August 1, 2013

Sometimes I’m Mad That My Mom Died

by

Gratitude Coins

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie

It’s officially been more than half my life that my mom has been gone. It was difficult coming to terms with that day when I would say that I’ve been without my mom longer than being with her. And after 22 years you’d think I’ve have sorted through all these feelings.

Unfortunately, no. I still miss my mom every day. I missed her being at my wedding. She wasn’t there to become a grandma when BabyGirl was born. And now she’s not here to help me with my Grandma, her mother. There’s no one but me to care for my Grandma. And while my Grandma’s quite independent at 93, being in my 40s means I’m in a very different place in my life than where my mom would be if she were alive. My mom would be in her late 60s with much different obligations for her time.

Me? I have a 10 year old child who is very involved in violin and karate and school and just being 10. Taking care of a tween is time-consuming. It’s supposed to be. Parenting is a full-time job. I also have a “real” job as a lawyer and despite my Grandma telling people I’m a lawyer she doesn’t think I actually work with clients because I don’t talk about it. Well, uh, no I don’t. Those little things called confidentiality and attorney/client privilege don’t really allow for that. So, to her, I don’t work.

And while when she was in her 40s and volunteered, she can’t seem to understand I do the same and that takes time. I sit on the board of 2 non-profits, teach math to precocious kids, and work with a national organization to advocate for kids. Again, because I don’t blather on and on about me, me, me then I must be sitting at home eating bon-bons. And this blog? She has no understanding of the internet and despite having explained and shown it’s just some “computer thing” I do.

I don’t say these things to paint my Grandma in a negative light. She’s 93 and has memory issues related to vascular dementia. It’s what I have to deal with. It creates a lot of problems because I try to give her autonomy and independence but it just ends up with me having to clean up after her with regard to financial and medical decisions.

For the past few months I’ve been working really hard at not being mad at my mom for dying. I know she didn’t do it on purpose. I know she would rather have lived than end up in a coma for 6-weeks while her family fought over how to allow her to die. I know she would be taking care of my grandma and asking me for advice rather than demanding my time, being passive aggressive about my help, and telling people that I don’t do anything to help, like my Grandma does.

I miss my mom terribly. I think about the “if” and how it would be easier for me. That if she were here I wouldn’t be up at 2am working because I spend 5 hours dealing with the doctors and pharmacy. If she were here I wouldn’t have to hear that I’ve moved my Grandma to a prison and took her car away.

But she’s not here and I can’t change what my life is now. You see, I’m not a mean granddaughter. I call almost every day, but then she thinks I’m checking up on her too often. I do her errands, take her shopping, to lunch, have her over for dinner. And I do all of this because I love my Grandmother and I know this is what needs to be done.

So I tune out the negative that seeps in from my Grandma and I fight back the sadness and anger I feel because my mom died more than half my life ago. When I start to hear myself thinking I shouldn’t have to be doing this, I try to stop myself from going down that path. It’s more a slippery slope than a path, really. No, I shouldn’t have to do this. But if not me, then who? There’s no one left.

And so I remind myself that every night her brother will call her and tell her what a great granddaughter she has. And I realize how fortunate I am and that it’s OK sometimes to be mad that my mom died and isn’t here. That she may have left, but I have someone who knows I’m doing my best and who appreciates the sacrifices I’m making to ensure his sister enjoys these last years of her life. I miss my mom, and I think she understands the times when I’m mad she died.

Photo Credit: Tiger Girl, Licensed under Creative Commons

Sara

{ 17 comments }

Beth @ TheAngelForever August 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

Oh Sara, you are an amazing woman and being upset and mad is your right. Venting about these feeling is therapeutic at times and needed. Sending long distance hugs to you and hope to deliver one in person one day.

Sara August 1, 2013 at 11:04 am

Thank you, Beth, for you kind words and long distance hugs. Both are appreciated very much.

Rhonda August 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

Crying….I feel this anger to much, especially during this month of the anniversary. Wishing I was there to hug and help or At least listen.

Sara August 1, 2013 at 11:05 am

Rhonda, thank you. As we both deal with similar situations I know you understand and I appreciate that you’re there for me.

