My boyfriend’s mother has passed on.
I’m trying to get a sense of the timeline. J and I had just returned from a week in L.A. Going to Disneyland and Gallifrey One (the Doctor Who con). We’d met up with some friends we hadn’t seen in two years, and that was wonderful. We returned on Monday evening, Feb. 21. I returned to work on the 23rd. I actually had to go into work early because I’m taking some virtual classes/career advancement training and I needed to go in the morning rather than doing my closing shifts. On the 24th, I went into work at 10am and came home around 7. Took a shower, had a light dinner, and went to play Horizon Forbidden West. Around 8:30pm, J’s dad told J that something was wrong with J’s mom. She sat on her couch and fell asleep (it seemed) and wasn’t responding to anything. The ambulance came, took her to the hospital that night. J’s dad followed in his car, J stayed with me at home. J’s dad returned from the hospital around 1 am. And that was that. J’s mom was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, placed on a ventilator. There was just too much blood to operate on her, and her advanced age was also a factor. Even if they did it, there was a very slim chance that she’d recover anyway.
And then on Mar. 1st, some part of her brain broke its connection to the body (not a full on seizure, but a spasm? is how it was described to me afterwards). At that point, her body could not breathe on its own, the ventilator was breathing for her, and she was technically brain dead. They called the family to the hospital (as I was not family, I stayed home) and they made the decision to pull the plug. And that was it.
The sense of relief from her passing is ebbing, and now it’s being replaced by that gaping void that dead people leave behind. I really do wish we had more time with her. She was a wonderful woman, when her brain didn’t betray her and turn her into a raging monster. I had written her off when, a couple of years ago, she effectively ruined J’s birthday by complaining about the hush puppy J had given her after making a batch of chicken katsu. She suddenly snapped, angry that he’d given her bread instead of meat, unaware that she’d already finished off her chicken cutlet (and also shared a lot of it with the dog). She also was the woman who opened her house to me when I needed a place to stay, without requiring me to pay an exorbitant amount of rent, just utilities and high-speed internet.
I won’t lie, there were many times in the course of her life where I’d wished her dead, that when she was gone, everything would be better. I wouldn’t have to use earplugs at night anymore. I wouldn’t have to clench my stomach every time I came home from work, terrified that she’d be in the middle of one of her hours-long rants. And that’s where my relief comes from. But now she is gone, and the house is quieter, and I still feel loss.
Now, to deal with all the things she left behind. She had a penchant for buying things from catalogs, ill-fitting sweaters and oversized jeans, jackets and all manner of strange gadgets which supposedly make one’s life better. She’d purchase them, then never use them. Then sometimes forget she bought them when they arrived, then became angry at the companies which sent her these items that she never chose in the first place. It’s all the detritus of living nearly a century. And now it’s all just useless…stuff.