I’ve been wanting to write about this moment, this evening, for a while, but couldn’t find the right hook, the right reason, and then Victoria posted this on IG. (Hello, yes, I guess I am a millennial.)
This quote reminds me of the last night my mom was alive.
She’d been put on hospice that Sunday and after being home for a few days, I went out to the Hamptons, a weekend I’d been planning for awhile. By this time, my mom had long stopped speaking other than moaning in pain, so I knew I wasn’t going to miss some beautiful moment to have one last chat with her to say goodbye. (Thank you, movies, for creating this fairy tale construct, too.) From about April on, I knew every single time I left her side, it very well could be goodbye, and I treated every visit as though it might be the last. I’d discussed, ad nauseam, with my dad, with my therapist, with my friends, about if I wanted to be there when it happened, about how I might handle the logistics of the situation when it happened.
I ultimately decided that I absolutely did not want to be there. My mom had always been full of so much life, and I’d seen her stripped of that in the prior 8 months, and I did not want to have the memory of seeing her die. My dad urged me to go with my friends, instead of sitting around, waiting for something to happen. The entire time she was sick, she refused help as much as she could, and kept telling me she didn’t want me to see her like that. My dad and the caretaker that she trusted so assured me that they had it, logistically. The house felt like a hospital, with the morphine injections and hospice instructions and the priest and nun coming in and out, and I was grateful for the ability to leave that for at least a little while, knowing there was not much I could do. My dad told me there was a good chance I might have to cut my weekend short, and I was well aware of that.
Have you ever felt a moment where you knew everything was about to change?
That last night, my friends and I went out to Montauk to get drinks and watch the sun set.
As I texted with my dad and asked Meggie to help me translate, I stared out at this sunset.
As I sat there staring out at this, first alone, then on the phone, then with my best friend squeezing my hand as the tears flowed, I saw a hint of light in the darkness. I knew my life was about to change, drastically, but at that moment, I also knew there would be peace ahead.
We returned to our house in Amagansett, and headed out to the beach, with rosé, sparklers and a speaker in tow.
As we twirled around the beach, dancing and laughing, I knew it was one of those hold on to these moments as they pass moments.
To some of my friends, it might have been just another night on the beach, but for me, it was a beautiful night of knowing I was surrounded by love that would get me through the pain I was about to endure and knowing that somehow, just somehow, I’d be OK(ish.)
I’ll now cherish that moment forever.
Have you experienced similar moments? (Not necessarily grief-related)