger to help. I so badly wanted to kick their asses out of the house but I composed myself. As I knew, my aunts would be in my mom’s bedroom. I brought my grandmother in there and asked her if she wanted my mom’s bed. I knew she probably was sleeping on the same mattress she had since my grandfather was alive in the 90’s. My aunt’s seemed thrilled at the idea. I didn’t think it would be a problem with my

Brother. I didn’t think he and his wife would want to sleep in my mom’s bed themselves. 
At some point during the time at my mom’s house Satan pulled my husband to the side and told him that she had been making phone calls. She called the oil company and told them to continue oil deliveries at my mom’s house and she cancelled the newspaper service. When my husband told me I of course was pissed. That was not her place to do so and especially without consulting with me first. I was even more pissed at my brother for allowing it. I also noticed her and my brother were in my old bedroom. The same room where the safe was that I had caught them sneaking into. I walked in there with my cousin Nikki afterwards and as we were in there reminiscing about my teen years I noticed this white folder sitting on top of a basket that my mom had some old bills in. The folder was not there the day prior. I grabbed the folder and slipped it under my jacket. My cousin, my husband and I went outside to go ask the neighbors if they wanted food. We stopped at my husband’s car to look at the folder. Sure enough it was the contract for my mom’s annuity that named me and my brother as beneficiaries. Obviously my brother and Satan left it in that room, near all their belongings probably with the plan to take it with them when they left. They were all over the money. My mom’s body hadn’t even gone cold. 
We returned to the funeral home and the night viewing was ten times more overwhelming than the day one. I saw faces I hadn’t seen in years. My mom worked at Kmart for 20 years prior to getting a job with my Aunt, the year after my dad passed. A lot of her co-workers from there and her current job came. I was meeting some people for the first time and seeing people that I had known my whole life. 
Donna, my brother’s ex-fiancé also came that night. She was very upset to lose her friend. Donna had also never met Satan before. She had only seen her in pictures. I think it’s expected at anyone’s wake that people from your past are going to show up. Friends of mine that I haven’t seen or talked to in years came to pay their respects because at one point in life, we shared a bond and they wanted to do the right thing. I know if my ex-boyfriend was still alive he would’ve came as well. Him and I broke up a year prior to my dad’s passing and he showed up at my dad’s wake to pay his respects. We didn’t leave off on the best of terms but he still showed up. 
I was in the back corner of the room talking to a group of my mom’s friends from Kmart when Donna came walking up in a huff. She was talking a little loudly and was obviously very upset about something. She told us what had happened just moments before, only a few feet away from my mom’s coffin. Obviously her and her husband wanted to pay their respects to my brother and so Donna saw an opportune time where my brother was standing alone and Satan was distracted talking to her girlfriend. She walked up to my brother and as soon as she did so, Satan came flying over like a dart and hooked her arm around my brothers arm. Donna asked if she could speak with my brother privately for a moment so she could express her daughter, his ex-fiancé’s sorrow and let him know that she was sorry she couldn’t come. Satan snapped at her and told her she was being very rude and so Donna snapped back and told Satan she was the rude one and a minor argument ensued. My brother told Donna he had to respect his wife and they walked away. Donna was really fired up and talking really loudly and I tried to calm her down. She was cursing Satan and saying how much she hurt my mom and how she didn’t deserve to be there. While I emphatically agreed with everything she was saying, I didn’t feel it was the time or place. I kept trying to calm her and eventually I politely excused myself from the situation. 
It was about a half hour or so before the night ended and my cousin Nikki came up to me and informed me that my brother and Satan had left to go pick up their kid. Her along with a few others thought it was incredibly wrong of them both to leave before the viewing was over. My husband and I took separate cars for that very reason. I was not going to leave my moms wake until everyone else did. 
I went outside to get some fresh air and saw Donna’s husband out there smoking a cigar. I could tell he was very upset. I wanted to thank him for making all the food for us. He included a lot of extras that I didn’t order. He told me that when my brother was leaving he tried to go up and express his sorrow and my brother completely sniffed him. He asked what he personally did to be treated like that? He was always kind to my brother and treated him with respect. They had a very good relationship when my brother was with his ex. They went to baseball games together and hung out. I could tell it really affected him that my brother was so rude to him and donna. I felt terrible. That wasn’t the way we were raised. 
I went home that night completely exhausted. I saw my mom’s phone sitting on the counter and I picked it up and started to look through it. As I was looking, I noticed an email notification pop up on the top of the screen. I went to the email. It was an alert from one of the companies that she had mutual funds with. It said that someone had changed the primary email on the account. I took a screen shot of it and sent it to my phone. I knew I wasn’t the person who had made any changes to any of her accounts. The only people it could’ve been was my brother and Satan. I knew they had her phone that second last day in the hospital. Satan called me from it that morning. Later that day my mom’s friend text me to ask me what was going on with with my mom. She told me that she had called my mom’s phone that evening and Satan answered the phone but she didn’t understand what she was saying. I went into my mom’s call logs and on that very day I see a missed call from my brother at 5:48pm. Three minutes later, theres a missed call from my uncle Bob at 5:51pm. A half hour later was when my mom’s friend called and Satan answered. Obviously this told me what was going on. My brother and my Uncle Bob were looking for my mom’s phone and for what reason, I don’t know. They weren’t calling my mom to chat. She was obviously incapacitated and couldn’t answer. Besides that, they were both up at the hospital. There was no need to be calling her phone except to look for it and obviously it was handed off to Satan at some point. They were obviously fishing and snooping around for something. Perhaps they were looking for user names and passwords to her bank accounts and such. 
I will never know what they were up to but I knew they weren’t going to get away with them. I woke my husband up and showed him what I found. The next morning, I was going to confront them.
(To be continued in my next post). 

