I occasionally check my mom's Gmail. I don't know why I haven't deactivated the account, but I haven't. Somehow, the thought of deactivating it will erase "her". The messages she would have seen about music, and roses, IKEA, and the 'Canes. The emails she exchanged with me, my brother, and her friends.
Over the past few months, when I'm feeling particularly strong, I go in and look at a few of the emails from before and also try to clean up her inbox. It's a slow Friday at work so I decided to do it today. 253 unread emails in her inbox. Then I clicked on the chat function.
I'm not sure why it hasn't occurred to me before to click on it. I guess because I don't save all my chats. But she did. I already knew what we talked about the night she died. But there it was in black and white. The words I wrote to her and she wrote back to me. Random stuff about a new rug I got and plans for the lunch we were having that weekend for my grandma's birthday. But at 9:00pm on May 30th I read the last thing she would ever say to me, "he was kind and softspoken". She was referring to my brother's doctor. I had sent her a link to an article that one of my friends on Facebook had posted and among other things it happened to contain a picture of him.
After that, I just signed off to go upstairs. I didn't say, "goodnight, I love you", and that makes me sad.
I read through a few of the other chats. Some with me, others with her friends. I went back to this day last year to see what we were talking about. Plans for Thanksgiving food of course. Then I had to stop. That's enough punishment for one day.