I guess I should be sleeping, but I’m not ready to yet.  I suppose I’ve broken the standard rules by talking about mum while she’s in the room, on the phone, with the staff, with my husband.  I think I did it on purpose. I think I’m angry. At her.  Angry that she didn’t just go suddenly, quickly.  That it’s not like it is on TV where the heartbeat monitor flatlines and that’s that. I’m angry that approaching death smells and it’s noisy and I want company so I can be distracted from my vigil. I want to go on vacation. I’m angry my husband can’t take a day off of work cause he’s self employed and I’ve got work coming up and a conference complete with boozy dinners  and this is going to fuck that all up.  I’m angry that I’ve had to deal with texts and phone calls and goodbyes over my cell phone and hospitals and doctors.  Again.  That my life is on hold.  Again.  That I’m left trying to figure out what I should tell my sisters, whether they should come right away, like I did last time. Ooops, sorry, but that’s what the doctor’s said.  Of course, then she rebounded.   Now, it’s obvious to me that that’s not happening.  That this dying business is for real this time.  There will be no surprise comeback this time around.  I’m angry having to be the one yet again to deal with all this “business”.  Why do I always get to be the strong one?!  Why do my sisters have to say they were in “shock”?!  What the fuck are they in shock of? They were here 2 years ago.  That was their rehearsal.   She’s old and sick!  Old people die every fucking day, never mind ones with late stage dementia.  She had a massive stroke, why are they asking me all the questions.  Should they come, omigod, it’s so expensive, what should I do?  Why are you even asking?  You either are or you aren’t.  My younger sister says she wants to be there for me.  To do what precisely? Ask me more stupid questions I don’t have the answer to but in person?  I’d have to take care of her, drive her back and forth, worry about her, if she’s eating, if she’s resting.  She won’t be cooking, cleaning, walking my dog, grocery shopping or tucking my kid into bed. That’s what I need someone to do without me asking you to do it. So, no, I’m not asking you to come for my sake cause it wouldn’t be for my sake. I’m angry that my husband is angry I’m in this without my sisters and have been for 12 years and pretending not to be cause I told him it bothers me but he can’t hide that shit from me so I see it and it pissed me off.

I’m angry that my mother hasn’t had water in 3 days and her tongue is swelling up in her mouth and I can smell her breath from 6 ft away and I did it to her because she has nothing to come back to.  No quality of life.  I’m angry that her mouth has to be wiped out and another drug has to be given to ease her throat and one minute she’s making sleeping sounds then choking and coughing and then sleeping again.  I’m angry that nobody bothered to give me the pamphlet about this and I had to look it up on my own to know this is how it goes.  I’m angry that I gotta sleep with the phone next to me.  I’m angry at myself for the very un-Buddhist thoughts that have flown through my head.

I’m angry that I didn’t just get a phonecall saying she had just quietly passed away while I slept.  That truly pisses me off and makes me angry at my own mother that her very strength that I’ve always admired is making this BRUTAL.  I  don’t get to use the word “shocked” cause really, for the last 2 years, I’ve truly wanted this daily dropping off in bits to be done and over with.  Even a massive stroke can’t take her out in one fell swoop, she’s gotta drag this out with every last bit of drama in her.

I would like to gnash my teeth and sob and take to my bed for a week but I cannot.  I do not have that option.  Cause apparently a woman my age is too busy taking care of business at the moment.


12 thoughts on “Angry

  1. Hey. My email is attached to this comment. I’m not in Vancouver, but I did this a year ago with my mum. Please reach out if I can help with information or just commiseration.

  2. You have had to shoulder ALL of this. Your siblings suck. I have one like them. My brother kept asking if he should come when our mom was in ICU and wanted to know “when” she was close to dying because he wanted to take his second ex-wife on a trip to California because she had never been there and he was trying to woo her back. I thought my direct statement “mom is dying and the doctors cannot do anything at this point” was clear but apparently not. (He went on his trip, was in an airport when she died and no the ex did not take him back). I am so so sorry you are having to deal with all of this, basically on your own and I completely and absolutely understand you being pissed at everyone, even at your mom. I have been thinking about you so often lately and now I know why. 😦

  3. I am so sorry. Like OHN I can empathize with what it’s like to have a disconnect with the family you were born into; in my eyes it is their loss, you have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met… (Without actually meeting) — you walk that line of protective but vulnerable. this is when the Internet is lame because I wish I could be there the way a friend who lives down the street could be there. The kids could play, I would bring wine and chocolate. I would just be there to listen. You’re such a good daughter, and just strong sister. Some people just have no idea what to do in the face of grief. I’ve been thinking about you a lot. (Random thing alert: Remember that picture of the ATV? I don’t think I ever told you how great that was. ). Sending love. Love. Love.

  4. You’re allowed to be angry. This reminds me of my father’s death, when his big strong heart (as the dr said) wouldn’t let his cancer kill him, when all quality of life had gone. It reminds me that this will be my husband and me, when his parents die, trying to decide when to call his brothers home. All I can say is you’re doing a good thing, and you’re allowed to feel angry at the world that you have no choice.

  5. I’ve been where you are a little over 19 months ago. My mother was hanging on–and no one was helping me. My two older siblings were also saying “when should we come?” Please feel free to email me in your grief. I’m here. I understand.

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