The day after….

I my husband let me sleep in a little the next morning. I needed it but I had so much shit to do. I had to be up at the funeral home by 12:00pm to give them the outfit for my mom. On the way home the night before I stopped at Walmart to try to print some pictures but by time I got there the machines were closed, so I had to add that to my list of things to do that Monday. I had to stop somewhere on the way to the funeral home to get root touch up spray. I dyed my mom’s hair between her August hospital stay and this last one but her roots started to come back and I knew she’d be mortified if she had to be in front of everyone with her grey roots. 
That morning my brother called up my husband while I was still sleeping. I found it odd that they were doing all the communicating through my husband. I believe they thought my husband was easy to manipulate. They were trying to kiss ass telling my husband I could take my mom’s car, as if they had some type of authority. They also told my husband that my mom’s life insurance policy had lapsed and that it looked like they were going to have to move money out of some money market accounts to pay the funeral home. My husband said it sounded like they were talking about their own money market accounts but he wasn’t sure. My brother also informed him that there would be no money to pay for food or the restaurant to go to between viewings. 
I did not have the money to lay out for the restaurant or the food. At the time my husband and I were barely making it by. I was a stay at home mom and we lived exclusively off his paycheck. I called my brother and ultimately decided to use my mom’s house only because my house was a freaking mess. I hadn’t been home in over a month. I didn’t have time to get it together. My mom’s house was actually clean. She was in the hospital for about four days and my brother and Satan told me I had to let the cleaning lady in. She had just been there the week prior and my mom wasn’t home for half that week and the house really didn’t need the cleaning. I think it was an attempt at them keeping me away from the hospital. The cleaning lady was conveniently coming during the same time my brother had his lunch break at work. I let the cleaning lady in and left. I wasn’t going to sit there while she cleaned. Although I felt weird using my mom’s house, I felt like I had no choice. I told my brother I would call a friend to see if he could cater. That friend just happened to be his ex-fiancé’s step dad who was part owner of a local pizzeria/ restaurant, that I still went to. I knew he’d be more than happy to help. My brother was ok with the idea.  
I made it to the funeral home and oddly enough my brother and Satan were sitting in the lobby when I got there. They had an envelope of pictures. I told my brother I was the one doing the photos and he handed them to me and told me they were photos of my mom and his daughter. When I got out to my car I opened the envelope. There was exactly one photo of my mom with his daughter. The rest were pictures from his wedding. I looked at my mom’s face in the photos and you could see her misery through the fake smile she managed to crack. It just got me angry all over again. That was the day that started it all. The day my mom crossed the line from mildly depressed to severely depressed. That day caused her so much misery. I also found it sad that they only had pictures of her at their wedding back in 2014 and no other photos until their daughter was born and christened over a year and a half later. 
My brother also informed me that they were going to the florist to order the flowers. I had to go get my mom’s truck because the brakes on my car were literally grinding, and it was unsafe to drive my car. They started grinding the third to last day that my mom was in the hospital, but obviously I had no time to get them to a mechanic. I also needed her truck to transport the picture boards to the funeral home the next day. I called my brother and told him that I was borrowing the truck and he was fine with it. 
He and his wife went to my mom’s house after the funeral home. I had to run back home because I forgot to give them something at the funeral home. He called me from my mom’s house and asked if I needed them to do anything. I told him to pull out the dining room table and put the leaf extension in it so I could set up the food on it. I wondered why they were even there. Aside from that what else did they need to go there for? At that point in time I had realized that my brother and his wife had been to my mom’s more in those few weeks than they had been in the last three years, in total. How can I not find that strange? They never went there to visit her or help her when she was home but starting the week she went into the hospital, they were there on a near daily basis. 
I got to my mom’s house a little after they left. Because her car was sitting there for an entire month, not being driven, her battery had gone completely dead. I had to jump start her car so I could use it. It took me over an hour to get it up and running. When I was finished I had to go inside and set up the table with all the sterno trays for the food. That’s when I realized, we had nothing to serve the food on. That meant I had to add another stop in my already busy day. Thankfully my mom’s neighbor, who was caring for her dogs, pressed the table cloth for me. She was a huge help. I didn’t know that neighbor all that well prior to my mom being sick. They had moved in only a year or so before I moved out and they kept to themselves. I got to know her as my mom got sick and realized what an amazing person she was and how much stuff we actually had in common. She was a HUGE help to me in the months leading up to my mom’s death. I can’t even thank her enough. She has become a very good friend and we are still in touch to this day. 
I noticed while I was at my mom’s that my brother and his wife had cleared off all the mail and stuff from the kitchen table. I went into her room and saw that they carelessly dumped it on the dresser. I knew my aunts and my grandma would want to see my mom’s room and that everyone would be putting their coats on her bed. That was what we always did at family parties. I moved all the mail and threw it in a spare bedroom that I knew no one would look in. 
I left my mom’s house around 5:30-6:00. My next stop was the mall to get my husband a sports coat, a shirt and pants to wear to the wake. He had gained a little weight and didn’t have any other dress clothes to wear. I didn’t either, and so I also tried to see if they had something for me too. I did have a black dress on backup just in case. At my dad’s wake I wore this long black pencil skirt that had a small split up the back. When we came back to my mom’s house between the viewings one of my aunts informed me that my skirt had split all the way up to my butt! I had to take it off so she could sew it. I wasn’t going to have another incident like that! 
I didn’t leave the mall until about 9:00. I didn’t find anything for myself. My next stop was Walmart to shop for cups, plastic utensils, napkins and other supplies that we needed for the “party”. I also had to print some photos. Thankfully my cousin Nikki took out the time and sent a bunch to me and so did my mom’s cousin who lived in Florida. By the time I got there and did all my shopping it was nearing 10:00. I sat down at the photo kiosk only to realize it was shut down for the night. I was so pissed. 
I didn’t get home that night until 11:30pm. I also didn’t eat dinner until then either. I was exhausted. I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly my brother and his wife did aside from go to the florist. It seemed like I was doing everything else to prepare for the wake. I still had to put the photos on the boards. At that point all I had was the old photos I had taken from my mom’s house the night that she died. I laid them all out on the boards. I just looked down at the pictures from our family vacations, trips we took, the park, and our own backyard and I broke down and cried. I couldn’t believe I was looking at photos of the family that once existed and no longer did. My family was just a memory. I no longer had parents. I was now an adult orphan. I had no one. My brother and my relationship was so tarnished I knew there was no turning back. Even if Satan and him got divorced at this point, I don’t even know if I could forgive him for what he put my mom through, not only in the last month but in the years before she died. 
I stayed up late doing the pictures until I could no longer keep my eyes opened. I filled up two boards with all the pictures I had. I only got a few hours of sleep and the next day was her wake….
(To be continued in my next post).  

