I feel like my life is like a drama series. At the beginning of the season you see the final scene and the rest of the episodes are dedicated to explaining the course of events that lead to the final moments. Only this isn’t not fiction, this is the truth.
It has been almost three weeks since my mom passed. The most painful time that I can remember and can’t wait to forget. Along with the normal grieving and informing people that she has passed. I’ve had the sole job of cleaning out our house and trying to make it a place where my daughter and I can feel peace and call home.
I had no idea my mother was a hoarder. Now you’d think since we’ve lived together for thirteen years I would’ve noticied, but I guess I was convienantly oblivious.
I’ve spend most of the past few weeks throwing stuff out, trying to sell stuff and making a huge pile for 1800-got-junk to haul off. Its cathardic actually, the purging of the past allowing space for the future.
Along with the cleaning, is the business end of death, name changes, bank accounts, bills, you know the fun stuff. The stuff that takes time and requires a death certificate in order to complete. The death certificate. Just typing it makes my stomach hurt. As I have been cleaning out my mothers documents, I have come across the death certificiates of both my grandmothers and my father. Ouch. Now the proper time has passed and I began the process of obtaining my mothers paperwork so that we can move forward legally and yada yada.
The plan was to have my application for the certificate filled out. Check. How many copies I needed. Check. The exact amount of cash need per certificate. Check. I was going to hand in my packet of info to the clerk at the public health department and she’d hand me documents which I planned to never look at but have in an envelope ready for when I needed them. Yea well that plan, didn’t exactly go as planned.
I got the office as planned, but when I requested such documents I was told they didn’t exist. Hmmmm that’s strange… Ok, So I called Loma Linda Medical school to find out what the hold up was (now if you are just tuning in, prior to my mothers passing her DOCTOR asked my brother and I if we would be willing to donate her body to science).
So, the school doesn’t have her, try the medical center morgue they tell me. Um, ok but wasn’t this supposed have happened weeks ago? Nevertheless, I contact the morgue. The woman on who ran the program confirmed that yes my mother was there waiting to be claimed by her next of kin (me) and then given directions on what mortuary to be sent to.
What the actual fuck???? What happened to the donation? I cried (literally). I never received that paperwork she responded (who fucked that up, I wonder??) “WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL ME??????? I screamed into the phone. “I was waiting for you to contact me, family members usually do within 72 hours” stated the mortican. Hold up, 72 hours after death would have been the 26th of March. This was the 10th of April. Breathe. I hung up the phone now unable to talk. My right mind knows that the body that lay in the morgue was not my mother, but see it still IS my mother to ME. At this point I have to call on one of my angels (a friend) that works for the county to investigate.
Protocol at LLMC morgue is after 72 hours if a body isn’t claimed by the next of kin, a letter is sent out to the family stating that the body will be turned over to the county 10 days after death if arrangements have not been made. Did I receive a letter? No. Once the body is turned over to the county they will creamate and then search the deceased estate to cover funds and fees and etc. Ok so, I can’t access my mothers trust that states that all real property belongs to me until I get a death certificate. But I can’t get a death certificate until the county gets reimbursed all the fees and costs they’ve incurred. So in theory, my house could have a lien put against it, my mothers trust would be frozen, and I am finanically screwed. Oh, did I mention I never received any type of communication from the morgue or ANYONE at LLMC???? Had I not gone to picked up the death certificates on that very day, I STILL wouldn’t know. (until the county came after me).
Only through the grace of god was I able to stop the transfer of my mothers body to the county. The paperwork had been started and the pick up was scheduled for the afternoon of the 11th (that was yesterday). I went into beast mode, I found a creamatorium, arranged for pick up, spend money that I don’t have, and at 10:43am today, April 12th my mothers body was finally laid to rest. Unbelievable right? Well believe it.
So what would be the beginning/end of this season or episode? Me standing alone crying, completely broken by the course of events that took place over the past few weeks? Unable to function or concentrate or participate in my normal life? Yes! Well, no………
This morning, I woke up and went into my mothers garden. Her 20 plus rose bushes that she spent so much time and love on. Planting and grooming are now blooming. I sat there looking at the different size roses with colors ranging from red, orange, yellow and pink and I cried. This was proof that no matter how hard the past few weeks has been and how much I’ve missed my mom and wanted her back. I didn’t have to go far, she’s been here all the time.
This does not excuse the negligence of the staff over at LLMC. This thing went sideways so many times. Multiple people didn’t do their jobs and I was left handling something that I shouldn’t have. Paying for things that were not my responsibility. So not only was my Mothers body left in the morgue for 17 days (she wasnt a jane doe, they had her file). But I was NEVER contacted by them for any of it. My sad, just turned mad….. I have every intention of allowing LLMC to make this right before I begin the process of informing the public just how people and their families are treated post mortum. Oh, I guess now you already know.
“I ponder of something terrifying ’cause this time there is no sound to hide behind. I find over the course of our human existence one thing consists of consistence…. and that’s we are all battling fear. Oh dear, I dont know why we’re here. Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking.. I liked it better when there was too much sound.”
‘There are things we can do, but from the things that work there are only TWO and from the two that we choose to do… Peace will win and fear will lose.
It is faith and there’s sleep. We need to pick one thing because Faith is to be awake and to be awake is for us to think, and for us to think is to be alive, and I will try with every rhyme to come across like I am dying, to let you know you need to try to think.
I ponder of something great my lungs will fill and then deflate. They fill with fire, exhale desire I know it’s dire my time today”-Car Radio TOP
I choose peace…. but when it comes to my Mommy, that peace is going to have a little punch behind it. She deserved that. Everyone does.