I find that I keep checking my watch. Three hours. Seven hours. Eleven hours. And now, thirty-five hours. Thirty-five hours into the after. I remember the before clearly. It’s the after that’s been such a blur.
Time slowed down when I got the phone call from Justin. His voice seemed to stop at each word. “It’s. Mom. She. Died.” Even now, a mere 35 hours later, I’m not sure that it has processed.
In a matter of hours, our bags were packed and we were on a plane home. Home to make arrangements that you just shouldn’t have to make in your early 30’s. Arrangements that we have no idea how to make, blindly grabbing for gentle hands to guide us. And, thank God, we have found them.
Through the grace of God, we survived today. A trip to the coroner’s office, where we met two of the most compassionate men I have ever met. They walked us through what they had pieced together, letting us know that they had been gentle with Augusta. Massive heart attack, the diagnosis.
We found our way to the funeral home, sitting on an old couch facing a fake fireplace. Nothing about this seemed real as I clutched Justin’s arm, not sure if I was shaking from cold or shock. We went through the motions: writing the obituary, selecting the coffin, setting a date.
So much of the day is too personal and raw to share; it’s not anything that I want to return to read later. This has been, quite possibly, the worst day of my life. Followed closely by yesterday. And I have no idea what tomorrow holds. I can only hope that it will start to get a little easier, especially for Justin.
That’s the part that is most difficult for me – watching him suffer, knowing that his loss is so great and one I cannot even begin to comprehend. Trying to be there for him and desperately hoping that I’m giving him the support that he needs. Knowing that whatever I give will never make it better or replace the ache and loss that he is feeling.
I’ve had a headache for the past day and a half. I keep trying to remember to take something for it, but the throbbing reminds me that this is all real.
My heart also breaks for Robbie, who will only know Grandmama through stories and pictures. Who will never make his first trip to Disney World with her, even though we were supposed to go in January.
We can all use your prayers. Please.