So I just called to cancel my Mom’s home phone, today. In the early days after her death I had a trusty yellow notebook; one that she had written in just days before she died. It was full of notes of which businesses, accounts and credit cards I had called, who I had spoken to: social security, life insurance, car insurance, credit cards, etc. It contained confirmation/account cancellation numbers, etc.
Today, there are just a few active accounts left — her home phone line is one of them.
“Hi, I’d like to turn off my Mom’s phone services.”
“Are you an authorized user on her account?”
“She’s deceased.” [That usually seems to shut them up.]
I give the customer service rep my Mom’s account number, we move forward with the cancellation process.
She thanks me for my Mom’s long-standing patronage of the telephone company. She tells me that my Mom’s “loyalty was appreciated.”
I’m glad the phone company appreciated my Mom. [insert eye roll.] Let’s move on with this.
“So how long has she been dead?”
Wow. Ok. She’s putting it out there, isn’t she? “About seven months…”
“Hmmm… was she sick?”
Really? Because this is your business? “It was a car accident.” [Now let’s stop talking about this. Cancel the phone number, ok?]
“Honey, now that is tragic. Absolutely tragic.”
I’m pretty much loathing this woman at this point.
Then she says, “Yeah, I know how you feel, well, not completely. But my son died. It was 10 years just 4 days ago. Yep, he died 3 days after his birthday ten years ago…”
And then my feelings come full-circle.
My heart overtakes my brain.
Because our pain really does connect us, doesn’t it?
“I am so sorry to hear that. To hear about your son…” [I’m blown away. I feel for her… Oh, I feel for her. Her child…]
She says to me, “It’s ok, honey. Thank you, though. It gets easier. I promise you that, darlin’. But it’s always hard…”
“Yes, ma’am. I believe you’re right.”
And then we waited. In silence. Because really, what do you say?
And I took a deep breath because this is again, so final. If I call 417-741-xxxx it won’t even ring. Ever again. Just like when I call 246-9729, my Dad doesn’t answer. Sigh.
“Darlin’, you’re all set. And again, honey, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.”
“Thank you. I’m so sorry about your son.”
“Grief shared is grief diminished”, is what I have been thinking is truth. Now I realize that “Grief shared is grief shared.”
What I have gone through, what I am going through, so.many.others are going through, as well. They’ve been through it.
Grief is the great leveler, isn’t it? The great equalizer.
We never know what others are going through.
My heart goes out to you today.
—The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 30, 2013 :: Slivers of Sunlight :: Post here.
October 6, 2013 :: That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013 :: 14 days after :: Post here.
October 20, 2013 :: I found a treasure :: Post here.
November 4, 2013 :: She’s been gone for 4 weeks :: Post here.
November 13, 2013 :: I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry :: Post here.
November 17, 2013 :: Weekends aren’t easy :: Post here.
November 26, 2013 :: The holidays, the firsts :: Post here.
December 1, 2013 :: 8 weeks :: Post here.
December 10, 2013 :: The Dream :: Post here.
December 19, 2013 :: Vulnerability and Moving Forward :: Post here.
December 22, 2013 :: The reminders. They’re everywhere :: Post here.
December 29, 2013 :: 2013 :: Post here.
January 1, 2014 :: The New Year :: Post here.
January 7, 2014 :: 2 days from 4 months :: Post here.
January 17, 2014 :: Another Gift :: Post here.
January 25, 2014 :: She would have been 60 today :: Post here.
February 9, 2014 :: Five months :: Post here.
March 6, 2014 :: Almost six months :: Post here.
March 27, 2014 :: One of the Best Gifts Ever :: Post here.