"Death really brings things into perspective… or does it?"
So a close friend’s mother passed away on Friday. This is my inner-inner circle, Varsity team. And back when CT was flying solo with no real family obligations, I’d spend holidays with these two friends (a couple) and her family. One year I wound up joining them for the big four of Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I developed a solid relationship with Nina, her mom.
So life happens, I get a girl, move away, have babies, get married, blah blah blah. So now I have those obligations and a “real” family of my own, so those third-wheel holidays ended. Tough times ensued, she had some health problems, etc. All these years I’d ask about her and get updates, even dishing out advice when I heard about some issues with her medical benefits, and I’d always mention that I wanted her to meet my kids, but it never happened.
A few months ago she had attempted suicide and was placed on a 72 hour hold. Still didn’t reach out. I was there for my friends through the situation, kept tabs on how she was doing but still, didn’t reach out.
They brought her to my apartment a few months ago but she didn’t come inside. They were just running in and out and didn’t think about it really. So I came out and gave her a hard time and we had a good laugh, caught up, and decided I’d definitely bring the kids when schedules permitted. We had an awkward experience with someone who approached the car going off about how we were “Fed Watch” and how he knows he’s targeted and how he sees our “people” on the freeway and… yeah. Anyhow that got weird and I had to get out and talk dude down and he bounced. I got back in the car and started cracking jokes about him…..and she said she knew exactly what he was talking about, how she’d gone down this YouTube rabbit hole awhile back and thought she had been targeted and all this.
So I fell back and apologized, I didn’t realize she felt that she had been targeted. She was cool with it and had a laugh, and basically said she’s actually trying to “recover” from all that and putting her attention elsewhere. So we have some more laughs, I get the greatest hug ever (for real, you ever get that real-deal affection hug from a, uh, full figured mom-figure? It’s like chicken soup, hot cocoa and a warm blanket all in one) and off they went.
Anyhow, she got back on facebook a few weeks ago and hit me up a few times, just small talk. One day she’d gone through all the pics of my kids and let me know she’d seen them. The last thing she’d said was to enjoy my day off with my beautiful babies. I never replied.
So yeah, it’s a bitch that she’s gone and I feel like garbage for not replying and just kind of brushing her off. So I went through the whole bit where you think of all the people you love, and who loves you, and stopped cold at the worst thought of all: I wished it had been my own mom. How selfish is that?
After all, Nina is close to her children. My mom has alienated all but one… and she’s had eleven. Eleven, and she’s batting less than 10%. My mom doesn’t hit any of us on FB or any other medium. That’s a rabbit hole all it’s own, but suffice it to say she never had a chance either *but* she never put forth much of an effort. We’re talking about a woman who lost 7 of her children to foster care, and instead of working to get them back, literally went and created a brand new family from scratch with three more, so while I can trace back all the root causes of that… it doesn’t change what actually is, right today.
Granted, I don’t wish my own mother dead in a vacuum. But even in the context of something like this, it’s a horrible feeling. I feel for my friends who have lost someone who had such a good relationship with her children, that relationship extended to their closest friends, and thought, shit, why her? Why not someone whose presence wouldn’t be quite as missed, for the simple reason that she’s not present as it is?
So then I’m thinking of all the past deaths that made me rethink who is really important, who should know I love them, who should know I appreciate them, etc, but the truth is so simple. We all live life, we all get caught up, and we’ll fail to stay in touch with most, if not all, but those who are the most vital to our day-to-day existence. Isn’t that the reality, for damn near everyone? Is it *too* cynical to conclude that anyone you don’t keep in touch with on the regular simply isn’t/wasn’t that important? Or is that too binary?
Do I miss Nina and feel this sense of loss just because I feel guilty for not reaching back when she was clearly trying to reconnect? Or am I simply co-opting a loss that wasn’t a “direct hit”, so to speak? It’s not as if I’ve been in shambles these last few days. There’s certainly a dark cloud and a certain weight, but it’s not crippling.
It’s unpleasant, but not devastating. It’s definitely worse watching my people pick up the pieces, because she went through such a dark period and everyone was getting used to seeing that light again while she was putting her world back together.
my wife lost her mom, and she gives me $hit about not talking to my own mother as often as my wife thinks I should.
I have my own reasons for keeping to myself, but it's something my siblings understand that my wife could NEVER understand.
It's just one of those things.
Also: a co-worker relayed how a guy ended up passing at her job. The thing that struck a chord with her was how life just kept moving all around her. People were still buying beers/hot dogs and shouting down at the field.
I was all in my feelings about how precious life was Friday, and now it's Tuesday and I haven't given anything I said Friday a second thought.
Some shit hit's like a boulder and passes...some shit nags at you eternally. Neither is greater or lesser. Love your folk in the moments you can and leave it all out there, bro.
You're carrying a LOT right now; I wonder if you're putting too much of an emotional burden on yourself.