I know a lot of people will think I am cold hearted or an ungrateful daughter for saying this, but sometimes I am so mad at my mother for dying. And it’s not really because she died, but the way she died.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer on June 6, 2012 and she died on August 5, 2012. It was her 62nd birthday. My first reaction when I got the call was an overwhelming sadness. And then I was mad. I was mad because I planned on buying her carnations (her favorite flower) and bringing them to the hospital for her. Not that she would have known because at this point she was already in hospice care and pretty much in a coma, but I really wanted to do that for her. I wanted her to know that it was her birthday and the she should still celebrate. Maybe it was more for me, but I just wanted to celebrate. Birthdays were always a big deal for me and my mom. It was our thing, even though I forgot a few times it was her birthday, and even though I “stole” the whole month of August from her (my birthday is 15 days after hers), we both still really loved birthdays. So I was mad that she took that away from me and I was mad that she died on her birthday. I mean I can’t remember her birthday now without remembering her date of death. And that’s not fair to me. I’m sorry, but it’s not. I want to be able to remember her birthday as happy, and for me its a really sad day. August 5 will never be a happy day for me anymore and I am mad at her for that. I know she didn’t choose to die that day (but maybe she did) but I just cannot let it go.
And I get mad at my mom when I remember that day she gave up. Four weeks after her diagnosis my mom gave up. Her body wasn’t healing from her surgery and she was in and out of the hospital. She lost her ability to get up and go to the bathroom (which embarrassed her) and she was constantly being tested and given medication. She was slowly being beaten down. Then after her first, and only, chemo session her body completely shut down. Her kidneys, liver and bladder lost most of their function and she was very weak, even with the steroids. At this point my mom said no more. No more tests. No more drugs. No more food. No more drinks. Just no more of anything. I was the only one at the hospital when she told the doctors no more, and I was so mad. I begged and pleaded with her but she didn’t want to be pricked or poked anymore. It is very hard watching your mother suffer, but it is harder to watch your mother, your lifeline, give up. And now I just think: “what if she kept fighting, would she be here?” or “Why didn’t she ask us, or think about us, it wasn’t her decision to make alone.” When I talk to my brother about this we both wonder how long she knew, if she knew, and why didn’t she seek help sooner. And we both get mad.
So, yes, some days I get really mad at my mom for not going to the doctor sooner, and for giving up, and for being selfish, and for dying on her birthday. And maybe that is just me being selfish, but she shouldn’t have given up. Sometimes I feel it is wrong to be at my dead mother, but she gave up. She should have fought. She should be here for me and my brother and my nephew and my aunt. Maybe one day I will stop getting mad at her, but for now that mad comes with the sad.