Barb Taub

The day I Killed Mom—a (mostly) true story

When she turned fifty, my mother took up a new career: dying. It was a family tradition, she explained. “People in my family don’t make it out of their fifties. So we have to be ready to go.”

Each Christmas, she announced, would probably be her last—no point in a real tree or all that decorating. Her grandchildren would nod, and go right on dragging in and decorating a huge tree, around which our even more huge family would celebrate as usual, with Mother baking, making up beds, passing around Baileys Irish Cream, and loving every second of the noise and mess and confusion.

After pursuing dying for a few decades, it was time for her to think about retiring. But since there were really only two ways (ruling out vampires and/or zombies) to move on from that career choice—a coffin, or…

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