For me there was a lot of protective sarcasm laced through the day. I expected to be sad, and was almost surprised that I was not. But, like a good daughter of "a borderline", I took my emotional cues from the woman who gave birth to me and reared me, and saved the juicy crying and stomping parts for when I got home. I quipped to Gene via text about "the day in food" - excellent for the diabetic body - beginning with a large Strawberry Coolatta (with whip!) in Keene, then oysters, clams and fries, fish chowder, three tubs of tartar sauce, crackers, and a Diet Coke (of course!) from Bob's Clam Hut, and ending with a large Orange Julius bought at The Mall of New Hampshire.
In general the ocean was a place where my mother could be counted on to be mostly relaxed and at peace - rare in that she was for the most part emotionally consistent when we were there. As a result, I have only positive memories of time spent at the beaches of New Hampshire and southern Maine. Other places in my life are more conflicted. I think this makes my feelings about her decision to end her life more complicated as well.
I, most of the time so far anyway, am sad. But there are stages to this process, and I will hit them all in the end. Thank God. It means I am healthy and normal.
In a while - months, years, who knows when death will take her - I will retrace the path I followed yesterday. It is not likely to be soon. Her body has proven to be much stronger than anyone could have anticipated. I will, I hope, be accompanied by people I love and who love me. We will stop along the way and I will plunge my hands deep into a box of ashes and spread them as I have been asked to at all of these places she says she loved so much. I expect it will be painful but cathartic. I pray that it heals some wounds of mine and of others around me and around her. I pray that she has peace in the end; a peace she has struggled to find in her life but has never quite been able to achieve. I pray that in her eventual death there is meaning, some kind of meaning, for the people she leaves behind. Mostly I pray that when the time comes, it is quick and without pain. For her. I know it won't be for the rest of us.