My husband came home with some news tonight that just really brought me to tears. One of his co-workers passed away last night. She was a 46 year old woman with ten and twelve year old boys. She apparently died in her sleep and her children found her this morning.
I can’t tell you how scary this story is to me. This is a woman who appeared healthy to everyone. In fact, we don’t yet know what caused her death. I’m sure this woman never even thought there was a chance she wouldn’t wake up this morning. I’m sure the last thing her children were expecting when they woke up today was that they would be without their mom for the rest of their lives.
How does a family deal with a tragedy like this? One minute you’re here and the next you’re not. It makes me wonder what this mother never had the chance to tell her boys. It makes me cry to think that they never really had the chance to say good-bye to each other.
Besides the obvious big things in life that this woman will never get to share with her children I wonder what little things were left undone. You know, things like that load of laundry she may have been too tired to get to but swore she would do tomorrow because her family was running low on clean underwear. Or the game she swore she’d play with her child tomorrow because she was just too tired or busy today. Did she have plans to take her boys to see a movie this weekend because she had no idea that this weekend would never come for her? Were there things her boys forgot to tell her yesterday but thought they would be able to share with her today?
I know some of you out there may be thinking why is Incognito Mom worrying about this woman’s laundry when the bigger picture is that there are two little boys who will never be able to share anything in their lives with their mother? But here’s the thing, while it’s sad to me that she won’t be there for their graduations or weddings or the birth of their children, what breaks my heart is that there are probably a million little things this woman did for her family that on the surface seem so small and insignificant but when you add them up meant the world to those boys. Like that load of laundry. It’s rare to find a dad who even knows how many underwear there are in the house let alone whether or not they are clean. It’s usually moms who know exactly what flavor Popsicle the kids like and make sure that the house is stocked with that flavor. And mom is almost always the one who knows just the right amount of mayonnaise (or mustard) each family member likes on their sandwich.
It’s the small details that moms are good at and once the initial shock of losing their mom wears off and life returns to its new form of normal for this family my heart breaks to think of all the small things that this woman will no longer be there to do. It’s those small things that no one else will be able to replace in those little boys’ lives. And each time one of those small things is left undone or is done but not the way their mom would have done it those children are gonna feel her loss all over again.
This is a mother’s worst nightmare. Children are not supposed to wake up one morning and find their mother dead. Mother’s are not supposed to die when they have young children who need them. And if a mother is going to die before her children are adults then she should be allowed to have the chance to prepare her family and make sure someone knows how to do all those special little things that seem so small but are really so big. Because to me the saddest part of this story is that not only do these boys no longer have their mom but all the small things they took for granted are going to change for them and one day they may not remember just how their mom did those things. And that is why my heart is breaking tonight for two boys I don’t even know.