My mom is dying.

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She has been since she moved to the city in which I live, about 4 years ago, but now she’s recently been put on hospice care. I’ve had to deal, and am still dealing, with how I feel about all of this.

This isn’t so much a question, as an attempt to put my thoughts and emotions into some kind of an understandable order. Venting, if nothing else. So bear with me.

My mom has never been a kind person. She’s always had this bitter child inside her, and her self-shame colored her entire world, and thus – mine. She was and is ashamed of me and my choices, although I have a good life, if not a moneyed one. I married a biker (more of a teddy bear than a bad boy lol) and his cars and trucks tend to litter the yard. So, of course I’m trailer trash, and Mom is reluctant to admit her relationship with me.

My children are also a source of shame to her, as my daughter is just now working her way out of an abusive relationship, and my son has yet to graduate at age 19. My step-son and family have just moved in with me from across the country, and of course, they have little money. That, too, is a shameful thing.

To me, all of these things are proof that we have a wonderful, loving, supportive family who are all doing their best to learn and grow. They all help me with my husband’s care, and Mom has shoved everyone but me away. She has no one.

So now she’s waiting to die. I had her placed in an NH about two years ago, since I couldn’t care for her and my own family. Guess who I chose? And that shamed her, too. The angry child in me who tried for so long and so hard to please Mommy is relieved she is going soon. This, I believe, does not make me a bad person. It only means I understand my own feelings. There is another side of me that says, “but she’s my MOM!” and weeps uncontrollably. I believe the tears are more for what should have been rather than what was.

But then, Mom is also not that bad off yet. She has confusion issues, and refuses to use the call lights or leave the buzzers on in her room. She’s fallen many times in the last few months, and has cracked her tailbone, and bumped her head a few times. Mostly, she comes out of it uninjured, and refuses to acknowledge her need for help – even accusing the staff of tricking her and making her crazy. A year ago, she was full of praise for the staff, so I know this is a product of her illnesses.

She has COPD, congestive heart failure, and is a brittle diabetic who spend much of her adult life refusing to take her blood sugar readings and barely doing anything about insulin. Being a diabetic shames her, I believe, as if it was some kind of failing on her part instead of a disease that can be managed. She stopped smoking and drinking years ago, but her behavior didn’t change much. She has no friends, and my little brother never bothers to come and see her, let alone help with her care.

I am all she has, and I try to see her realistically as a failed, bitter old woman who is ashamed of her life. She doesn’t make me so angry anymore – only intensely saddened. But still, I must go see her again today, and my heart races. I must take my anti-anxiety meds, gird my loins, and I go in as if prepared to do battle. For this feeling, I do have shame. I should be the good daughter – patient, kind, and loving in spite of her ill humor. I have my children, my husband, and my grandchildren for support and love. She has no one.

I am the lucky one. And that, alone, should make me kind to her. Instead, I am an angry, bitter child who wants Mama to love her, and who always fails to make Mama proud.


well, more news on this topic. Mom went to the hospital tonight, and she is now in critical condition in the ICU. I'll be heading there at first light. I did leave a message for my little brother to get here asap if he wants to see her before she dies, but he won't. If he does, it will be to see what he'll be getting out of her will. She doesn't have anything to give him, I hate to tell him.

And how do I feel? Faintly nauseated. I'm doing my best not to grieve before she's gone, and to be there for her. After all, she's my mom, and I do love her. I don't want her to be alone like my dad was. But dad was alone by his choice, and I still fight with the guilt and anger over that. He didn't have to be alone, but he told the hospice that he was estranged from his family. He wasn't from me, so that made me think I probably didn't count since I was his first kid from his first marriage. Best not to go to deeply into that or I'll arrive at the hosp angry. Must control emotions.
Hi, Lisa. I'm always curious about what metaphysics has to say about the energetic origin of disease states. It really struck me that your Mom has diabetes, which -- in metaphysical terms -- begins with the inability to be with the sweetness of life.

For whatever it's worth, it sounds like YOU have the capacity to be with all of it: sweet and bitter. Life is messy. You can't be in life without being with all of it. Whether she intended to or not, your Mother raised a daughter who gets that, and is willing to be in the midst of it all. Because you are.

