Whenever a friend suffers a death in the family, I tell them, "You think it's bad now, you should feel it six months from now. It's really hard then." I say that because I am so thoughtful. And since I am the expert since Dad died twenty years ago. And I'm sure my friends find it so helpful, because that's just what you want to hear when you're mourning, you want to know it will be even worse in six months.
In case you haven't know any dead people, six months is when you realize you've gone a whole day without thinking of the deceased. It's been over six months since Mom died. I haven't had my Bad Day yet, but maybe that's because she watches over us from her plastic box on the top of the bookcase. (Waves at Mom's box. Hi Mom! Try to keep the ruckus down.)
However, I had a Mom dream last night. Mom and Dad were both alive and then Mom died. Dave and I were in our teens and watching a video of Mom from her teens. "Who is that guy Mom's dancing with?" we asked Dad.
"Oh, that's Jerry. They used that footage in a documentary about Howard Hughes. There's a copy of it still in the basement."
"We have a basement?" (It's a slab house. No basement.)
And then we all got to root around in the basement, Mom's Special Secret Basement we didn't know existed. Books and trunks and closets, all filled with uncharted Mom stuff. Oh, and then Marcia and her Dead Mom came by. Party in the crowded Basement of Death. What could that mean?
I think part of it is because I've spent six months intending to read through her letters, and I guess I'm hoping to find out something I didn't know. But there are only so many letters, and even if I discover something new, there won't be anything else to hear from Mom when I've read them all. Then she'll be gone.