Just like that, she was gone. Novemeber 20th 2016 the worst day of my life. 

The last few posts were very hard for me to write. Reading them back to myself, I can see how much I struggled. I am still grieving. As I wrote this it has barely been four months since my mom has passed. I am still in shock. I still won’t allow myself to fully go to that place where I get too deep because I am afraid of being so sad, and crying so much that I won’t be able to turn it off. From this point on in the story we are pretty much up to current times and everything I’ve been dealing with since her passing, and so once I fully catch up to present days I’m going to start talking about the grieving process and how I’m dealing with that. First though, I must finish the story and tell you all what happened in the days and weeks following her death and how crazy that all was for me. If you read any of this story, thank you. 

It was the morning of November the 20th, 2016 when my mom passed away, at 8:04 in the morning. I was the only one with her besides the nurses, who were complete strangers to me. They both looked at me and expressed their sorrow. I rubbed my mom’s arm and it was still warm. I stared to cry and said, “goodbye mama.”. The other nurse turned to me and said that they would give me a few minutes alone. For a second I panicked as if I were a little kid, that they are leaving me alone with her now lifeless body, but then I realized, this isn’t the scary part. The scary part was what I witnessed for the past month. It was just her body and her spirit had left it. It was still my mom. I thought to myself, she was finally at peace, with no more pain and I was ok. 
I got up out of the chair and paced around,  just looking at her. Her eyes were opened but looking down and I could see there was no life left in them. That is another image that is unfortunately burned into my brain. At the same time it was so scary, it was also peaceful. I found peace in knowing she didn’t have to suffer anymore and I didn’t have to watch her suffer anymore. I have never seen a person suffer in agony like that before and in so many ways. While what my dad went through was horrible, terrible, what I watched my mom go through over the course of that past year and especially in the month before she died, I cannot even find adequate words to describe it. Watching a person suffer like that will really make you question of there is a god because no human being should have to endure that much suffering. I have to believe that there’s a heaven and a place where we go on to bigger and better things because otherwise, it all seems to senseless.
I realized my family would be on their way shortly and so I decided to step out of the room to start making phone calls. I didn’t want everyone just showing up without knowing, and so the first person I called was my brother. He told me he and his wife were heading up to the hospital and would be there shortly. He also said he’d notify my aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea and I figured between them, they’d notify everyone else. I went to walk back to the room and the door was closed so I knocked. They told me to wait a moment and that they were just cleaning her up. In the meantime the on-call doctor came to talk to me. He apologized for the loss and had me sign some papers. He also asked me if I wanted an autopsy in which I declined. I’m actually sorry that I did. At times I question why things took such a drastic turn. Why my brother and his wife stayed away from the hospital for those few days before she died.

