I'm so sorry

by Lost in Greif
(Boynton Beach Fl USA)

I just dont know where to begin My mom we were so close for such a long time we were a team. My father her husband was mean and cruel he was a cancer in our house when I was growing up. My brother bailed out of the house when I was 7 that left me as the only child and the brunt of my fathers anger was focused on me and my mom.
I turn into an adult I marry a wonderful man a wedding that was to die for because of my mom, I could go to her for anything she was always there for me. But something changed and I am not sure where and when it changed, maybe the death of my brother? Or the death of my dad or even it changed because of me.
See Mom had such a crappy life she lived it the Scrooge and Grinch rolled into into on. But she was brought up that you DON'T DIVORCE. She had nothing my father kept everything for himself. She never had money to spend she had nothing in her own name. Well when my brother died my mother finally left my father. And I stepped in and gave my mom anything that she wanted I did things that she always wanted to do. But when these things were done Mum never seemed to be happy with whatever it was. I think I spoiled her where she got to the point to expect things.
She rarely called me unless it was an issue this or that isn't working. We bought her a new house and new car but never she seemed happy about it.
Then my moms health started to fail she had COPD I got her on state care we could not afford the medications. Then she started to show sighs of Alzheimer's and that alone was an argument, I know my mother slipped into a depression when her son dies but she refused to take any meds to help her. She was a very anxious person easily excitable and yells a lot.
I love my mom she is my MOM their is no one who could take her place. As I grew older we found less and less things in common with one another.
I have all her mail sent to me I pay her bills she does not have the skill to do these she had never handled a checkbook in her life and she likes to spend so I had to do an allowance. My mom was like at 12 year old in a 70's body
I could have gone over to see her more but that usually led to work on problems or complaints about everything and everyone. She lived across the street from the clubhouse and pool she NEVER once went to any of the functions. Going over there was never fun, so I avoided it. Sounds pretty bad of me huh? Well I certainly feel that way. When she would call here I would not answer and she would not leave a message so in my thinking it was not that important.
I go on a 2 vacation every year at the same time I have been doing this for the last 10 years. Well it got to the point I could not tell her that I was going away because she would get herself all worked up that I would not be 5 min away. Even though I had people here that would go to her in seconds if she need any help. I would call her from vacation and let her know I was gone and would be home next week. This worked for the last few years she was calmer knowing I would be home in a few days and did not even notice I had already been gone.
Well this year did not work out so well my mom was washing her car on May 8 she was so proud that she got it all clean and she had done somethings in the house and she was happy, no signs of any trouble. I took her shopping before I left for all her groceries and Sundry s so she would not have to go out she still drives but only to grocery store or drugstore. But Shopping had become hard due to bringing the grocery's into the house in the heat and with her breathing. So I mad sure everything was seen to before I left I mailed her Mothers day card so she would have gotten it on Sat.
I left May 9th while on vacation May 19 I checked the bank accounts and see if mom had enough money cuz she likes to spend and not one penny had been spent from her account, instantly I have a bad feeling I call her house at 9 am no answer now I panic my mother could not have gone anywhere by 9 am she has such a ritual in the morning with her bird and dog. Sent a friend by to check on her and My mom was found laying dead on the floor. She had what is called an Unattended death she was dead for 5 days and in Florida as hot as it is she had the heat in the house on. I had no idea how bad that was. I have such feelings of guilt and remorse so much that I feel as if I am dieing. I loved her yes she got on my nerves and aggravated me but I loved her I would have given my life for her. She had a massive heart attack she was dead before she even collapsed to the floor. What to do I am so lost and in so much pain I feel like a failed her let her down WHAT A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE and I let this happen to my mother. Her house is uninhabitable we need a special cleaning company and I may loose things that were precious to her. I failed and I don't know how to move past this. I always told her I loved her every time I left her or hung up the phone but I never got that last goodbye I never got that chance to drill it in her head she meant the world to me and always will.

Comments for I'm so sorry

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Jun 23, 2014
Your Story is my story
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous
I was Blessed by reading your post. You did an amazing job caring for your mother to the very best of your ability. You need to applaud yourself for the things you did. Often we can only do our best with the inner resources we have. As a teenager at 14yrs. I was given immense responsibilities in caring for my mother and siblings. I became their caretakers at an early age. Later in life it took its toll on my emotional health. Mother's don't mean to put heavy burdens on their children but this can somehow play itself out through the way they were reared themselves and so the cycle carries on. Children will care and find it hard to forgive themselves for any failures towards their parents in how they cared for them. I don't think we were meant to carry these heavy burdens. We have our LIMITATIONS. As you say we can often do God's job and were never meant to. God gives us the ability to care in ways that we need to feel a sense of balance and not beat ourselves up for what we didn't do. I am sure if one could do those things they would. But I know how hard it is to unburden oneself from the guilt carried from feeling we could have done more, said more. As Chuck Swindoll would say.
God gave us our emotions and our whole internal feelings in our spirit which is likened to having our knapsack sewn onto our backs. In life we suffer many problems which is likened to the boulders we carry. We can help our loved ones and others by carrying their boulders. But many of us try to fix our mother's/loved one's by carrying their knapsack (sewn onto their backs by God) We injure ourselves doing this. We were never meant to carry this load. We were only meant to help other's with carrying their boulders in life. This explanation by Chuck Swindoll has helped me in my own life to free myself from the burden of guilt caused by carrying the wrong load in caring for loved one's. I am sorry for your loss of your mother one month ago and say it is early days and you will recover from grief in time. Guilt I believe is also an aspect of grief and hopefully this feeling will pass with time. WE will have many moments of sadness in life as we try to expel guilt and failure from our caring for other's. Our loved one's are at peace and can no longer be hurt by what hurts us. Lean into God and let Him carry these burdens we carry and that can sometimes' crush us and leave us in despair. WE can and do learn a lot from grief that will sustain us in life as we lose other loved one's. May God be with you at this difficult stage of grief and help you find a way out of the pain of your loss of your mother, with His Comfort and Peace.

