My mother, Linda Jane Gruber, died Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. She was 64 years old.
It’s interesting how we all know that death is coming for us, yet we’re never quite prepared for it. It’s 3:20 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 as I write this, and I’ve spent the last three hours processing, crying, mourning, remembering. I feel like there is something I should be doing, and yet, I’m completely helpless until the sun rises.
I have spent decent amounts of my life writing, and have never been one to shy away from the emotional. So while this sting is still fresh, I want to get something down. Honestly, it’s the only thing I feel like I can do at this very moment.
Mom was pretty sick in September. She had some issues that started around Labor Day, which ended up sending her to the hospital shortly after. Thanks to some generous time provided by my employer, I was able to go down and spend time with her, and tend to some things while I was there to help ease my parents’ burden while she was recovering. That ended up being very precious time, indeed.
My wife, Amy, and I have cried a lot since I got the call. Late night calls are not typically not good, and I knew when my dad called me that this was it. I could feel it before I unlocked the phone and said, “Hello?”
The thing that is foremost in our minds now is how awful Sunday morning is going to be. My three children are sound asleep right now, unaware of the news we will have to give to them when they wake up. I am thankful they got to bed before they got this news, if only to enjoy one more night of pain-free sleep. My kids love all their grandparents immensely. This will be a very painful time.
I am so fortunate. My mom was an excellent mother. She was always loving, and was an incredible giver. I am so thankful for technology that allowed us to video conference Oct. 9 on my oldest daughter’s birthday. She seemed like she was doing better. A week ago she texted me to ask “Are you watching the Chiefs?” (She obviously was, as was I.) On Tuesday, we had a FaceTime call. She and my dad sang “Happy Birthday” to my daughter, Ember, for her 12th birthday. We talked on Thursday afternoon. She texted on Friday to say her recent tests were looking very good. “All normal,” she said.
And on Saturday, she was gone.
I feel like I have much more to say, and yet, this feels like all I can muster for the time being. My heart is pounding. My head is tired. My soul is anxious that I have to tell my children that their grandmother is dead.
Please, I beg of you: put away your past disagreements. Bury you past hurt. I had a great relationship with my mother, and even still, I have regret. I should have called her on Saturday. Did I tell her I loved her the last time we talked? Did I turn out to be the man she hoped I would become?
My heart is completely broken.