Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Coping, guilt, and regret.


It's been a while since I've put words to screen, so please bear with me, I'm likely a bit rusty.



My mom died on Christmas Eve. It still feels strange to say it. Individually, I can understand those words. I know their definitions, and they make sense.  Put them together, though, and it still seems completely unbelievable. But it's true. She's gone. She refused to be kept alive by machines, and at the end, those machines were doing the living for her. She was merely existing at this point. When her brother and I decided it was time to let her pass, I knew it was the right thing to do. My mom's body was there, but the person she used to be was lost forever. Still, thoughts of "what if?" still creep into my mind. What if we were wrong? What if the doctors had found a combination of medications that worked? What if she would have pulled through if we had just waited a little longer?

A very good friend of mine told me that regrets and guilt would creep in, and to treat them like the bullshit they are. It's hard, because those are some of the most prevalent thoughts I have. Even before my folks split up, I was having feelings of resentment toward them. They were the type to keep secrets from me, in order to "protect" me. They didn't want me to worry, which only led to me getting more upset when the truth would come out. After their particularly nasty divorce, I didn't really want to have much to do with either one of them. The more years that went by, the harder it was for me to force myself to see them. In my mind, I kept thinking that these weren't the same people that had raised me all those years. My mom seemed more naive, my dad even more ignorant than ever to the outside world. I no longer felt like I had anything in common with these people.

So now there's that feeling that I should have been there more. It didn't matter that I was exhausted from work. It wasn't that far of a drive to go see her. I didn't even have to drive there, I could have just called more, and she would have appreciated it just as much. But no. I didn't want to talk to the woman she had become. I was too stubborn and self-absorbed to realize that she was still the same woman that gave me a home. The same one that had given over a dozen foster children a home, even if just temporarily. The same woman that could see past all my faults, and still loved me as if she had given birth to me herself.

I'm finding that's the hardest part about losing someone. A couple days ago, I thought about how I should give my mom a call when I got home from work. Then the realization set in, I can't. I'll never hear her voice again. She'll never call me again to check on me. She'll never be able to give me a hug again. It's too late for me to want to reconnect. Way too late.

So, if you were to ask me how I was doing, the best I can say right now is "Okay". I have a feeling I'm just going to be "okay" for a while. I don't know if I'm coping well, but I know I'm at least dealing with it.

10 comments:

  1. Hey man I'm sorry for your loss :( Healing definitely takes time ,some more than others.Going forward,I wish you and yours well.

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    1. Thanks buddy, it's definitely appreciated. I figure if I haven't fallen apart yet, I'm probably going to make it.

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  2. Im sorry to hear of your loss. These feelings never truly go away but in time they become more manageable and creep in less and less .I think your friend is right though , no matter what you do there will always be the "what if" and the "I could haves" , just do your best not to dwell on them.

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    1. I've been trying to keep myself distracted, and that's helped a bit. It's mainly the moments when I'm by myself, that my mind starts to dwell on those things.

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  3. Sorry to hear this Chris my thoughts and prayers to you and your family my friend...

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    1. Thank you John, it's always appreciated.

      Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I didn't even see that you'd commented.

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  4. I don't know what to say, except that I am sorry and wish the best for you at this troubling time...

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm sure we'll make it, there's just going to be some rough days that we'll have to deal with.

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