Several of you know my story, but in a nutshell: My mother is 84, had a stroke in May 2016, and has been on a slow decline ever since. (Prior to the stroke, she had breast cancer and a fractured vertebra.) In April, she had a UTI that landed her in the ICU with sepsis. In June, another one, which wasn't as serious. Now she clearly has another one. I was ready to take her to the hospital today (which involves a 911 call, so traumatic), but when I arrived, a nurse was there to take blood. Her vitals are all fine, so nurse was unfazed, but she is not eating and not getting out of bed, so I know it's another infection. I am waiting until the morning for blood test results and then taking her to hospital unless she makes a miraculous recovery.
I am an only child and my mother and are very, very (too) close. She and I always fought. She drank a lot. But we also always adored each other and were enmeshed. (My father died when I was 6.) Since the stroke, she has become the sweetest, most vulnerable person. It's shocking, but also wonderful to have a purely loving relationship with her. She is so sweet and vulnerable now - in a wheelchair, in diapers, left hand and leg paralyzed from the stroke - and it is KILLING me.
I cry and worry every day. She will never, ever say she wants to die. I think it might help me if she did accept that and surrender, but she won't. She's scared. I feel stuck in this purgatory between churning with anxiety and being utterly terrified of the grief I will feel when she dies. Which is worse? I've read so many memoirs of women who completely fell apart when their mothers died. It's a whole genre! I know I will be one of them, and I am scared. I have children (16 and 21) and a demanding job. Divorced. How will I function?