Sending love and light your way.

Mom passed away today, with classical music playing in the background. It was peaceful.
First, my condolences on the loss of your Mother. What a Blessing she went peacefully and you were there until the end.
Secondly, I had just seen your topic a few minutes ago, and read with interest your concise, well-thought out analysis of your Mother. I was thinking, "There is nothing wrong with this girl. She has it together, she is not afraid to live her life as she has chosen, even though Mother was critical. Lisa is a unifier, a strength alone and to her family."
So, what more can be said? You are a good daughter, you cared for your Mother in every way while not letting her overstep your boundaries. There are many elements to every situation, and sometimes the bad outweigh the good, but truly, in this situation, it is obvious that you did everything with compassion and concern for everyone involved, Mother and the rest of your big "clan!"
Your last years will be different. You will be surrounded by "the sweetness" you have created and collected. You are a strong person with values that could not be taken from you.
Good for you, Lisa. Don't replay any doubts, for you should be very proud of how you helped your Mom complete her life.
All the Best to you and your loving family.
Christina xo
Lisa my heart goes out to you now. You are a good mother and daughter. You really are. I completely agree with Christina!
Lisa, I to just saw your post and want to give my condolences to you.

It's so hard to deal with the behaviors of our parents especially when we are affected by them but don't understand what causes them.

You did the best you could Lisa and at least now you can have peace knowing that your Mother is also at peace and resting her own broken soul.

Prayers and Angels to you and yours.
"I believe the tears are more for what should have been rather than what was."
TRUER words were never spoken. I read many years ago (at least 40) that we often grieve MORE for an imperfect relationship - something 'that should have been' - whether with our spouse, parents, siblings or job.

It sounds like you did your very best and that's all one can do. Happiness isn't about money or what it will buy - it is about our family, friends, and what WE DO for others. Condolences to you and your family. Loss IS loss. We grieve - no matter what.
Thank all of you for your kind words. I'm fully medicated now, both with my anti-anxiety pills and with the meds for the bronchitus I've had for a month now, and am lots calmer and at peace with the situation. My mother wasn't perfect. She was a pain in the butt far more than she was helpful, but she was my mom. She did the best she could as a mom, and she loved me. That, instead of all the faults, is the most important part.
Lisa, you relax now and enjoy your extended family. Maybe one of them will cook for few days and give you a break. Blessings, Dear One.
Christina xo
Well, it's been a week now, and I'm finally done with all the 'doing'. The viewing, the moving of her things, the dealing with my little brother (who took her new TV and her expensive computer, then ran for the hills again) and I even saw my mom's brother, who I had no idea how to get hold of. Now, it's just back to my family, the day to day routine of caring for the hubby, trying to get the kids to get jobs and out of my house ;) ) and basically filling in the places where I used to care for Ma.

That's the hard bit. Now, I have to deal with the emotional issues that will probably be ongoing for years. I know the bad feelings will fade, the guilt, sadness, etc, but I also picture my mom as she was at the viewing and feel odd about it. The hard flesh, the pinched look of her lips that used to be so eloquent a sign of how she was feeling. That might just be TMI, but then again, we all act as if death was something to hide, to 'get over'. Death is an absence in our lives. It is a reminder that we, too, will some day be gone. It is scary as hell.

So I made an appointment with my counselor, who I haven't had the time to see since before Ma died. Now, the emotional bits are going to drag me into a funk. I can feel it already, and I'm tired of feeling sluggish due to anxiety meds. I need to change something in my life, but I don't want to get carried away, so I'm asking help to decide what to do.

Oh, and no one cooked but me. My kids that are living with me all left the state for a week the day after Ma died. I moved her things by myself. I did it all without anyone but my hubby by my side. It's all right, though. I'm used to it.

Um, yes, I'm doing the anger bit of grieving these days. lol I know it, and I'm doing my best not to take it out on everyone else. Again, this would be why I made that appointment this morning. Gotta wait a week, though. Hurry up and wait. Story of my life.

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