Sunday, January 19, 2014
My mother passed away.
She started having problems the Sunday before Christmas, but refused to go to the doctor until the day after Christmas. Initially, I was sure she would fine. Then some additional problems cropped up, but I was still sure she would EVENTUALLY be fine. Then more serious problems, and I knew she would need me to care for her, but I was sure she would at least go home...
But bad went to worse, and when the nursing staff said I could stay with her overnight, I could no longer deny that things were grave. In the middle of that night, she reached up, touched my face and told me to let her go... and I knew she knew... and I was helpless to do anything but accept it, and try to be there for her through it.
She died in the hospital January 9 - two weeks after I pressed her to go. I was with her when she took her last breath. The whole family was there. It was painless and peaceful - just as she wanted. But deep inside, I struggle with agonizing self doubt - did I guide her wrong? Was I the best advocate for her I could be? Should I have pushed back against her doctors more - or was I too worried they would think I was out of line? She trusted me to advise her medically, and now she's gone. Is this in any way my fault?
I miss her so much. At the same time, I feel guilt that I could have or should have done something more or something different to save her. And then I feel ashamed that only the most pathetically hopeless egomaniac would feel that way. It's a weird place to be. If I let myself grieve, I come to the conclusion that I'm responsible. And that feeling flows into the feeling that I'm being enormously pompous for thinking I could make any difference in matters of life or death. Either way, I'm an asshole.
All I know is - I am not ready to be without her.