Yahrzeit

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.

My mother died on the day of the summer solstice, a month and a half after her 75th birthday. I wouldn’t remember the date so well if it weren’t for those memory joggers.

Her death did not come as a shock. She’d had a stroke the previous October (that was the shock), and had been in various levels of inpatient care ever since. From ICU to transitional care to rehab facility, with a few trips to the emergency room and back to the ICU when she had severe infections. During that time, she was definitely aware of things, and could speak words clearly, but couldn’t really converse with us. She never became herself again.

Any readers who are Jewish will know that I’m using the term “Yahrzeit” incorrectly. The only thing I knew about Yahrzeit before today, was that Jews have an observance on the first anniversary of a loved one’s death. I read up on it (at this link), and learned that it is normally calculated as the anniversary of the Hebrew date, not the Gregorian date. But that’s not important to me right now.

What does matter to me about Yahrzeit is, I like the idea. I like the idea of observing the anniversary of my mother’s death, because, well, there’s a lot of adjustment to be made when someone dies, and it takes at least a year for it to sink in.

I miss talking to my mom. I missed her during the eight months she was in the hospital, but it wasn’t permanent yet. We had hope that she might get better. After she died, I had to adjust to the fact that I would never talk to her again. I don’t have any regrets about things I said or didn’t say; I think Mom and I had pretty well settled our issues a while ago. I’m glad of that, and I’m glad that I called often and kept talking to her.

Rest in peace, Mom. I love you.

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