Friday, July 24, 2015

Parental Loss: Queen Anne’s Lace and the Slow Process of Grief

I wish it were as easy to close the book on my parents’ lives as it is to take care of their legal affairs. And believe me, that has been a huge challenge. You would think they left a huge estate judging by the number of phone calls to their lawyer, Mom’s senior living community, and Dad’s investment broker. Then there were all of the tasks involved in clearing out Mom’s apartment and divvying up its contents. As my brothers and I near the end (we hope) of this process, I find myself more melancholy. With less stuff to do comes more time to reflect.

When my father died three years ago, I didn’t fully mourn. Mom needed my support. She had to move. She was sick. She broke her hip. Our relationship evolved into daily phone calls in which she shared her worries, fears, and triumphs. Sometimes, she would call to ask if I had been the person who called her (she never understood how to retrieve messages) or she would call when I was in the middle of a meeting to share some gossip. Now, I find myself missing those calls that sometimes felt like an obligation or an intrusion into my own busy life. At some point every day, I find myself thinking, “This would be a good time to call Mom.”

Parental Loss: Queen Anne’s Lace and the Slow Process of Grief

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