Looking Back on Losing my Mother
A year ago I came across Brett fish blog on Taboo section among other subjects. My post on the loss of my mother described her more than my feelings about losing the person I never dared to lose. Been born two months too early had an influence on my life, never wanting to separate from my mother. Brett answered me :
I think if you wrote a piece for me blog in addition to this I would love to hear more about the emotions behind losing your mom [who seems to be someone really important to you] and how you coped after she was gone. Does that make sense? So two different blog pieces – this story one which speaks more about who she is and is a stunning tale with pics. But then if you feel up to writing a separate piece for the Taboo section on my blog i would like to see it more focused on you and how you dealt with the hardship of being separated from someone very special to you.
Thank you for sharing this with me. Beautiful piece.
love brett fish
Our first summer and our mother Ruth
Eight years ago my mother’s health started to deteriorate at a high-speed. She walked to her neurologist with her walker and got the news that she had cancer in her cerebellum. Five months later she died. To see her lose her abilities to coordinate the movements of her fingers, arms, legs was horrifying. It was a struggle for her to eat even the softest baby food. In all this, she never complained.
My cousins came to say goodbye to her and as one of them had very bad hip or knee problems he grabbed her walker and started to walk with it in the living room saying that he wanted a thing like that to help him walk. My mother laughed aloud. She couldn’t eat or drink anything in front of the guests.
I wanted to get behind all this outer decay, but I found it so difficult to cross over my boundary. She spent her last few hours at the hospital and I came too late to say the last good-bye.
I spent the day and next night of her death at my childhood’s home all alone. The situation was like a birth though opposite. At a birth, some sense of time disappears and other things stand very clear like the expression on somebody’s way of talking or look or certain words heard in the situation.
You gain a new life at a birth and lose a life when somebody close to you dies. As a former health visitor, I have seen how sensitive new mothers are just after their births. They never forget some detail or hurtful treatment by a professional who misunderstood the situation completely.
I started to look at old books and magazines in her home like how the town looked like in the old days. No internet access.
I couldn’t pull myself together to just call my children, husband or my twin-brother. I had to be alone. The night was difficult to go through in the empty house. My mother could never come back, though a few dishes, the tea-pot and all her necessities were left and made it look like that she would return.
The next day I did something very important for myself. I phoned all the people listed in her address book. Some were not present, some were nearly deaf and some not very interested. But some people were interested and that was good for my soul. I went down to the library and talked to a librarian who had helped my mother a lot to find books on tapes. My mother never went online so tapes were still used by elderly people like her. Listening to books gave meaning to her life until her last day. To talk to this kind librarian was very essential to me in the process I went through.
The next day my brother and I went to the parish clerk. She showed no personal interest in our case. I happened to have known her many years ago. Maybe she was embarrassed because of that? It crossed my mind that her job was very boring. I compared it with my way of meeting new young parents. Was I always intuitive and kind and interested? I knew that I always wanted to be that.
The years have passed now an I am still thinking about her every day. Now I am able to see her as she was when she was younger and interested in our lives finding things to laugh or worry about.
I enjoy to use things in my kitchen that comes from my childhood’s home like the baking scale, some earth bowls and glasses for homemade jam or pickles and I love all photos I have of her. If you would like to read more about her life and thoughts about her it’s here: The Last Rose of summer and Bill & Ruth
The reason why I isolated myself in her house after her death was a shock reaction activated at her death. I had been through many other situations of near death with my children in their struggle for getting from their teenage years to adulthood. I have written about the difficult years when married to their father. Lack of security in my children’s lives got them out in danger and when something bad happened to them I isolated myself trying to help them. My senses tell me that it’s better to be open and ask for help, but I experienced that other people’s opinions, in a stressed and difficult situation, would make it worse for us. Shame also played a role. Though I know that as a Christian I should remember that…..
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace Ephesians 1:7
This important bible verse also gives associations to a birth.
The last one and a half years I have enjoyed writing on this blog on different subjects. I am sure that all this writing and reading fellow bloggers’ posts and the contact I have with many of you, has helped me to accept the dark things that have passed and to be open about it.
Cynthia Bailey Rug is a Christian blogger who overcame abuse in her childhood and who writes tirelessly about loss and overcoming abuse. The other day she wrote of remembering the good things about her deceased grandfather who meant so much to her. At his death day and birthday, she would take extra time to think about him.
So thank you, bloggers, for being a part of my life
The kind of sight my mother had from her kitchen window on her last day of life