Monday, December 20, 2010

Looking at things a new way

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.


PussDaddy said...

I loved my Mom but did not want to be like her either.


Angel - Having a Nemesis said...

It's been a while since I've commented, but having experienced some of the family trauma you've been faced with recently, I'd like to let you know how my brothers and I managed to deal with the estate of our mother in the absence of a will, should it be of any use to you.

Anything that still needed to get done, or divided, was put on a list. We then took copies of the list, and checked off what we wanted, or what we were capable of doing to bring closure to the estate, and then swapped lists. Then we had a chat about any unresolved items on the list, or any overlaps. Give and take.

It's definitely not a perfect system, but having a very simple methodical way of saying "I did this. You did that. That is what needed to get done because there was a list." really really really helped us, especially since we weren't able to think straight sometimes through the grief.

Further to what PussDaddy said...I am of the same opinion and couldn't agree more with her statement. My mother was a victim of domestic violence, and it took me a very long time to be able to admit that there was nothing I could have done. No amount of hindsight actually changes the past, and I am not my mother. I loved my mother. I still do. But she was her own woman. And I am mine.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her, that I don't wish something had been different, but there is a lot of peace in the knowledge that I can only be responsible for myself. As you can only be responsible for yourself.

It is okay to wonder, and it is okay to wish, and it is okay to allow yourself the time to be unreasonable (within reason, of course). Just conclude every single one of those snapshots in time with an affirmation that you are only one woman.