I wrote that my mother is dying of cancer. She's now out of the hospital and into a nursing home, permanently. The original time frame was six to 12 months. I don't know what it is now, but I can tell you that institutionalization does not agree with her. Withdrawal, paranoia have already started.
I grieved for the loss of a mother figure when my children were born and the relationship wasn't what it should have been. I'll probably grieve again when she passes. But the withdrawal? The paranoia? The "unreachableness"? These are bringing back some serious, intense "flashbacks" to my childhood, to my mother's taking her bedtime meds earlier and earlier in the day. To her taking whatever else was in the cupboard. To watching her check out in front of my eyes even though her body was right next to me on the couch.
These are not good memories. They make me sad for her and the pain that has been with her for years; they make me sad for me and the issues of abandonment they bring to the surface. They even make me wonder what I was lacking that I wasn't worth her staying around, worth her mothering. Which brings us right around to what I know: It was her mental health issues, not me. But underneath scars, nerves can hurt.
Now she's dying.