I am not totally sure yet what I believe about life after death. I’ve noticed that after the death of a loved one, people (perhaps in an attempt to make you feel better) will often tell you that the deceased is looking down on you. They’re making good things happen in your life. They’re with you in spirit. They can hear you talk to them.
I have private feelings about where my mom “is” now – I mean, besides being dead. Because, you know, the hard truth of it is – my mom is dead. And yes, that sucks and it is the worst. But sometimes I also think it is okay for her to just be dead. She doesn’t have to be some spirit floating around me all the time. My mom lived an amazing life, and sometimes I think that is just good enough.
But other times, I feel differently, and this week I had a nice thought about my mom in heaven. I had a particularly sad few days last week, for whatever reason some serious sadness just came on full force. By Tuesday I was feeling better, when my dad called to tell me that he was going to have to put our old little dog Simon to sleep that night. Simon was 15 and was a cranky little old man. He was kind of a crazy dog – he growled a lot and hated other dogs and was seriously territorial. There were many many times my family joked about how excited we were for his death (we are awful people!), and since we all kind of hated him my mom got stuck as his main caregiver. Even though the dog was a huge pain in the ass, my mom bent over backwards for the thing. He went to the best kennel (over an hour from my house), he was feed ground lamb. My mom took amazing care of the guy. And it paid off in the end, as over the last year Simon was the kind of dog we always wanted him to be – sweet, easy to be around, friendly. So when his time came I was sad, I cried, and I moved on in about twenty minutes. I’m getting pretty good at this death stuff.
But I had this thought that made me laugh. I imagined my mom up in her heavenly spot reading some sort of Dean Koontz thriller. She’s having a cup of tea and maybe the Weather Channel is on. And all of a sudden, Simon dies, and he pops up there at her feet in heaven. And my mom just goes, “Oh fuck.”
If anything, I hope my mom isn’t busting her ass watching over me. I’ll be okay because she did such a good job when she was here. I hope she’s relaxing with a good book, her birds chirping outside the window, the temperature a San Francisco-like 70 degrees. She has a bag of candy corn and a cup of tea beside her and the dog at her feet, still being a total pain in the ass in heaven.