Four years ago today, my mother died.
I think I have probably covered the particulars of that day already within this blog, so I won’t go back over them.
A preoccupying thought I have at times, is the wish to go back in time and try to warn her that if she carried on down the path she was on, she would end up in an early grave. But would she have listened? Highly doubtful.
I’m more aware though, of an emotional impression she has left behind. I look back at her in my memory and see her decline over the years as she crept away, inch by inch, from reality. By the end, I don’t think she had even the most slenderest grasp of reality, not judging by the evidence I saw in the aftermath of her death.
I feel overwhelmingly sad and angry and frustrated in equal measure when I think of her. The potential she had that she just discarded is a sad frustration for me.
Between myself and a couple of others, she is a polarizing subject. We will never agree in regards to her. I saw, from a very young age, the side of her that virtually everyone else who ever knew her saw – but to one or two others, she was something else entirely. And I respect that completely. That is their impression of her and I would never ever deride it or call it out, despite the ire it inspires. It is their way of understanding her and I am happy they have found a direction to go.
I just wish I could have seen that luminous, virtuous person they saw, but I cannot. I think the closest I ever got were these slithers of light I saw coming out of her, which told me that she had the capacity to be the person I always wanted her to be, but something held her back, some darkness.
I like to think that now she has gone, that darkness has gone too and the confusion and the anger within her has all floated away and she is now her best self, the version I wanted as my mother.
She is such a contradiction for me, in terms of how I feel. I feel angry at her for the things she’s done and how there are still repercussions to her behaviour lasting to this very day. I feel sad that she was so young and so severely ill in every way and that she had no real commitment to wanting to be well. I feel frustrated that I (rather selfishly) was denied a mother when I needed one the most throughout the three and a bit decades I have lived for. She wasn’t permitted by me to be there for the key moments in my life, simply because I couldn’t trust her to behave nor did I have any faith in her capacity to be able to put me first in any way. How sad is that?
How bloody tragic is that.
So as midday rolls on and I am once again reminded of her tragically short life ending, I will try and find a way to make my peace, within myself, towards her. The main thing I am focusing on though, is the fact that she is no longer suffering both physically and mentally. The cloud in her mind has lifted and she is, at long last, free and happy. I cannot want more for her than that and I am happy for her – now she can experience peace, tranquillity and calmness.
I recognise that this is all part of the grieving process – that the feelings connected with hurt and sadness and anger will all need to simply run their course within my heart. I just simply have to ride it out. Grief is a cruel mistress and will take you down a solitary path until you can find a way to live with how you feel. Perhaps one day I will.
My thoughts are also with other people who have lost a parent, regardless of their relationship with them. At the end of the day, we are all children in want of our Mum’s and Dad’s.