I’ve Never Lost Someone Before

Today was my first day at my HABA job. I walked to the bus stop in the dark, got confused about where the employee entrance was, unpacked cardboard boxes, stocked shelves, helped customers, cut open a lot of shrink wrap, learned where things are in my department, and got a text from my mother. I had taken my second 10-minute break at 12:30 and saw a text my mother had sent at 11:24.

“They are pulling the tubes from grandma shirley right now. She is already in heaven.”

I couldn’t believe it. My brother had texted me last night saying that she was in the hospital and needed our prayers, but I did not expect this. No one did. I cried a little but was pretty much in shock or denial. It didn’t seem real. I tried to text my mom back, “No!” with a sad face, but it didn’t send. I tried texting Kurt and that didn’t work either. I apparently can’t send any texts in my new store. So at 2, when I got off work, I called my dad.

Hearing your father sob and say “I want my mom” changes you. You see your dad as vulnerable, something you haven’t seen much of. It breaks you to see him so broken, when he’s always been so strong. I mean, what can you do when you’ve lost your mother? Completely out of the blue? I don’t even know what I would do if I lost my mom. My Grandma Shirley was 83, but she was totally fine yesterday. She complained of things that sounded like stroke symptoms or indicators of a coming heart attack, so my Aunt Mary took her to the hospital. She only got worse from there. The doctors tried everything, but nothing was explained. Her body was shutting down for no clear reason. They sedated and intubated her in order to perform a CAT scan last night and by this morning, she was hooked up to 22 different tubes, all keeping her alive together. She never woke up. All of her seven children were gathered in her room, if not in person then on speakerphone or on Skype. They chose to pull the plug because though the doctors didn’t know what caused it, they did know that she wasn’t coming back. My dad told me all of this through sobs while I walked in the heat toward a QFC to reload my Orca card. I cried along with him. It didn’t make any sense. One day, she was there, and then suddenly, she wasn’t. My dad and his siblings ordered an autopsy before the cremation to find out what went wrong. Because that has to happen, there won’t be a body or even an urn at the memorial, which will happen this weekend. If it’s Saturday, I hope I can get the time off work. If it’s Sunday, I’m postponing my birthday party. Because that’s what you do.

Oh and by the way, Kurt was offered the full-time position of lead barista today. You can imagine that I had a hard time feeling excited for him. But I am. It’s a weird feeling, though, to get terrible news and great news so close together. I’m sad that my dad is hurting so much, but glad that my grandma isn’t suffering, and happy for our future financial stability, but tired from a hot trek home after a long day at work. I just…

Please pray for my dad.

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