It has not been the happiest New Year so far.
Christmas was amazing, and it was so good to see family and celebrate. Unfortunately, after that, things started going downhill pretty rapidly.
It really started back in October, when my Oma found a lump in her breast. I think you know where this is going.
Tests, doctors, surgery, hospital, more doctors, drugs, confusion, anxiety, complications.
My Oma ended up in the hospital with breathing problems and extreme fatigue in the wee hours between December 27-28.
Delays, diagnosis, drugs, procedures, confusion, anxiety, complications.
And finally, yesterday, two weeks later, passing.
This was all expected to happen “someday,” just not now. Not yet. We weren’t ready. We’re still not.
If you were looking for a resolution this year, resolve to have the tough conversations with your loved ones about what you want for your last days. If not to make it easier on you, then to make it easier on them.
Getting on that plane, leaving while there was so much uncertainty, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
But everyone I left behind, my mom, her brothers, my Opa, have it a million times harder. Having to cope with the sudden loss of their mom/wife, and deicide how to manage her last days when she was gone in mind and spirit, but not yet in body. Having to push aside their grief long enough to decipher what my Oma would’ve wanted, and how to celebrate the 83 years she had with us.
Even if that part was easier, though, it’s still not easy.
On my end, I sit up at night with Isaac, whose tiny mind and body absorbed all the unspoken stress and sadness surrounding his last few days in Canada, so he doesn’t like sleeping in his room by himself anymore and doesn’t know why.
And I wonder, now that the inevitable has happened, how one explains death to a three-year-old.
And I think about the miles between me and my family, and wish that this great big world, so full of wonder and adventure and amazement and opportunity, was sometimes just a little bit smaller.