The last time I saw my mom, I didn't say goodbye. I didn't think that time was goodbye. I thought the time after that was going to be goodbye.
It hurts but I find comfort in my own way and in my own time. in very brief moments. Sometimes I will shake my head and say to myself, "She's really gone." In this sort of befuddled tone in my head. Like it really happened. There's no do-over. There's no reset button. The decisions you make can be final. Knowing a feeling exists and experiencing that emotion and how it feels are two separate things. A lot of these emotions feel new to me, raw.
But like I said, I find comfort in my own way. I try to. The first time I went to go see her at the hospital. She couldn't talk and she had the feeding tube and ventilator and everything else down her throat. She was in pain, sedated and on narcotics. She tapped at the side of the bed with her hand. Wiggled her fingers a little. Motioning me over to get closer to her.
I gathered the chair up and set it next to her bed. I sat down next to her and she grabbed my hand. The only sounds were the beeping of all her machines and monitors. I cried silently and held her hand. She was just lying there with her eyes closed. Occasionally she would grimace from some unknown pain. But we just sat there in silence. We were almost 5000 miles from where my mom was born. We don't have any family in this state. A handful of friends within an hour or so. But it was just her and I in that room, like it had been for most of our lives anyway. It probably should've been like that in the end. It could've been like that in her last moments. But I wasn't there then. It happened the way it did. She's really gone.