By the time I was done discussing things with him, the nurses were done. I walked into the room to see they had closed my moms eyes, neatened up the sheets and folded her arms over her chest, simarlarly to how they do it in the funeral home. They also gathered all of her belongings and put them in bags and piled the bags on the table and chairs. She had accumulated a lot of stuff in her months long stay. As I was in there I could almost here her telling me to grab her phone and her iPad before my brother and his wife got it. I knew my mom was like me and she never deleted her text messages. My brother would’ve been devastated had her read the text messages between me and her. I also knew she talked to a lot of people about what was going on and how much she hated his wife. I couldn’t do that to my mom. Even though she physically isn’t here, I felt like it was wrong. 
I walked downstairs to put them in my car and as I was on my way down my cousin Tina called me. Of all of my cousins her and I used to be the closest. Tina was Aunt Debbie’s daughter and she was an only child. I always felt bad that she didn’t have a sibling and so I sort of stepped into that role for her. We used to talk daily since the time she was a young teen.  After my mom she was probably the next person in my family that I communicated with most, but six months before my mom passed she kind of just cut off communication with me, without any explanations. There was nothing that I could think of off the top of my head that I did that would cause her to just drop me like that. In the same token I also didn’t bother to find out what was wrong. I was too busy caring for my mom. I eventually found out it was because of the letter I wrote to her mom. I was shocked. She is well aware of who her mother is and how she operates. I’ve never seen a mother and daughter at each other’s throats more than her and her mom. If my son ever spoke of me the way she spoke about her mom, I’d be really upset. Besides, I don’t think she was presented with my letter in its full context and so I almost can’t blame her for being angry. If you just read that last letter I wrote, it looks as if I’m just being a mean asshole.  That’s how my aunt operates. 
We stayed on the phone for a while. I hadn’t talked to her the whole time my mom was there except for a few texts in the very beginning, after I had accidentally called her one day. I told her all the crazy shit that was going on with my brother and his wife and how they were non-stop harassing her about seeing an eldercare lawyer and health proxies and her “wishes”. I hoped she’d share it with her mom so maybe she’d have an understanding of what was going on and why I’ve been so upset and angry. 
Eventually I saw my brother and Satan coming up to the hospital with their one and a half year old daughter. I figured I’d give them a few minutes alone with my mom, the. I told Tina I’d call her back. I walked into my mom’s room. My brother and Satan are sitting on the chairs and the baby is running around the room trying to lift up the blankets and stuff on my mom’s bed and Satan’s just sitting there talking and laughing as if she’s not sitting next to my mom’s deceased body. My brother just had this blank stare going on. I thought it was so strange and inappropriate that they even brought their baby. They always seem to find baby sitters when they want to go out to the bar but they can’t find one for now? Satan has a 14 year old daughter who could’ve looked after her. I told them I didn’t think there was any purpose for anyone in our family to come up. There was nothing for anyone to do. She was gone. The hospital was at least a half hour drive or more for the majority of my family. My brother agreed. He then turns to me and says, “oh yeah, by the way, we made an appointment at the funeral home for 3:00 today.” It was around 12:30. I had slept a total of just over 6 hours for the last three days. I hadn’t been sleeping well for long before then. I was dealing with insomnia for a long time. I explained that to him along with the fact I just wanted to go home and see my son and my husband and relax. I felt like I hadn’t seen them in a month. I was hardly ever home. I’d spend 8+ hours at the hospital each day. If I could, I’d bring my son up with me in the early afternoon and my husband would come pick him up around 3:30. Most nights, by time I got home they were both bed. I asked my brother why we couldn’t wait until the following day, like we did when my dad passed. My brother then said to me, probably one of the most fucked up things, he has said so far, “well I mean it’s thanksgiving is this Thursday.”. Was he fucking kidding? I’m sorry our mother’s death has inconvenienced your holiday. I said, “I don’t give a fuck about thanksgiving!” It’s so unimportant. My brother was always like that. He did what was convenient for him without taking anyone else into consideration. While he was at his house at a 50th Birthday party and sleeping in his nice comfy bed, I was sleeping on a shitty old piece of hospital equipment for the past two nights. If the roles were reversed I could guarantee he wouldn’t want to go that day either. 
When all was said and done he and Satan stood up and said they were leaving and they’d see me at 3:30. They just walked out. They didn’t even look at my mom, touch her, kiss her or say goodbye, while her body was still somewhat warm. They didn’t even look at her. I know she couldn’t hear them but it just showed me how emotionally unaffected then were by this. I never once saw my brother’s wife shed a tear. I saw my brother shed a few over the days prior but never when she was around. My girlfriend Kathy who was the nurse said that on that last night while I was at my house picking up my clothes and stuff, she walked in the room and was shocked to see my brother sitting there balling his eyes out, like to the point where he doing that weird breathing thing you do when you cry really hard. Of course Satan wasn’t there that night. It’s so sad that he cannot be vulnerable in front of her or show any weakness. I was happy to hear that had some human emotion left in him. Satan  on the other hand, didn’t seem the least bit upset about my mom’s departure. I know my husband cried. In our 9 years together it was the first time I ever saw him cry. 
They walked out of the room with the baby and their empty stroller and left me there to carry all of my mom’s belongings, all by myself. One of the male nurses there who I became friendly with, came in with a box of coffee for us that he paid for out of his own pocket. I felt bad telling him that no one else was coming. I have to say that the nursing staff at that hospital was phenomenal. I had become friendly with all of the nurses. I almost felt like they were my family for that month. They all treated my mom with kindness and compassion and most importantly, dignity. I felt like I was going to miss seeing them and talking to them everyday. Anyway, the male nurse who got me the coffee also went and got me an extra wide wheel chair to help he carry all the bags and belongings down to my car. It still took me two trips to get everything in my car. After the first trip I called Tina back and talked to her for about 15 minutes or so. When I came back in to get the bag I opened the door to my mom’s room and was startled to see a group of young medical students surrounding her bed. They all turned around kind of shocked to see me standing there and when they did I was able to see they had taped cotton over my mom’s eyes. The doctor, who I assume was their professor, started to apologize profusely about me having to see that. She then explained to me why they were doing that. My mom had obviously signed up to be an organ donor. Because they couldn’t use any of her organs or tissue because of the cancer, they were going to see if her eyes could be donated. The reason they needed to tape cotton to them was because so they could keep them moist. It didn’t bother me at all. In fact I was happy to see that they were going to try. I know that would’ve made her happy. 
