The First Month

It’s been a month since my mom died, and like cheese, the pain of the loss ripens with time. There’s really no good words to describe the kind of longing you feel for someone who has passed. I wasn’t familiar with it before, as my only other significant loss was that of our smelly family bassett hound, Lucy. She was a great dog, but she once had a skin disease that she passed on to my mom. Also she once had maggots.
So this is all new to me. New and not fun.

Some days are good, like yesterday, which was sunny and warm. I did yoga and ate frozen yogurt. Other days suck in the worst way, and I do yoga and drink wine, beer, and the occasional white russian.

When my mom died I started doing weird little things to honor her memory. When I drive I try to be more respectful of the other drivers, I use my blinker and try not to tailgate. I am attempting to be nicer to (idiot) cab drivers and (fucking dumb retarded) slow people at registers, as my mom was unfailingly pleasant to all people. I will stay out of credit card debt.

But above all, I am trying to get organized. My mom was so patient with all the disorder that surrounded me, and was always trying to get me organized, even while she was sick. I’ve never once been organized in my life, ever, and it can really make you feel nuts. Currently, Anthony and I live (and love) in a tiny, cramped world of clutter and cat hair. We’re not pack rats, we just own too many plates and pens and let the mail pile up. My compulsive hoarding of clothes, shoes and bags (and scarves, belts, bathing suits, scented lotions, perfume and stationery) only adds to the problem. So I shamelessly trolled the self help section of Barnes & Noble and bought a book. Not The Secret, though I secretly want to read it.
I bought this dorky book by this O-Approved lady.

I’ve been reading and underlining and yesterday started to dig in, tackling the pile of clothes in front of my dresser before getting to the actual overflowing drawers. So far I have about seven garbage bags full of clothes (the dresser is now empty) organized by type of clothing – skirts/dresses, coats, sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, tank tops, shorts, pants, underwear and socks. Hm. I guess that makes nine bags, and it’s probably ten as the pants took up two bags.
See my problem?

Anyway, please wish me luck. Because I’d really love to have friends over to my apartment one day. And I’d love to be able to find my passport. But mostly I’d like to make my mom proud.

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6 Responses to “The First Month”


  1. 1 Costin April 5, 2007 at 3:16 am

    I wanted to say hello some time ago but I didn´t have the guts to do it. I have passed some similar times about 7 months ago with my mom and, sadly, I can say that I know how you feel.
    My mom always said “life goes on no matter what”. The hard part after someone, that you love so much, died is the “no matter what” part.
    Head up girl! It´s the only thing that will make your mom proud. Head up!

  2. 2 katespencer April 5, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Thanks Costin! I’m trying! TV helps.

  3. 3 e April 5, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Good luck Kate. I could say all the cliche things people say when a loved one has passed, but the truth is to just take one day at a time. When my mom passed, I started organizing too.It has been twelve years now and what worked for me was making lists and tackling one task at a time. One day clean your junk drawer.One day clean out your closet.One day vaccuum your cushions of your couch. One day clean out the refrigerater and so on. Baby steps, one drawer at a time. Each day you will accomplish something and you will feel good about yourself. Your Mom is proud of you no matter what, but these little things will make you proud of yourself!

  4. 4 Caitlyn April 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    My best friend died two years ago from leukemia- before I even knew myself that I had cancer. It was the hardest struggle of my life. In the months before his death he began to get increasingly reckless. We’d go out rowing on the river even though he didn’t know how to scull or swim, he went cliff diving even though he was petrified of heights. I was in his hospital room every night up until his deaths (I don’t think visiting hours applied to me). His death brought the biggest pain I’ve ever known, and I fell into a loop of depression after he died. At his funeral, his mom gave me a letter that he’d written me. He knew he was going to die, so he said what he could in that. He had bought me a ring- just a little saphire and diamond ring- and asked me in the letter to wear it and remember him. I wear it every day, and feel his loss every time I look at it. But in the letter he asked me to live better, to live recklessly and carelessly. He said that there was no other way to live, that this was the happiest time in his life.
    It’s strange, really, the good bits that come out of such terrible loss. It’s also hard to realize that something so bad could have a positive light.

  5. 5 Ater April 5, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    I love you.

  6. 6 Thomas April 9, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about you loosing your Mother. I lost mine almost six years ago, and there are still days I wish i could talk to her…

    It does get better over time…but only marginaly.

    Hope you can fare better then I…


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