Plan as if You'll Get it, Love as if You Won't

Angie Warren

If you've lost someone, it's obvious to remember the day that happened. The day your world changed. For me, I'll also remember this day, October 25, as the day they told us our mom would die.

On that most horrific and gut-wrenching day, something shifted in me. I sat down my camera, I stopped updating her Facebook group, I began to spend more time in the waiting room than I did in with her.

Why? I was scared, terrified of looking into her eyes and acknowledging what we now knew to be true. I couldn't do it. I remained that way until one evening in the corner of the tiny family room on the second floor of Kaiser ICU, when my best friend said, "Ang, you should be in there, yeah?".

So I did. Face swollen from the day, stomach sick with knots, we sat around her, her family. She spoke of thanksgiving dinner, asking my brother what he planned to make us. Sorry, what? Thanksgiving? They've just told us you have likely days left and you want to talk about Thanksgiving?

Years later I can look back on this and see, and my heart will re-break all over again as I realize, she was simply, coping. It was her way of easing us through.

I will carry a regret, that I didn't instead, smile, and let her talk, and make a list for what we'd make. I will wish I could go back and gift her with planning a thanksgiving she wouldn't get. But I suppose that was how I was coping, too. To disengage and silently flip out and cry myself to sleep that night.

So many of you walked beside us (both in real life and virtually), and as this week progresses, I find myself feeling absolutely nothing, and everything, and it's (mostly) silencing me.

I suppose in the end it reminds us, to plan thanksgiving as if we'll all get to enjoy it, but love as if we won't.