I finally got back to my car and started to drive away from the place that had almost felt like home to me for those last few weeks. My 30 day parking pass expired that day and I had to pay for parking. It was bittersweet rolling out of there. I was happy to never have to go back but sad at the same time because I was leaving there alone. I had driven my mom home from there several times that year and now that was it. Never again would I drive her anywhere. It was a hard pill to swallow.
I got home and walked in my front door. My son came running up to me yelling, “mommy!”. My husband too. We all just say there and embraced one another and cried. We all sat down on the couch and I went over everything that had happened that day up until then. I told him I had to go to the funeral home and he agreed it was bullshit that they couldn’t wait. Neither of us could understand why they were so eager to get my mom’s wake over and done with and  on with their lives. 
As I was home I received a phone call from the place that handled donations of the eyes. The woman who answered was very pleasant to deal with. She needed some basic and background information about my mom. I ended up being on the phone with her that by time I got off, it was time for me and my husband to leave to go to the funeral home. 
We pulled up and of course my brother and Satan were already there sitting in the lobby. I needed my husband there too. Satan is very quiet when he’s around. I think she’s a little intimidated by him. It was so uncomfortable with her being there. It was like having a (demonic) stranger in the room sucking up all of the good oxygen. The funeral director was a woman, different than the woman who came up to the hospital. The first part of this meeting was completely redundant. It was exactly what we had accomplished in the hospital. She asked us basic info about my mom and once again my brother was looking at me for the answers. My husband and Satan were quietly sitting in two chairs off to the side. Then me moved on to how many days we wanted the service. At the same time I said, “one” and my brother said “two”. I wasn’t really sure why he wanted to do two, but I just went a long with it. I was much too tired and upset to argue. Then she showed us the book of Mass cards and we picked ones that had assorted pictures of flowers. My mom loved flowers. We decided to have a priest even though my mom wasn’t really all that religious. She still believed in god and I think she would’ve wanted him there for her family’s sake because a lot of my aunts and uncles are religious. 
After we wrapped up all of the details, it was time to talk money and how this was all going to be paid for, that’s when Satan jumped in. She had already apparently done her homework and knew that my mom had three life insurance policies and one of them lapsed. I was in complete shock. My husband and I looked at one another and without saying a word I know he was thinking exactly what I was thinking, “how the fuck does she even know about that shit?”. The funeral director said she’d look further into everything and see what was what.
As the funeral director was tallying the costs, my brother turns to me and says, “after here me and [satan] are heading over to [a local Irish pub]. We figured we would go there between the funeral services.”. I had went along with all their crazy bullshit up until this point but there was no way in hell I was agreeing with this. For the last two days Satan was going around telling my family members that we were going to go back to my mom’s house between the viewings. Whatever family member is was that told me that, thought it was incredibly ballsy for her to offer up my mom’s house. They also though it was a little strange. I also found it funny at she was able to lend her own home to a friend’s sister to have a 50th birthday party in, but she didn’t even offer it up for her husband’s family. Someone must of told them that was weird and so now they picked this Irish pub. I had to laugh when my brother said it, I replied to him by saying, ” [our mother’s Italian maiden name], we are Italian. There’s no way in hell we are going to [local Irish pub]. We will honor her by eating Italian food.”. I could see the smoke rising from Satan’s ears. I know she’s the one who picked that place. She is Irish through and through. St. Patrick’s day is her favorite holiday. I told him to go check out a local Italian restaurant to eat at. I wasn’t going to no pub so I could watch Satan get drunk. No thanks. 
After that it was time to go down to the show room of death, as I like to call it . . I was stunned the fist time I had been down there when we were making my dad’s funeral arrangements. It’s like a little store. The first room you walk into is all filled with urns and all these miscellaneous knick knacks and memorial items. You can really customize your wake. Then as you go through there, you enter a large showroom that’s filled with caskets that are all sitting there with their doors propped open. If there’s anything I learned from watching HBO’s six feet under, it’s that death is a business too, and this room confirmed it. 
We picked our casket and went back in the first room to look at urns since we were going to be cremating my mom. As I started to look around I noticed that not only did they have big urns, they had smaller ones too. There was one urn specifically that reminded me of something my Aunt Debbie would like. That’s when I got the idea. I again remembered my mom in her final days, that she just wanted her family and so I turned to my brother and said, we should get these for our aunt’s and uncle’s this way my mom could be with all of them. My brother agreed it was a good idea and the funeral director told us that during the wake she could pull down my mom’s siblings and our grandmother and they can pick the one’s they like. Since my mom told my aunt Debbie that she wanted her ashes mixed with my dad’s I decided to keep my dad’s urn and just add my mom’s ashes. My brother and Satan of course picked out the most expensive urn on the shelf for their house. God my mom would hate to be sitting on their mantle. 
Another thing that hit me as we were down in that room was that I didn’t remember discussing what two days exactly we would be having my mom’s wake and so I asked out loud. My brother answered, Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked at him like he had five heads. That left us with one day to find a place to go between viewings, get flowers and photos together, etc. etc. Again I had to open my mouth. I was concerned for some of my mom’s family who lived out of state, who may want to come to pay their respects. They’d need more than a day or two to make travel plans, especially given the fact that thanksgiving was that Thursday. I mentioned that to my brother and suggested waiting until the day after thanksgiving, to have the wake. Even though it would be hard, we could e at least have people the option to travel here.  His answer was that he already took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work. God forbid my mother’s death ruin his thanksgiving and his three day weekend. He’d rather waste his 2 days off from work so he could enjoy the rest of his week…..selfish fuck!
We walked out of the funeral home and Satan, still reeling about my “we are Italian” comment, ran straight to their car and didn’t say goodbye to either me or my husband. My brother stayed behind and talked with is for a few minutes. He started spewing plans of what we should do in the following days. The next day, he and Satan were going to order the flowers and go to the Italian restaurant. Then he started to go into this bullshit about just opening up my mom’s house and having an estate sale so we didn’t have to be bothered going through everything. I sat there and just looked at him dumbfounded and wondered, did he even know our mother? She actually used to go to estate sales all of the time because she would sell stuff on eBay. She always used to tell me how sad she thought it was that the family didn’t want to be bothered looking through the deceased’s stuff. She asked me never to do that if she died. I never would anyway. I know my mom was very sentimental, as am I. I want to touch and see everything she held. I want to find little treasures like a letter she wrote or card that she saved. My brother and Satan seemed like they wanted to be in control of everything……everything. 

