I wanted to have a party. I had the date picked out (Dec 29) and the theme (ugly holiday sweater) and I was on pinterest collecting recipes and decorations and even a party game (stick famous names on peoples' backs as they came in and make them ask around for clues to who they were). And I was dead set on having this party. I had guest lists, I had my outfit picked out, I had a friend all set to loan me hor d'oeuvre plates. And then my mom died. And now I can't imagine having a party. I can't imagine piping sour cream onto mini latkes, or trying to make the nurse at my doctor's office guess Henry Winkler, or trying to find a non-racist way to make candy corn into a Kwanzaa representation (Hey, the term holiday party implies inclusiveness). And when I think back to my imagined and over-planned party, it seems like such a simpler time. A time when a Christmas tree shaped cheese plate was my biggest concern, when a hot cocoa station seemed like a good way to occupy my mind. A time when my mother was alive.
She's dead now. And when I knew she was going to die, I never thought past that. I thought about her dying, about who would watch the boys when hospice called me to come quick, about how I wanted to be there so she didn't have to die alone, but I never thought of her being dead. And now I live in a world she's not in and I can't get out of it. I can't get back into the world where she's up at her house and I can pop in and say hi. And I can't get the image of her dead out of my mind. I've never seen a dead body before, not without make up and embalming and a coffin. And while I am so glad she didn't die alone, I wish so much that I hadn't seen her dead. She didn't look like she was sleeping, or at peace. She just looked gone, and empty, and dead. And I wish I could push that image to the back of the file and put another one up front to take it's place. I wish I could go back to planning my party.