We've basically sorted everything at my mom's place now. I've set aside quite a number of things that I want to ship home: her sewing machine, threads, notions, knitting needles, books, afghans and quilts, and pictures.
I've started reading her diary beginning in January of this year and I'm overwhelmed by how sad and lonely she was. I didn't know, and if I did know, I brushed it off by saying that she was exaggerating it. Now I see that she was deeply unhappy and I wish I could have done something for her.
Why didn't I write her more? Or call her once in a while? Or send her cards that I was thinking of her? Why did I have to be so impatient with her instead of being as kind to her as I would be to any of my friends? I could have treated her better - no matter how she treated me or pushed me away because she was lonely and afraid - and I didn't. I wish I could go back and change what I did and said to her. I'm so sorry.
Knowing that she was in so much internal pain, in a way I'm relieved that her pain is over. Even feeling nothing is better than the way she was feeling before. I hope she's at peace.
My feelings are still very strong: right now they're mostly just a big ball of sad and hurt and guilt and shame, with a bit of anger for seasoning and relief for spice. It's going to be a long time before I'm able to fully articulate the way I feel.