My Mom died suddenly less than two weeks ago. She had health issues for years but was stable and not in any medical danger. Out of nowhere she had a few relatively minor things happen that eventually lead to the discovery of something more serious. She never knew she was dying and neither did her family.
My parents met and ran away together after dating for only a few weeks. They took his children and a couple suitcases and never looked back. I believe my Mom made this life-changing decision to leave her family and friends because of her own grief after losing her beloved mother. I don't think my Mom was thinking clearly at the time. She probably should have stayed within the comfort of her extremely close and loving family.
Ultimately my parents added me to the family and then eventually they divorced. In some ways, I've always felt like an only child because of the common issues that happen in blended families. Everyone is overly sensitive and feelings get hurt so easy. This sense of aloneness has never been more apparent to me since my Mom's death. My siblings never loved her like I did. To them, she was a Mom and someone they cared about, but they care more about their own lives and the future. Now that she's not part of the future, they will move on. They never went out of their way to help her. I did everything. They use the excuse that she "wanted it that way" but in truth, I did everything because they did mostly nothing.
For me, she was my support system and my best friend. The person I trusted the most. She only wanted the best for me. I can't say that about anyone else in my life. So now I wake up everyday with a hole in my heart. No one understands because none of them have felt it. I realize that I am very much alone in my grief. Even my closest friend doesn't understand because her own relationship with her mother wasn't close.
I always felt somewhat responsible for my Mom and her happiness. That's probably one of those unhealthy consequences that happen in families of divorce where children temporarily assume more adult roles. I was her "Mom" for many years. I took care of her and protected her as best as I could. Maybe the reason her death is so hard is because I wasn't able to protect her. I wasn't able to find the right doctors or the right help when she needed it the most. I know logically that it's not my responsibility to be superhuman and solve all the problems in the world, but in my gut, I feel like something could have been done to help her.
I also feel anger towards other family members who could have done so much more to add to the quality of my Mom's life. I wonder if they're even grieving at all. They seemed to have bounced back to their normal schedules awfully fast. Of course, they did manage to find the time to ask me a couple times about her belongings and to request that their children receive something. I remember sitting there imagining my Mom saying "how tacky" for them to bring that up so soon after her passing.
I grieve for all the things we never got to do. We had so many plans for the future. I often wonder if sudden death is more difficult to deal with because your brain doesn't have time to adjust to the idea before it's forced into the deep end of despair. I wake up feeling like I'm living a nightmare than won't end. And I'm doing it alone.
The only thing that keeps me going is knowing how much she loved me. We said everything we needed to say to each other a million times. We said "I love you" over and over and in every conversation. I told her how much I appreciated everything she did and she told me the same. Still, I wish I could have done more for her. I guess that's what love is...wishing you could always do more.