2 Years Ago

by H. Evans

My mum died 2 years ago, when I was 24. I was in my first teaching gig after university, and hadn't visited in a while. I didn't even realize she was sick until dad told me she was in the hospital. She had an infection, and when I visited her in ICU that weekend, she was on the breathing machine and couldn't talk. She was swollen and I had to wear a gown, gloves, and a mask to visit her. She could only write on a clipboard the nurse brought, and listen to me ramble on about my job. She got tired and wrote 'you better go' and instead of telling her I loved her I asked if she'd be okay. She rolled her eyes at me and nodded and I left. That night she was put into an induced coma, and a few days later I got the call to come home. She had bled into her brain and likely wouldn't make it through the night. She did, but the doctors told us she couldn't live without life support and that she had suffered severe brain damage. She was 52. She and I had not had the best relationship. She lost her mum when she was 18, and I think that is when she started drinking. She was unhappy, and wanted to find someone to love her like a mother, she didn't know how to be on the other end of that. I made my dad agree to taking her off life support and went through the motions of living for several months until my friends forced me to get back to things that make me happy. I had some extraordinary friends help me through that time, and it got a little better, but coming up on 2 years I find there hasn't been a day I haven't thought about it. I get really down when I'm alone, and although I've dealt with the guilt about growing up with an alcoholic mother, I have a lot of guilt about avoiding my dad and grandmother. I know they lost someone too, but it's more painful when I visit them. It's easier to hide an hour and a half away from family. I don't want to be a teacher anymore, but until I can afford to go back to school I feel trapped in 2 jobs that make me unhappy, when the lesson my mum taught me on life and her death is that your happiness defines your success.

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