I dont understand my feelings.
My mam has just died on 31st May 2012. I am the youngest of 4 children and was extremely close to her. I have experience of death; my boyfriend died when I was 30 of a malignant brain tumor. I helped nurse two relatives one of them my dad until they died and I am also caring for my auntie who has cancer.
My mam was 78 years old. My brother and sisters alwalys say I never cut my apron strings with both parents and I suppose that is true.I cannot express in words how close I was to my mam. I spent a lot of time with my mam and so did my daughter. My mam was disabled and I had noticed she seemed more frail in the last 6 months.
On 24th May she suffered an anaphylactic reaction and she ended up in theatre to place a tube in her throat subsequently she was put into intensive care and on to a life support machine. At first they did not know the swelling was an anaphylactic reaction they told us it was a tumor that they thought might be malignant (she had been tested for myloid melenoma a year before). The tumor 'disappeared' ! there had been no tumor her anaphylactic reaction had subsided and consequently the so called tumor had reduced and then disappeared. All the swelling reduced but she developed double pneumonia. We were told on numerous occasions she was unlikely to survive. My brother eventually gave permission to turn off her life support machine which they did.
She was in hospital for 8 days; I was at the hospital most of the time and stayed for 2 nights during that time. When they switched her machine off and removed the tube I held her; blood spurted from her mouth when they removed her tube.I held her whilst they did it and continued to hold her and give her words of comfort. My mam lived for 23 hours after they turned the machine off and I can only describe that time as pure hell. I held her for the majority of that time giving her words of comfort. Her physical appearance and deterioration was heartbreaking. Her body blew up with water, her body started to turn black; I felt like I couldn't cope. I felt ill, hysterical, traumatised and hopeless: but I would'nt leave her. In the end the staff said she was staying alive because I was there and I agreed to sit in the hospital accommodation for a while to see if her condition changed: it didnt. In the end a nurse took me to one side she said the only reason my mam would not die was because I was still there and that she would only pass away if I left and went home. I felt I couldnt leave her though but knew I couldnt take much more. I screamed for my dad to come and get her. I went to the hospital church and wrote a prayer for god to come and get her NOW!! I went to my mam and said lots of lovely things to her and then told her that this was killing me, that I was suffering and that I had to go. I turned around and walked out: it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
I drove home (a 15 min drive); walked in the house and got the call that my mother had passed away.
I dont regret what I did; i think i did the right thing and do not feel any guilt.
I didnt cry. I have no grief at all for my mam. When I think about the trauma of the 24 hours she survived on life support I can get upset but I have no grief like when my boyfriend/dad died. Im just carrying on as normal although I am off work. I just dont understand why I have no grief. Has anyone any insight into my situation. I would be very grateful if anyone can explain why im reacting in this way.