So loves, I had thought to write a post about dealing with the death of my Mom. I know it was recent, less than 2 weeks ago, but I figure that is when my emotions will be the closest to the surface and hopefully I can be the most honest, but I can’t do it. I tried writing about the emotional roller coaster I’m on right now and just giving examples of what I’m thinking when I feel relief, or guilt, or anger, or sadness, but I turn into a watering pot. I know I’ll be able to talk about it, it just won’t be anytime soon. At least not without ugly crying, which is acceptable, however I usually write these posts while I’m at work, so probably not the best idea. So, instead I’m going to let you know what I’ve learned from this experience.
1. Hospice is amazing. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. As soon as we couldn’t find a pulse my cousin and I called the hospice nurse, because maybe we were wrong. They sent someone over immediately and she was incredibly kind, even hugging me after extending her sympathies.
2. Family is amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them (both family by blood and family by choice).
3. HAVE A WILL. Seriously guys, I’m assuming that we’re all adults here, amirite? Please take a few hours and get things squared away. My mom was young, 65, but ill and didn’t have a will. It just ended up complicating things.
4. If you can swing it, pre plan/pre pay for a funeral. OMG, I can’t tell you how much easier it was to deal with everything that was going on knowing I didn’t have to plan her funeral too. (Be aware that funeral directors are still sales people and will try to get you to buy things, like urns.)
- Please, please plan for something that allows for some kind of closure. My mom didn’t want a viewing or a service and I supported her wishes, but my moment of closure was when they closed the body bag and that was rough. So don’t do it for you, do it for your loved ones, you can plan out exactly what you’re comfortable with, but do something.
5. If you are dealing with home hospice, have them come and get the DME (durable medical equipment) right away. Mom died at 11 in the morning, but by the time the family came to say good bye it was around 4pm when the funeral home picked her up. We decided to wait and have the DME company pick up the stuff the next day. DON’T DO THAT. Get that shit out of there right away and then move the furniture around. Trust me.
6. Get a hotel room. If you have someone who dies at home, the first night you are there by yourself, after the death? Go to a hotel; get comfortable sleeping alone, then go back to the house. I had been sleeping in the living room on an air mattress (Mom had her hospital bed in the living room). I freaked out the first night I was alone and had to have all the lights in the house blazing.
7. Prepare food ahead, or get people to make you casseroles. So, here’s the deal, I like to cook, but not only was I stressing out over the fact that my Mom had just died, I also wasn’t in my own kitchen and ended up eating out a lot. Easy to heat casseroles or quick finger food is where its at. As soon as I came home, my best friend brought me food. It helps.
8. Maintain a routine. Not in the week or so following the death obviously, because everything just goes to hell in a hand basket. But when you go back to work (and I encourage you to do that as soon as you feel comfortable) try to fall back in to your normal routine. Going to work Monday- Friday, seeing Red on Tuesday, knitting on Thursday? That has made the grief manageable.
9. Talk about it. To your family, friends, therapist, blog readers, just talk about it.
10. Laugh often and without reserve, it really does heal.