While we all still miss and mourn my dad it sounds almost callous to say that we don't miss mum that much. No, that's not quite right, it isn't about missing her I think it has to do with how she died.
Dad was ill for three months in hospital, his dying seemed inevitable but because his illness pushed his dementia to the front it felt like we weren't able to say goodbye properly. I felt cheated, that despite his age (89) I wasn't quite ready to see him go. Even now there are moments I want to share with him, especially when the boys achieve something.
With mum her downward spiral started in the year after dad died. She gave up, we weren't enough for her to hold on for and in the last few years she unclipped herself from daily life, ending up in the care home thanks in part to my ME/CFS and thanks in part to the level of care she needed. I just couldn't carry her any more mentally or physically. When someone does give up it is extremely hard, impossible even, to help them and once you help them with something you find yourself doing that for them from then on.
Does that sound selfish? Maybe, but I've spent so long worrying about others, doing everything for them, grinding myself down in the meantime that perhaps I need that sliver of selfishness.
The last week, when mum was taken in to hospital for the umpteenth time, I admit to having been blasé about it. I'd gotten in to a routine of planning my life around visits, demands, taking her to and from the place. Realising this was the final time was a shock but in a way I was so well prepared that I was completely ready for what happened next.
That made the difference.
We were used to her no longer paying attention, of being withdrawn and uninterested. It is still hard to walk past the care home knowing someone else is in her little flat, I think it would be harder if we were to see the flat, all those memories from that last few years. Does this mean that at some point it will hit me and I will grieve properly? Who knows.
I don't chose to remember my mother from that time, our relationship had been a roller-coaster and I select the best memories from that but I don't feel the wish to talk to her again like I do for my dad.
|Remembering her properly, not as the person she became. We were on our way to Millport, to pay tribute to my dad, this is the person I miss.|