Snipping threads

My mom died two months ago. I found my mom dead two months ago.

It’s funny how my anxiety and grief waxes and wanes. Not the good kind of funny. When I’m busy at work or distracted by a book, I’m able to forget for a few minutes. Even a few hours. But then it all comes rushing back. My mom is dead. I found her. Dead.

Her email is forwarding to me. The constant trickle of her email subscriptions made me decide to go into her box and delete them. I was struck by how obvious it was that it was a dead woman’s inbox. Only the little spam robots were still writing to her. I clicked unsubscribe and they would ask, “Why do you wish to unsubscribe from this list?” I decided against a response. I didn’t want to just type, “Because she’s dead.”

I deleted her LinkedIn page. Snip. Another tiny thread that once marked her existence severed. Apartment emptied and most likely already rented again. Credit cards canceled. Mail forwarded. Bills paid. Phone deactivated. The last loose little tic tacs cleaned out of her purse.

I hate to be the one who does these things. Who snips away the reminders.



  • It’s been six weeks since I found her
  • She had set the alarm clock to get up for work
  • She had a cup of coffee by her bedside
  • She died in her bed
  • There was an open jar of peanut butter on her counter
  • There were receipts for gin on her counter, but no bottles in the apartment
  • She talked about suicide in her journals from several years ago, but not recently
  • She had thrown up
  • The medical examiner doesn’t believe she took her own life
  • She didn’t leave a will or a note

Things I’ll never know:

  • When she died
  • If she knew how sick she was
  • Why she didn’t call me when she was sick
  • If she heard my last phone message
  • If I could have saved her