Ann August 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

(((HUGS))) Sara

Sara August 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

Thank you, Ann. I can use all the hugs I can get right now. ~ Sara

Lisa August 1, 2013 at 10:25 am

Sending you big hugs – I’m a firm believer in karma and you are acquiring many heavenly dividends!! I helped my mom care for her mother in a similar situation and I know that no matter how frustrating it gets you’ll be glad you did all you could in the future… Love ya!

Sara August 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Lisa, I think I need all the heavenly dividends I can get. Thank you for the reminder that when I look back on having helped my grandma I know I’ll be glad I did. ~ Sara

erin margolin August 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

you are amazing. you are juggling so many things. and it’s hard dealing with dementia and people making you feeling guilty (also, we’re Jewish, so it’s in our DNA, right?) when they don’t realize the truth of the matter.

you are brave for blogging this. proud of you. and yes, it’s okay to be angry about your mom dying, and it’s okay to get frustrated with your grandmother, and honestly i don’t know how I’ll deal with all of that when it’s my parents’ time. you’re in an unusual predicament and yet you’re still managing it so well.

hugs and love!

Sara August 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Oh, Erin, how you know the Jewish guilt. The grandmother/granddaughter dynamic is the most challenging because she still sees me as a young child and her sense of time on the continuum is so off I don’t even try to make it right any more. And that is frustrating too. When your time comes, I’ll be an expert and will be a listening and supportive friends.

Alli August 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

All that keeps going through my mind as I read this through my tears is how much I love you. How much I value you and your friendship. How proud your mom of is you and how much she understands your anger and frustration. You are an amazing person and whether your grandma can always appreciate that or not, your daughter is seeing the woman that you are. She is the one that will tell her children what her mother did for her great grandmother. She is your legacy, just as you are your mother’s. And you are making all of them (and those of us who love you) very very proud. Hugs my friend.

Sara August 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Alli, I’ve often wondered how this plays out with my daughter since she’s an only child. And while I’m not an only child biologically I’m left to care for my grandmother as if I was. Hopefully, I’ll be nicer when my time comes. Thank you for the constant support. ~ Sara

Megan Broutian August 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Any time you need a reminder that you are awesome, look no further; I won’t tire of saying it!

Sara August 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Megan, I might just take you up on that! Thank you so much for taking time to read, comment, and be a cheerleader for me. I’d do the same for you. ~ Sara

Christi @ Love From The Oven August 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

As you well know, I share so many of these struggles, but in a different dynamic. I can’t even imagine dealing with the loss of your mother, in addition to the daily challenges with your grandmother. I often think that this is in so many ways the prime of our lives, those precious years with the kids that go to fast, careers that are so busy, and many days it feels like an impossible task to to fulfill those roles. Add in the role of caretaker, especially when that role is part of a very difficult dynamic, and that can truly push you to the edge. It’s so hard to be pulled in so many directions when you want to soak up each day of childhood, knowing they are numbered.

I wish I had great advice, but I don’t. I can tell you that you do an incredible job balancing it all, even though I’m sure it doesn’t always feel that way. You do an absolutely amazing jobs in the many roles you play – mother, wife, friend, attorney, blogger, volunteer, magic ticket lady AND dedicated and loyal granddaughter. I have no doubt that your mom was a very special woman, one who has a beautiful legacy in you and your daughter. Always know that you are doing a tremendous job with your grandmother, regardless of what she says or how she acts. It’s so easy to hear and internalize what we are told we don’t do, what we don’t do right or how we should do it differently, that we never really notice how much we are doing right. You are doing so much right for your grandmother, worlds more than most would ever hang in there and do, and I am certain your mom is so very proud of you. Hugs. We should go have tea. Or champagne. Or juice boxes in the cafeteria (I hear there is a new sound system you know…). Love you, you are amazing.

Sara August 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Christi, Thank you is but 8 little letters but I hope you know how much gratitude they hold for you. I’m so grateful to know you and call you my friend. ~ Sara

Cycleguy August 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I can say this with absolute certainty, you are you mother in so many ways. I knew your mother, I laughed with her and she warned me about you (to no avail) and she would completely understand how you feel. You’re angry because you know that she would be a wonderful part of your life and she would be beaming with pride everyday because she knew she did good. But what you have to realize is, she is with you every step you take…..

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