And here I thought I was already in hell….part one.

My mom is dead. I don’t know when she died; I only know I found her last night. And now I am truly in a hell, this one of paper, legalese, money and frustration.

I had last seen my mom on Thurs night, Dec 16, when I stopped by to drop off a new can opener I had picked up for her. I opened a couple cans to show her how easily this one worked, and prepared to leave. She seemed disappointed I was heading out already and asked me to stay and “talk”. I said I had to go, that the kids were in the car, and she asked me if I could come back later because she just wanted “someone to talk to”. I felt incredibly guilty, and said I would try to stop by later. I didn’t make it back.

On Sat morning the phone rang at 2AM, waking me from a sound (well, as sound as it gets lately) sleep. It was my mom, and I let the machine take it. She called back, so I answered. She kept repeating, “Are you coming later?” and I kept trying to tell her it was 2 AM, and asking her what she needed. She was saying she couldn’t hear me, and I was in tears of frustration when I finally yelled, yes, yes I would come later. She still couldn’t hear me and said in a very frustrated tone, “I’m going to have to have something done about my hearing.”

Saturday was a busy day, and I didn’t get over to see her. I just chalked her late night phone call up to  one of her episodes, and assumed the next time I talked to her she would be sensible, logical and coherent, like usual. There was no next time.

I didn’t hear from her on Sunday or Monday, which wasn’t unusual, but on Tuesday morning she failed to phone me for groceries around 10:30, which was a bit unusual. I tried to call her, but got a busy signal. This wasn’t unusual, since she would sometimes leave the phone off the hook if she was trying to nap. I tried several times over the day, and kept getting the busy signal. I had to take Brianna to karate, so decided to stop by to let her know the phone was off the hook.

When I got there, the house was in total darkness. Not even a glimmer of light showed round the edges of the blinds. I had a bad feeling, and when I tried the door and found it unlocked, I knew something was seriously wrong. I opened the door and stepped inside. In the light from the streetlight it took me a moment to realize there was a form lying on the floor. It is an image I will never forget. In that instant I knew she was dead, and I backed out of the door and closed it.

I was going to use my cell phone to dial 911, but wasn’t sure if I needed to press any other keys before it, so I just went to the next door neighbour’s house and asked her to call for me. When the call was made, she got a large search light and went over to my mom’s house to go in and have a look. I waited by the road. I had seen enough. She came out and all she said to me was, “Don’t go in there.” The ambulance arrived and I answered their questions. The police arrived and I answered the same questions again. A fire truck arrived and was waved away by the police. The paramedics confirmed that my mom was dead, and the coroner was called. Brianna and I went next door to sit with the neighbour, Linda, while the coroner and the police did their investigation. I couldn’t stop shaking.

I had phoned Julie, but she wasn’t home, and Michael ended up calling me back. When I told him what had happened, he called Julie on her friend’s phone and she called me. She was just about to have dinner with some friends, so I told her not to interrupt that, but to please call me when she was free.

The police called Victim Services, which seemed to be a total waste of time. They gave me some pamphlets on funerals and grieving. Wow. The coroner came to talk to me and asked more questions, then explained that because she had died at home of unknown causes there would have to be an autopsy. I agreed, of course, what else could I do. Both the coroner and the police felt that given her age and the condition of the house, death was due to natural causes.  Shortly after, I was told we could return home, and that the police would wait till she was removed from the house, secure the house, and bring me the key, which they later did.

Julie called not long after we got home and just told me she was coming over. She sat with me till nearly 11:30, just talking it all out and I was able to get an idea of what I want to do. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, and it didn’t help that both kids were shaken by what had happened and decided to sleep with me. Well, Sean started out the night with me and Brianna joined us in the middle of the night after a terrifying nightmare.

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