I’m mad at my mother.
She’s not even in the ground yet (we’re waiting for the ground to thaw) and I’m angry.
She knew she was dying. She had multiple visits from palliative care, she made the financial arrangements and even identified some specific things she wanted her grandchildren to have… but she didn’t say goodbye.
She was in such denial about when the end might come that many of the things she wanted to do got put off until tomorrow… but then tomorrow never came.
She had planned to write letters to her grandchildren… I had hoped that meant a letter for me as well.
I watched a sad movie over the weekend. P.S. I Love You is the story of a widow who’s husband sends her letters from the grave. It’s a sentimental chick flick but it is one that has left me with a sadness I can’t shake.
I want a letter from my mother. I got my hopes us today when my sister called from our family cottage to say she’d found a letter to us in mom’s dresser. We both held out hope for some kind of closure, instead we got a list.
My mother was addicted to lists. She had grocery lists, and to-do lists, her diary even reads like a list. Apparently so did her last letter. She left us with a list of instructions telling us how to share the cottage equitably. She didn’t even say goodbye.
I understand that hearing the words ‘you are going to die’ is a terrible thing. I understand why she steadfastly refused to hear about time lines and predictions. It is a terrible experience and one that I hope I never have to face but I can’t seem to get beyond my selfish thoughts that made me want to put her family first just one more time.
I will never doubt that my mother loved me unconditionally, but it would be nice to have the words. Before my father died he gave me a beautiful diamond cross as birthday gift. The card that accompanied the gift said all those things that I needed to hear. I go back to read that card when I need to feel a bit of that unconditional love and support.
Is it selfish of me to want that from the mother that’s no longer here to tell me it will all be okay?
Perhaps that’s the biggest lesson for me in mother’s death. Whether you are terminally ill or not, don’t put it off until tomorrow. Tell those you love how you feel. Do it in lasting ways… cause tomorrow may never come.