(To be continued in the next post)

 

Novemeber 19th, 2016 11:30 pm and beyond…. The last talk. 

I was totally sure my brother would be gone by the time I came back. As mad as I had been with him, I still cared about him. I’ve made this analogy before, but seeing someone you love in a relationship with a narcissist, is like losing a family member to drugs. All you can do is sit back and watch them make horrible decision after horrible decision, and there  is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I know my brother, or rather, I “knew” my brother and what kind of person he was. If it was any other girlfriend, I don’t think my brother would’ve left the hospital at all that night. He was gone for four hours. He was well aware of what was going on with my mom and where she was headed. If I were in his shoes, seeing that he had missed the majority of the last three years with her, I would’ve wanted to stay there and soak up every minute of time with her. That goes to show how much control a narcissist has over their victims and how afraid their victims are to go against them. My brother had a choice that night. He could’ve told his wife to entertain her friends on her own and he could’ve chosen to stay at the hospital. I know my brother and I know that one day he is going to be very sorry about the choices he made during this time. I wonder if he spoke to my mom during that time. If he told her he was sorry or told her  he loved her. It makes me sad for him that one day he may see things clearly, but ultimately they are his choices and he is the one who will have to live with them and live with his regrets,….not me. 
My brother left only minutes after I got there and once again, I was alone with my mom during this scary time. There was one saving grace though and that was my nurse friend, Kathy. My mom had been up in that same unit for an entire month now and that whole time Kathy was never actually assigned to be her nurse. Out of the kindness of her heart she checked up on her for me whenever she was working her shift.  It just so ended up though that, that night, Kathy wasn’t even supposed to be there. She was covering for another nurse and she ended up miraculously being assigned to my mom’s room. If there was one thing to be happy about, that was it. I knew Kathy would take extra care of my mom and make sure she was  ok and as comfortable as she could be. 
I was in the room trying to set up the chair I was going to “sleep” in that night. Kathy came in to check up on us. We sat there for a few minutes both just stared at my mom.  We started to discuss how peaceful she looked. Kathy tried to arouse my mom by saying her name but my mom kind of grunted and went back to snoring. The other nurse came in and she and Kathy discussed cleaning my mom up and putting a clean night gown on her. She had been in the same one for several days at this point in time and there was stains and blood on it. Normally I would stay in the room when they cleaned her up but Kathy told me, it was probably best if I left this time. When people are in the condition my mom was in, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and could be quite distressing to the family. I was fine with that and so I took a walk down stairs to get some fresh air. 
When I got outside it had started to rain. I stood there close to the building and suddenly the rain started to really come down and the winds picked up. I saw a wheelchair flying across the street and it crashed into the curb. I remember thinking to myself, this is it. The storm was coming. It just seemed like something out of a Greek mythology tale. Like the sky’s we’re opening up to let my mom come in. The gods were coming to get her. Like the earth was angry for losing such a special person. I started thinking about the advice my cousin Nikki had told me and I knew that tonight was going to be the last chance I had and, so I k ew that this was the night for me to tell her all the things that we forget to say to one another on a day to day basis to the people we love.. Oddly enough though, kind of nervous and also I was scared. Scared that I would get too upset. Scared it was too late and she wouldn’t even hear me. Sacred I would freeze up and not know what to say. 
I went back upstairs and the nurses were finished up and just tidying up the room  I could tell at this point that she was awake. Her eyes were slightly opened. They left the room and it was just her and I,  alone. I closed the door and sat down. I sat there and stared at her for a few minutes. I looked at her arms and the bruises she had from being stuck with so many needles for blood tests and for dialysis. Those were the arms that held me as a baby. Those were the arms that hugged me and comforted me so many times. I wished I could freeze time. I wished I could keep her here forever. I wished she didn’t have to go through all the things she went through. I scanned her over and looked at her hands. I didn’t get many of my mom’s physical features. We could never share shoes because my feet are much larger than hers. We could never share clothes either,but the one thing we’d always swap was rings. Our fingers were the exact same sizes,  every one of them. I thought about my mom taking her rings off so she could roll the meatballs for her Sunday sauce. I realized I never learned how I never even learned how to make the meatballs and now it was too late. I just wanted to take everything in. Her face, her hair, her hands, just everything. 

