I don’t know why I decided to post this.
I am trying to write as a form of therapy. Self exploration, why I am the way I am, yadda yadda. So I typed this up over the last hour..and I have been staring at it for about 20 minutes. So, fuck it why not. It is kinna long.. Enjoy my psychosis, while it lasts.
It was almost thanksgiving. The 15th day of November, Year of our lord, 2004.
I killed my mother.
Well, I suppose that isn’t totally the truth. It’s not like I smothered her with her pillow, or hacked her up with a steak knife.
Cancer killed my mother. I just helped it along.
Everyone knows that one day their parents will pass. Everyone has to die. But it doesn’t really hit home until you are holding your dead mothers hands. Still warm, but cooling quickly. Eyes half open, mouth ajar. And the sinking feeling that nothing will ever be the same for you or your family again. The glue that held everything together, gone in a few hard months. Never coming back. Never calling late at night just to chat. Never walking through the front door. Never. Ever. Again.
It’s not quite reality. Your body moves because it has to…your brain goes on autopilot. I remember everything about that morning…but there were times that my mind was totally blank. 1000 yard stare style. I can’t say I was in shock, because I knew that she was going to die..
I cried silently. I remember that. No sound, just tears that wouldn’t stop. I felt numb. I felt angry. Guilty. And the most horrible grief. It was sensory overload. Feeling so much, and having no outlet. You could throw a tantrum, scream, break things..break down…but nothing will stop your chest from burning. It is heartbreak, in the most literal way.
We sat with my mom for almost 2 hours before the funeral directors came for her.
They loaded her onto a cot, and strapped her in. They zipped up the cot cover, but only to her chest. They allowed us a moment to say our goodbyes.
“I love you” And I kissed her lips. And then her forehead. And then they covered her completely.
And then they left us.
When you worry for months about your ma’s well being..knowing that one day she will surely die…, When it actually happens….you don’t know what to do with yourself. Every bit of energy you had went into one thing..and when it changes suddenly, it rocks you. Hard. I wandered around the house for an hour. Walking from moms room, to the kitchen, outside, back to moms room. Aimless.
I decided I would go into her room and remove every medical item that I could find. The morphine pump was still running, spitting high doses of the drug every 10 minutes. It pooled on the hospital bed. The sight of it made me sick.
I took 4 garbage bags out of the room. Gloves, Swabs, Medications, hospital gowns, plastic cups, tissue, paper tape, sheets..I worked with steadfast efficiancy. Like a robot. Autopilot.
I pushed the oxygen tanks into the hallway.
The room was virtually void of anything that was used for hospice care. Except for the stupid bed and morphine pump. The bed was too big, I could never get it out of their myself.
This was the straw that broke me. That fucking bed.
I laid on the floor. I stared at the ceiling. And then to the bed. Ceiling. Bed. And then I lost control.
It was like my body was possessed. I shook so violently that it rattled my teeth. I was sobbing. I was trying to say something..anything, really…but I couldn’t. The sounds came out uninteligble. I remember actually forming three words..but no more. Those words were “no” “please” and “mama”. But not in that order.
I thought of the months that had past. I thought of my childhood. I thought of my moms smile. I thought of her crying. I thought about how unfair it was that my mom, who was one of the coolest people you would ever want to meet..had to go in such a hard way. There are rapists and murderers that live to be 90.
I thought about my son growing up and not knowing his grandmother. The thought ripped me in two. No camping trips. No trick or treating, christmases…She wouldn’t be at his wedding and she wouldn’t be able to see her great grandchildren. I felt bad for them both.
But mostly, I thought about the mass amounts of drugs that I had sent coursing through her body. Enough to kill me within an hour. Morphine, every 10 minutes via pump. Liquid Morphine under the tongue every 15 minutes, and a dose of adtivan under the tongue every 45 minutes. 13 hours later she left this earth.
Like I said, my mother died of cancer. But I am the one who helped it along.
People feel the need to argue this point. “You made her comfortable” “She wasn’t in any pain” “She was terminal and its better that it happened quickly”
Maybe. But I don’t know for sure. If she was in constant pain, she wouldn’t have been able to tell me anyway, due to the drugs. She did have pain though. We would move her and she would moan, try to talk. No strength.
And as far as being terminal….I cant argue. We knew she would pass, but no one knew it would be so soon. The doctors were saying a year…maybe two, of “quality” life. 5 Months to the day she was diagnosed, she died.
My mom always told me, ” If you are laying in a bed, unable to eat, unable to talk, use the toilet…thats not living, and I wouldn’t want to live like that”
I can hear her saying it now, like a tape recorder in my brain. But I still cant shake the feeling that I am the one responsible for the demise of my mother. The what-ifs float around my head like angry little birds.
What if I had waited? What if she turned around and started getting better? What if we would have known sooner? Would it have made a difference? Would she have backed the decision that I made for her…and would she have made the same for me? And it goes much deeper than that.
OCD. Could I have given my mother cancer because I myself was so worried that I would get it? Did my intrusive thoughts spread to my moms body? Wrap your mind around that for a minute.
“Thats just crazy…you shouldn’t think like that”
My mom also used to say “Thought Imagination = Manifestation. And I know this to be a truth. I have thought things into existence before. Concentrate hard enough and you can make just about anything happen. And before I even knew my mom had the disease, I would have panic attacks because I was afraid that I had cancer, and if I didnt have it yet, I was well on my way to getting it.
She would roll her eyes and tell me to calm down…I wouldn’t get cancer…thats just silly, Meg. Recorder. In my brain.
What if..Why….If only…Why didn’t I…Why did I….
None of this really matters now. And I know that.
I can’t change what has happened to us. I can’t bring my ma back. Or mikes ma. Or our friends that have gone before.
So I try to remember to tell everyone how I feel about them. I try to smile. To have a good time..and make some memories. This is no dress rehearsal, folks. Its the real deal. The main event, the big show.
And the curtain is closing.
I love you, mama. And I will see you in the clearing at the end of the path.
Meagen C 4/22/06