Jun 21, 2014
Your story is my story!
by: Anonymous

Wow, I can read your story and so easily see that you need to forgive yourself and let it go, yet I can't seem to do it with myself. I lost my sweet mom about a month ago and I do plague myself with "I should have done better"... I too, like you, felt a need to fix my mother's life and to make her happy. My mother also had a bad husband. He loved her, but he was not there for her as he should, and she was the oldest of 10 kids, so most of her childhood was spent caring for others- and there were 6 of us- she sacrificed to no end for us and loved us to pieces. As I aged, like you, I felt a need to make her happy and to do everything for her- not because she demanded it- I wanted to. She and I had am AMAZING relationship! She was not only my mother, but my dearest companion. My husband and kids adored her as well. I was able to take her on trips, take her shopping, manicures, all the things that she could not afford to do for herself. In 2007, she suffered a stroke. Again, I wanted to fix it. I brought her to live with us and I worked daily to help her get back on her feet (so did my family). Her personality totally changed. She resented losing her independence. She lashed out at me. Nothing seemed to make her happy, no matter how hard I tried. And like you, during the last year or so, I started distancing myself. I still tried to meet her needs, but accepted that I could not make her happy. I also did not want our relationship to deteriorate and become bitter. She, on the one hand wanted to be independent, so she would push me away, but on the other hand, she was very dependent on me. I could not seem to find a balance. I would encourage her to use other resources, but she would not. My mom passed unexpectedly. I did not call or go over to her apt the day before she died. I planned to see her that day- I thought I could make it up to her... but God had other plans. I too, feel like I let my mother down and I too, wish I could explain to her how very, very much I loved her. I want to get through this stage as well, because I had a wonderful mom and I don't want to define our relationship like this... and I don't think she would want me to either. I think the answer is to
go back to when she was "my mother" before the stroke changed her-( and she also had dementia- so I understand that too) and give us both a pass on those years. We both did the best we could. I have no problem forgiving her. I have trouble forgiving myself. Really, I tried to take on a job that was never mine in the first place. I tried to play God. Fixing her life was not my problem to fix. It was God's all along-- and HE did fix it. HE gave her rest, and HE gave me rest. Hopefully in time I can see it as a gift and not feel guilty and sad about it. I know she'd want me to live life to the fullest and take lots of pictures and tell her all about it when I see her in heaven. I pray that you can do that as well!!!! I feel your pain!

May 30, 2014
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous
It is good you had a sort of miracle and being able to eat and not have to take your meds.
Take things slowly. Don't have any expectations but let things unfold as they will. This way you won't become disappointed. Each day will be different. You may feel up one day and down the next. But always remember the bad days don't last. They soon pass. We do get stronger in the places we were once weak.
I was in counselling and didn't know if I was progressing or not. All I could feel was pain so bad I didn't care much if counselling worked or not, it was just someone to talk to so I could unburden myself. I was sceptical of counselling. But one day I woke up and felt different. Almost as if a miracle had taken place overnight. It was such a good feeling, and it got better from day to day. I became a different person. I was positive and was able to relate to my family in a way that they benefited from the skills I picked up in counselling. This was the start of the healing process and it just got better. If I had given up counselling at all I may have got stuck where I was and not able to have moved forward as if counselling wasn't working. But it was if that blockage was suddenly cleared and everything fell into place. I would have missed this moment if I had given up. don't feel guilty if you don't cry. You will cry when you need to and any memory can trigger off a crying spell. Crying is something you can't force. It has it's own way of happening without even doing anything. You may also cry at a time and place that is not convenient. But don't repress this. Let your emotions flow freely. Healing is so good that you can never go back to the same feelings that you have healed from. You will get there in the end. Just remember to be KIND to YOURSELF. Love yourself back into life. Make your own special moments and enjoy them. This nurturing will also help you to heal. Best wishes.

