I talked to her that morning as I got ready for my walk to work. She sounded a bit out of it. Last night was rough for her. She’d always had a high tolerance for pain, but this was just too much. They gave her morphine. It was hard to believe I was talking to her, she just sounded so different. She told me to call her back in a few minutes. As I walked to work, I decided I would call her that evening… I wanted her to get her strength back and recover from a grueling night. I figured I’d let her rest…
I went about my work day portraying a depressed patient in the basement of a medical school for med students. Lunch time arrived and I went upstairs to catch some air and some cell phone reception. I called my husband for small talk. He said he would meet me at the coffeehouse on campus, get a little work done and then we could walk home together. I thought that was sweet and I looked forward to our walk home together. He asked me if I had spoken to my mom or anyone else and I told him I hadn’t. I knew something was wrong. I thought maybe they had to rush her to the emergency room to get her pain under control again…I was not prepared.
I don’t remember his exact words, but the message was simply, Granny passed this morning. All I remember screaming is “What happened? I just talked to her. How did this happen?” I had just finalized our shirt order on the phone the previous night. The shirts would have been a surprise to her. I was five months pregnant and Granny and I were going to do the big reveal with personalized shirts via facebook. I was hysterical. I remember someone passing me in the stairwell and giving me a strange look. Perhaps she thought I was being dramatic, that whatever it was that caused me to weep so loudly could not have been that bad. It was. I had lost one of the dear loves of my life. Babe assured me that he would see me soon and I somehow managed to dry my tears and put on a brave face to return back to work.
I pretended as if everything was ok and then when I felt my tears would betray me I rushed to the bathroom and laid on the floor and wept some more. I gathered myself again. I wanted to tell my boss, but she could be cut and dry. I needed some comfort and compassion, I couldn’t guarantee that I could find it there. A small voice told me to go speak to her anyway. Compassion is what I found. She empathized with me and told me I was in no condition to continue working. She told me she was there to talk if I needed to or I could just sit and she wouldn’t bother me. She arranged for me to be off for the rest of the day. I headed out the door to meet my husband on the long walk home…without her in the land of the living…to be continued