I was having a hard time this morning thinking about my Mom and how I didn't do everything that I could have done to reach out to her. It's going to take some time for me to learn how to deal with that guilt and with the guilt that comes with the knowledge that I'm free to not be like her anymore. Before, I couldn't fundamentally change the way I behaved because I learned it from my family and doing anything else felt like a betrayal to them.
Fortunately, the social worker from the cancer center called while I was feeling this way and we had a good talk. She's happy that I have a plan in place to get some counseling in the new year and she understands how shocking it is when someone commits suicide. She did give me some ideas that have stuck with me: first, that my Mom was an adult who made her own choices and no one can take those choices away from her; and second, that she knew both how to kill herself and how to ask for help (in the past she had called the crisis line) and she made her choice.
Hearing from someone else that my Mom's death was her own choice helps to deal with it. It isn't a choice I wanted her to make or one that I approve of but it wasn't my choice to make. This is a very freeing concept.
The person I talked to today felt that I didn't need to see her again because I have a plan in place to deal with my grief and the aftermath of my Mom's death. I can always call her or her replacement (or other people) if I need to talk again. I'm so lucky and grateful to have all of this support around me.