I don’t know why but my mother is on my mind this morning.
No matter who you have in your life (father, siblings, husband, children) when your mother dies, bottom line is you don’t have her any more.
I understand – my mom was like “If I have to live like this, I just want to die.” And I really don’t want to die, I just don’t want to live like this. In my own decline, I have felt similarly. My mom said to my husband before she died “don’t get old, it’s horrible”.
It was a Sunday morning when my mom died. I got a phone call from my youngest sister – “Your mother has died. We need you to come and do your work.”
Later as I transferred from one flight to another around dinner time in Chicago the details were served to me which left me unsettled all the way to New Mexico.
She died in her bathtub. She was found, face down in the water, by my dad the next morning. He tried but couldn’t lift her out. My youngest sister had to clean up the mess left behind.
From the official responders – neither my sister nor my dad handled it well.
I remember thinking, why the bathtub, why not her bed ? Then I thought actually it was my mother’s last thoughtful act – to die in a place easily clean-able.
The cause of death influences how the family reacts, what type of support system is available and what kind of stressors the children have experienced before the actual loss. My dad was like woulda – coulda – shoulda, until the autopsy came back that it was sudden and complete and he couldn’t have saved her. She had a massive heart attack.
It is interesting and a commentary on modern life – of 149 motherless
women surveyed – 44% died of cancer, 10% of heart failure, 10% in accidents and 7 percent by suicide. A small percentage, 3% by pneumonia, infectious diseases, complications of childbirth, abortion or miscarriage, kidney failure and cerebral hemorrhage – and the remainder due to alcoholism, overdose, aneurysm, stroke or complications of surgery.
It really matters not how it comes. Every cause of death is a different kind of hell. Every cause is painful, every loss leaves us wondering how we might have prevented it.
I miss my mom.