For the third time this year, a close friend of mine is burying a parent.
My friend’s father was relatively young, healthy and full of life when I saw him at his 60th birthday party last October. Her sister spoke to him on the phone at about two in the afternoon. By six, when my friend stopped by her parents’ house, he was gone.
In May, I sat next to my mom at the funeral of another friend’s mom. Her death was sudden, too. She went to the hospital for chest pains and never came home.
I watched my grandmother die over 10 long years after a massive stroke rendered her paralyzed and less of herself with each passing year. By the time she passed, I’d said goodbye to the woman who raised me a thousand times. I was ready for the failing body that held her captive to set her free. I told myself that whatever of that woman still lived behind her eyes wanted the same.
When I think of losing my mother, I see a slow, dreadful goodbye. It’s never occurred to me that it could happen in a flash. I honestly don’t know what would be worse. All I know is I’m not ready for this phase of adulthood.