May 30, 2014
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the kind words, you cannot know how much that means to me. My husband has never had to suffer a close death so he really does not understand so talking here helps. I am seeing a counselor it has helped but something changed yesterday and I do not think it was due to the counselor; Yesterday was the first day I could function like me without meds. I actually ate something yesterday my 4th meal since the 19th that aloe is a huge improvement. I wonder can someone heal this fast I almost feel guilty for not crying anymore. I have not been to the house my husband is overseeing things there everyone is in agreement that it may not be good for me just yet. He is bringing bags of stuff over here to our porch I go through them not much can be donated sadly, but everything I keep must be washed 2,3 or even 4 times depending on where they were in the house. The smell of I cannot stand the smell of the cleaning products or the smell coming from all the items. I have taken to falling asleep with the TV on for background noise my head doesn't shut up. Yes I am still having guilt but not as much as before I am healing I have buried my whole family I am the last one. She is with my brother now and hopefully at peace. When my husband was bring stuff he found a Mass card that someone had sent my mom when my brother died he found it under my mother’s pillow, so no she never really recovered from that death maybe that's what changed for us. But right now I talk with her out loud when I am alone or when I am going through her things that have been brought here. The last time we were together I was taking her to the grocery store she had a jacket it has lighthouses on it (My mother Loved lighthouses) she told me I know when I die I know that you are going to give a lot away but I want you to keep this for yourself. Well at the time she said it I looked at the jacket and thought that is something I would never wear but just agreed with her to make her happy. She had 3 lighthouse jackets in total I have had to wash them 4 times but they are OK and now it feels like a suit of armor when I have it on for some reason. I had her cremated she is still here at the house I am not ready for her to go to the cemetery just yet. She eventually does have to go there I plan to move my brother and put them together she would have wanted that. What I did do is have some of her ashes put into these shell tokens that are beautiful and biodegradable once they get wet. I have 6. I plan to take them to my mother’s favorite places and leave a little of her there. I plan to keep one for myself and when my time comes she will come with me. I loved her very much its foreign not having a mom, I had one for 47 years she is the longest person I have known in my life, but she taught me how to stand on my own two feet. I am glad she had several years of her own life her own house.

May 23, 2014
You are an amazing person.
by: Doreen UK

I ran out of space and need to expand on my first post.
Your Mom may have not shown her appreciation to you for the things you did for her e.g. buying her a car and house because for one, she have internalised this overwhelming love and care you had for her. She may have internalised that she didn't deserve this. Then went to the other extreme that she got used to your caring she had no boundaries. Often when one is dysfunctional they can bounce from emotion to emotion and never be able to explain how they feel. I sense this from your writing.
You should not feel any guilt by not being present when your mom died, and how she died. She would have died so quickly it wouldn't have mattered who was there. If you had smothered your mother and not given her the space she also needed you would have suffered a boundary injury. Very hard to overcome the pain of this. It is not easy to find a moderate balance in caring for someone. We want to spoil our mother's and can smother them also. Please let go of your guilt. Be kind to yourself. Mom's and daughter's fall out and Altzheimer's is a disease that not everyone can cope with. The awkwardness of any behavioural changes would have affected you as a person. Keeping a healthy distance would be all you could do. I have experience of Mental Health issues and know also from experience the complexities of living with some of the difficulties you had to endure. You will heal from your loss. If you can't let go of your guilt then go and see a grief counsellor for support. Guilt is also an aspect of grief and shouldn't last long. I still say you are an AMAZING PERSON. I send you hugs and Love from across the pond in the UK. God be with you and Bless and keep you safe, comforted and to find Peace in your grief.

May 23, 2014
I'm so sorry
by: Doreen UK

You are one of the most UNSELFISH. persons I have had the pleasure to read about. You had a pure heart of love for your mother. What you did for her was so amazing it speaks volumes of caring and selflessness. You wouldn't have needed to tell your mother you loved her. YOU DID IT BY YOUR ACTIONS. Actions speak louder than words. Often after a loss we get assaulted emotionally with guilt over all the things we didn't do or say. It is part of the grief talking. You need to put things in their correct perspective. You knew what your mother's needs were and YOU MET THEM. Sure mother's can get on their children's nerves and often children need to put some distance between their parents. IT IS CALLED NEEDING SOME SPACE. Your mother also would have needed some Space to process her own life and needs. You would have done your mother a disservice if you hadn't at times put some distance between the two of you. It is called. HEALTHY BOUNDARY SETTING. We all need to have healthy boundaries within the framework of our family. WE all have different needs and often we can clash with one another. It doesn't mean you didn't love your mother or she didn't love you. Your mother seemed to have a hard life and you took it upon yourself to make her life better to the best of your ability. YOU DID THIS. You should be applauded for your loving care towards your mother. Don't beat yourself up now. Your mother cannot feel anything now. She is at peace. You need to nurture yourself and find your own Peace. I am so glad you also served your own needs to have 2 vacations a year. Keep this up. It is the most caring thing you could do for yourself and is a way of nurturing yourself into healing. Build on this. You have a Healthy outlook on life. Even the bad times you had with your mother was only due to you trying to find a balance in your relationship as it changed when your father and brother died. Death alters who we are aS people and you and your mom were trying to re-connect. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. You need to commend yourself in that you did an amazing job WELL. I am blessed by reading your post and feel privileged to reply. Your Integrity lifted me when I was feeling down. Best wishes to you in life, and my you always BE HAPPY.!!!

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