By Debbie Hagan
Mother is gone. One day I’ll pick up the phone and hear one of my sisters saying these words. Mom’s eighty-one now, and though she’s in relatively good health—survived two bouts of cancer—I know her life can’t go on forever. Mother tries to prepare me. She discusses her bank accounts, goes through her list of keepsakes, and asks me to help her order a tombstone.
I’m stoic. Every time I lift this veil, gaze at what life will be like after Mother, I see darkness.
So Adriana Páramo’s memoir, My Mother’s Funeral, not only goes to a place I’m reluctant to go, but opens with the dreaded call. “I collapsed in slow motion,” she writes about hearing the news. “My body trickled down a wall until my chin touched my knees. I thought about Mom’s face, but couldn’t see it. I could see her eyes but not…
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