I lost my father in December and now lost my mother last week. Both parents were in their 90s. I am an only child. I think I had a rather conflicted relationship with my mother. My parents came to live with me three years ago. Their decline was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I think my mother's illness made it difficult for me to deal with her. She was demanding, critical, and at times I thought she hated me. It seemed that I was never able to do anything right. I started to detach from her so that I would not get upset. But I feel that being detached and clinical in my relationship with her made me feel nothing. She passed away last week. I was devastated. I just can't believe that she is gone. I don't understand my feeling that she just disappeared like she was never there.
I mourn the parents that I knew before their terrible illnesses. The last three years have been dark, painful, and lonely. There was always a crisis, and I was always dealing with negativity and anger. I feel like I tried to do my best and get them the help they needed. But toward the end of my mother's life the one that failed to hear my cry for help was her doctor who did not return my call until after I took my mother to the emergency room. There, the staff didn't find anything and sent her back home and into hospice care. She was in hospice care two days before she died.
I don't think I could have done things differently. Has anyone else had the experience of detaching from a parent and feeling numb?