As I was sitting there I suddenly remembered something. There was something I wanted her to have with her. I had gone to her house a few days prior to look for this necklace that she had, that she always wore. When my dad passed back in 2006, she had gone to a jeweler with an idea that she got from a friend. She took his wedding band and had them bend it into a heart shape. They added also added a bail to it so it would hang on the chain, flat. For some reason though, I couldn’t find it. I looked in all of her jewelry boxes and it was nowhere to be found. I found her wedding band but not my dad’s and so I grabbed that. Then I remembered she and I had purchased these necklaces after my dad passed. They  were crosses in which had a little screw at the bottom where you can put some of the ashes. I had been wearing mine for the whole time she was in the hospital. I took the necklace out of my pocket and quietly leaned over and said her name. Her eyes slightly opened up. I told her that I had something that I wanted her to hold close to her. I said to her, “this is the cross with daddy’s ashes, I know know much you have missed him for the last ten years and I want him to be close to you, so I’m going to wrap this around your hand and I want you to hold it.” I gently lifted her hand and wrapped it around and closed her hand on it. She was so weak she couldn’t even hold on to it. I then said, “go be with daddy. It’s ok, he is waiting for you.”. In the days prior my mom had been saying some strange stuff and she had mentioned my dad being there quite a few times. She also told someone she saw hands reaching out of her. That is actually a very common thing for people to do when they are dying. My dad did it too. 

After that, words just came naturally to me. I told her what a good mother she was and how lucky I was that god choose her to be my mother. I told her that if I could be even half as good a mother to mey son as she was to me and my brother, that I’d be ok. I told her how I admired her dedication and how she put her heart into everything she did in life from being an employee to being a wife and mother, and how I was lucky to have her as a role model. I told her how strong she was and how she never gave herself enough credit. My mom always compared herself to her sisters. She would always tell me, “I’m the fat, ugly sister.” I don’t know why she looked down on herself like that and so I reminded her that she always compared herself to them yet she didn’t realize that of all of them she was by far the most beautiful because she had the biggest heart, and like she always used to tell me, “beauty is only skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Beauty means nothing if you have a rotten personality and black heart. 
I was nervous for nothing. The words just came out. Naturally, and I told her everything I wanted to say to her. There was one thing that I know she needed to hear before she left this world and so I promised her that I would try my hardest to fix everything with my family but most importantly my brother.  I think my mom’s biggest fear in this world was leaving it knowing that me and my brother would still be separated and wouldn’t be there for one another. I wanted her to know I’d try. 
 As I was talking to her, her head was leaned away from me facing in the opposite direction. I walked around the bed, then I got real close to her, and I bent down so she could see me in her line of vision. I told her try to look at me. To really try to focus. I saw her eyes straining to move. I promised her I was going to be ok, but I was going to miss her terribly. That was when suddenly I heard a noise come from her mouth. I couldn’t make it out. Her voice was extremely raspy and low. I asked her to say it again and out came three short, one syllable words, “I luh you.”. I looked at her and asked, “did you say I love you?”. She nodded her head once and then she just kept saying it over and over until her voice was no longer able to come out and just her lips were moving. I saw a tear drop from her eye and I started to cry and I told her I loved her too, more than she could ever know. 
I love you wasn’t a phrase that was often said in our home. In the months prior there would be times I’d be with her and my brother would call and every time they hung up she’d say, “I love you.”. She didn’t say those words to me often and I don’t think it’s because she didn’t love me. I think it was just that we didn’t need to say that to one another all of the time. It was pretty obvious by the closeness of our relationship and how we talked to one another multiple times a day, everyday. The week prior to this day was really hard too. I felt like she was angry with me. She was snippy with me and had yelled at me a few times when I was trying to help her. I felt like she was annoyed by me being there and at times, maybe she didn’t want me there. I know now that is a common part of the process of dying. Anger and detachment. It’s something I guess we need to do to separate ourselves from the ones we love. I needed to hear those words at that time and I am so glad I did. It was a beautiful moment in such a horrible situation. I was happy about it but at the same time, completely devastated. I knew that it was the last time I’d ever hear those three words fromher mouth. 
I sat there for a few moments and I could actually see she was finally relaxed. I watched her as she drifted back off into sleep. It was an emotionally intense situation. I needed to get up and take a lap around the building. I walked out the room and ran into Kathy. She told me to come take a break with her as she ate her late night dinner. I sat down in the break room with her and two other nurses. They shared some crazy stories with me and it was nice to forget what I was going though for a minute. I don’t know how those work do what they do. How they leave this shit at the hospital and manage to go home and be wives and mother’s without letting all that sadness affect them. I have a whole new appreciation for nurses. I really admire them and the work they do. It takes a special kind of person to do what they do.

