I wanted to hold her hand while I was laying next to her, but I was afraid I would wake her up. She seemed so peaceful. She reminded me of my mother.
The TV was on but muted, and the only thing I could hear was the sound of the oxygen machine keeping her alive. I still remember the sound of it. I don’t think I can ever forget, but I wish I could.
Knowing that it was the last moment, the last time I would ever see her, was gut-wrenching. The last smile. The last touch… It broke my heart. I pretended not to be affected, but I felt like I was sinking into a black hole. The room was spinning. I closed my eyes, and slept with her for a few hours.
When I had to hit the road back home, the goodbyes were quick and emptied of emotions. She told me to drive safe. I said “I will, see ya!”
No tears, no scene.
We both knew I wouldn’t see her again. But it was easier to pretend this was only farewell.
To be honest, her death has been sucking the life out of me, more than I thought it would. I never want to get out of bed. My mornings are slow and painful. My email accounts are showing 411 unread emails. A mountain of tasks and work and laundry and bills to pay and missed calls are piling up while I am sinking a little deeper in my mattress. I don't feel like seeing people. I know I won’t be able to hide under the covers forever. I just don’t want to go back to normal, I know I can’t go back to it, as normal life has left the town of my heart.
I have to accept the hard truth that, this time, I have no one I can rely on anymore. I have no one to call. I feel like I am watching the last standing pillar floating away. The roof is falling on my head. I am sitting in a crashing plane, and there’s nothing I can do to make it stop. Such is my life…
I tell the people I love, that I love them all the time. It’s paramount to me. But I don’t remember ever telling her so, while she’s been one of the two persons I loved the most ever since I was born. I’m sure she knew it very much so, and I know emotional talks made her highly uncomfortable. But I wish I could’ve at least thanked her for raising me into the woman I became. Those are my only regrets.
Before the big storm pancreatic cancer has brought to our house, I asked her: How does it feel to know you’re waiting on death row? Are you afraid to die?
She said she was ready. Acceptance - the only way to remain sane.
I then told her I was second guessing my decision of moving far away from her, now knowing that her life was sentenced, now knowing there was not a lot of time left…
She told me: My life ending does not mean your life is going to end too, Emilie. Life for you is continuing, and you can’t pause it because of me. One day, it’s going to be you in my shoes. Make sure the road you’re walking on until then makes you happy, else it’s going to be a long, sad walk.
She’s the last person I wanted to lose. I miss her already, and I will for the rest of my life. I understand that death is part of life, but it’s still hard.
However, I know that her death is going to change a lot of things in my life. I know I am never going to see my extended family again. I know I am going to spend the next holidays by myself. I know I am never going to eat her delicious food again, but I’m thankful that she taught me how to cook. I know that no one is going to bring me soup and hot tea in bed when I’m sick. I know that, if one day someone breaks my heart again, I won’t find shelter in her home and ask her for advice. I know that I will never see her number on my phone screen again. This is just me now. Alone.
She taught me so much, but I know for a fact that she’s not done teaching me. I know her death is going to continue teaching me every day. Just like her sister’s death did. I don’t know how I can be happy without my mother, and I don’t know how I will be happy without her sister, but I know that I am, and I will be.
Losing the people I love has a funny effect on me. The more I lose, the more I want to give. But, also, the more I lose, the more I am afraid to win.