"She's always complaining about her cold feet, let's get her some nice fluffy, colourful socks to keep them warm! No-one will see those anyway so it will be our secret!"
I can't remember now who came up with the idea but we knew she'd love them and so we kept the socks and hung back the too formal outfit and continued our dazed wandering through the department store.
It was barely noon, we'd had barely any sleep and nothing to eat and we were shopping for the clothes our mother would be buried in, my two younger sisters and I.
It's a weird kind of out of body experience, shopping for your mother's coffin clothes with your sisters. Especially straight after coming from the hospital where you watched her die, with a detour to the funeral parlour to start the arrangements and be told what you needed to do. Because you sure as hell don't know yourself.
We knew we would't be able to use any of her own clothes. Too used, too worn, too... uncared for. Besides, we wanted to get her something nice to wear. Look after her a little bit in these small final acts in a way she had refused to let us while she lived.
We wandered out of the shop and stood like zombies, staring at each other, not being able to comprehend how the world around us was carrying on as if nothing momentous had happened, as if everything still made sense.
We ended up with some comfortable looking trousers and a nice blouse. One we would each have gladly worn. She was always 'borrowing' bits and pieces of our clothes so we figured if we liked it, so would she. And a pair of colourful, fluffy socks, because she always used to complain her feet were cold, and she loved colour.
We knew they wouldn't be seen at the wake and cause any final disgraces as she was laid out to receive her final farewells from family, friends and neighbours (of which there were a surprisingly large amount). But we would know they were there and we hoped, in that moment, that somewhere she would too.
Hi, I'm Misja.
I'm a writer, a mum, an (eek!) oma. ...
Do you Really want to be a Writer?
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