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My Dad Passed Ten Years Ago, My Mom Is Leaving Now

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My mom is going to die soon, lung cancer. My dad died and I lived with him the last 9 months of his life.. I am now 3000 miles away from my mom and sisters, at pease with it in theory and yet I feel just as upset, just as confused and so angry as I did about my dad!! In fact I feel like I have gone back in time. I am that 38 year old, confused, trying to keep it together, peaceful with death on a spiritual level, but totally horrified with the realities of doctors, pain, meds, nurses and the days of recovery after radiation.

Each step of the process is the worst. I hated the pain she was in before she finally agreed to go to the doctor. I hated the hours of waiting to hear what was going on. The days before any idea and information filtered out to me. The horror and pain of knowing what she has, how far it has gone and how little left of her or time we have left.

I want ot be tough.. we had a very dramatic relationship and I want it to end now.. but I will miss her so much I feel like a wretched and horrible daughter for wanting it to be over now.

I want her out of pain. I want my sisters out of pain. I want this to not be happening.

I am all the way across the country. I expect myself to be able to function perfectly, to be able to care about all the formerly interesting things in my life. And I don't. I don't care about getting healthier myself, my friends, my work... I care that my sisters are losing it. I care that my mother has got enough pain meds.

No matter what else, she did a great job being my mother. And I felt the same gratitude about my dad. They both did a great job and I am gla dthey were my parents. I would choose them all over again.

And still I expect me to keep it together, be above the loss, stay in spirit and know that nothing and noone is ever lost.

And yet I feel this huge heavy cloud of sadness. I wish I could make this go away, this pain. This loss.

I think it really helpe dme to be there for my dad.. and I knwo that my other sisters are gettign a chance to help my mom... there is grace in this.. there is a greater hand at work.

And I still get to hurt. And hurt and hurt.

I feel like I should be okay with this.. I did htis before, why am I not handling this better?

Boy, it helps to just type this out and know even one person will read it..

I know I will change my mind and the feelings come and go like waves.. so, this was just one day, one clump of few minutes.



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It is a week later... I have been calm, functioning and productive. Mom finished her radiation treatments on the 24th, had a visit from her sister for three days and is finally today enjoying a small bounce back - she feels a bit better, a bit less exhausted. She has energy to watch movies on the little DVD player her sister broguht her. And my sisters are all less crazy. So, what is my problem?? Until today, I was really okay mostly.. and tonight the tears started and they will not stop. I feel so nuts. I feel so afraid of this long drawn out drama. I am afraid of the family fights, both during the illness and after my mom goes. I am afraid I will get depressed and be unable to work, or function and end up on the street. I am trying to keep it together, trying to be okay with this.. but I am not. I am hurting so big it swamps everything. And there is no solution. It is simply a wall of pain that comes between me and life and all I can do is cry. And cry. I have been crying for three hours now, I am exhausted and spent and yet the tears keep coming.

I was so happy yesterday.. I watched a DVD that lifted my heart and made me feel joyful. And today I am a wreck. How can I enjoy my life when my mother is dying? How can I be happy when my sisters are miserable?

So, it looks like my mom will have a month, maybe two ... I am supposed to be happy about this. I am supposed to cherish this time. And I don't. I want it over. I want this done with. I cannot live in such drama for months on end. I was a dishrag after my dad died. A zombie. I could not work, or cry, could barely talk. I watched TV, ate crappy food and did my nails over and over. I felt so disjointed. I felt like I was waiting for something. I finally got tired of waiting after six months and just started doing things.. but I felt like an alien in my own body for years. I don't feel at all confident that I can make it through another time like that. I am not confident that my health or financial situation can come back again from that.

And I hate myself for being so oddly selfish. I should be thinking about my mother, about my sisters. Maybe I would if I was there.. but I am here, and I have responsibilities.

I am so glad she is not in pain. I am so glad she is feeling enough energy to watch movies. I am glad my sisters check on her twice daily.

But, I know what is coming and I feel like a wretch to be so focused on her death... that very soon she won't be watching anything, won't be saying anything - one of her vocal chords is paralyzed already... and the thought that everything is so pointless keeps coming up in my head. Losing her in pieces is agony. I miss the sound of her voice so much already.

I feel so inadequate. Like I am not telling her the right stuff, doing the right stuff, feeling the right stuff.

P.S. - I just figured out why I am crying - today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 82.

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