I went back into mom’s room and sat there for a bit. I had probably only slept a total of four hours in the last two nights. It was starting to catch up with me. Kathy came back in and we sat there and talked for a while. I am not going to lie. My mom looked scary. She had her head turned to the side, one eye was wide open while the other was half way shut. Ten years ago I never would’ve imagined myself being able to sit there alone with someone I loved in such horrible condition and looking so scary. It’s an image that I don’t want to remember, but any time I think back to her time at the hospital, that is all I see in my head. I hope in time that vision fades. I do not want to remember my mother like that. 
It was rounding 4:00am and I had set myself up as close to my mom as I could physically be. I wanted to be able to hold her hand and touch her. When my dad was in the hospital my mom slept in that chair every night and held his hand. My mom was the most fiercely loyal woman on theplanet. Her love was truly unconditional. I hated that she had to be in a hospital dying. I wished she could’ve had the privilege to be home on hospice as my dad was, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. My dad was in the hospital a week or so prior to his death. He made the decision to stop all treatment and go on hospice at home. He didn’t want to die in a hospital. My dad accepted his situation and in a strange way, his death gave me a whole new respect for him. He handled it all like a true man, like a father should. He sat all of us down one by one and talked to us about his decision. I will never forget that conversation. He told me he was going to stop treatment because he didn’t want to go through all the bullshit anymore. I told him, “dad although I don’t want to see you go, I understand. It’s YOUR life and I can see that you are tired of fighting.”. Back when my mom’s kidneys failed in the early 90’s, I remember being in the car with my dad one time on the way up to visit my mom in the hospital. My dad said to me, “if I ever get sick like your mother is, just kill me. I don’t ever want to be sick like that. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I don’t know how she does it.”. I remembered him saying that and I told him, and my dad said one of the most meaningful things he had ever said to me, in my life. He said,” [my name] you are the only one who gets me.”. Those words meant a lot to me because I knew he wasn’t just talking about in this situation. He was talking in general terms. Of his four children, my brother, me and two half sisters from a previous marriage, he had very tense relationships with three. I think I was the only one who cut him some slack and understood the reasons as to why he was the way he was.

Anyway, I got off track there but my mom literally stuck right by his side as he was going through the transition of leaving this world and going to another. In the last few days of his life, either me or her were in the room. She hadn’t showered in days. She would only leave the room to get food or go to the bathroom. We were sitting there talking one day and my mom was saying how disgusting she felt and how badly she needed a nice hot shower. I told her to go and that my dad would be fine for a few minutes. We called my brother, who was living in the basement, to come upstairs and stay by his side. My mom turned on the water. At the time I was going through some old pictures of my dad so we could display him at his wake and I had all the albums and stuff laying on my mom’s bed. I left the room that he was in and went into their bedroom. The very second after I closed the door I heard my brother screaming, “he’s gone! He’s gone!”. It was the first time in three to four days that both me and my mom were both out of the room, at the same time. I truly believe he was waiting for a moment like that because he didn’t want us to see him take his last breath. I felt like my mom deserved the same thing. She deserved to leave this world with someone by her side, especially since she was so scared and not ready to die. She never made it to the acceptance stage. She didn’t have enough time. 
I don’t even remember falling asleep that night. The last thing I remember was saying goodnight to my mom and kissing her of the forehead, then laying down and watching a video on my phone. At about 7:30 am I woke up to the sounds of beeping machines and Kathy and another nurse, talking in a dull whisper. I popped my head up and asked what was going on. She told me my mom’s heart rate went up extremely high and she was trying to calm her down. I was trying so hard to stay awake, but it felt almost as if someone was pulling my eye lids down. The previous night when the nurses were in and out of the room I’d pop up and feel wide awake. The first thing I’d do is look at her chest to see if she was still breathing. This time I was fighting to keep my eyes opened and I don’t even remember falling back to sleep. 
At a few minutes after 8:00 I was awoken by someone saying,”sweetie…..sweetie, you need to wake up, this is it…your mom is going.”. I was a bit disoriented and so I looked up at the clock, and then right away realized where I was. My head shot over to the right of me to look at my mom’s chest, as I did all of those other times. I asked the nurse, “she’s not breathing?”. She said, “she just stopped “. As she was talking she grabbed my grabbed my mom’s wrist and held it, then said, “she still has a pulse.”. There was a long pause of silence, as I sat there staring at the nurse holding her wrist. It seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few short seconds. She then jerked back a bit, almost as if she was startled. She slowly put my mom’s arm down and said, “I have to call the doctor.”……..
….and just like that, at 8:04 in the morning on November 20th, 2016, my mom passed away…….

(To be continued in my next post)