- 7 years ago
- Wedding: February 2010
I know that many Bees have lost loved ones, parents and grandparents, and I’m hoping they would grace me with their insight so I can better understand my mother’s situation.
Just a few months after we got married, my grandfather on my mother’s side passed away. It was completely unexpected, one day to the next, and my mother was infinitely close to him. He was at my wedding and that was the last time I saw him alive.
To say she is grieving and “not ok” is an understatement. My mother is unflappingly invincible, and I have seen this bring her to her knees. She is consumed with his death (2 months ago) every moment of every day and I feel powerless.
Every family member with the exception of my mother lives in her hometown, so all the siblings regularly check on each other and get together to grieve and remember. My mother is 20 hours away by car and has responsibilities that forbid her from spontaneous travel (adult child with a developmental disorder at home). My father loves his wife dearly, but must work 4 hours away to provide. My brother has gone on to live his life in the big city about 6 hours away and frankly is not the “check in on you” kind, unfortuntely. If you don’t call him, he won’t ever call. It’s just his way. When he does call, he cries like a child and does nothing to be a strongrock for her.
Needless to say, she lives alone essentially. And I am 10 hours away by PLANE. And working and all I can do is call. So I do. I call and I try very hard to sound happy so that maybe it’ll be a bit contagious and cheer her up, but it does absolutely no good. She leaves voicemails where she trails off and starts sobbing at the end…. and I never saw my mother cry once as a child. It’s unthinkable. If I send her a “Good morning” text message, the reply I’ll get is a photo of her and her father and how that was “his last birthday.”
I don’t grieve anymore, I’m sorry to admit it and I wish it weren’t so, but it’s the truth. We grew up far away – we weren’t able to be close. What is destroying me is seeing her inconsolable. What can I do?!
Send her to a counselor or therapist? They exist in the nearest town, but she won’t even leave the house. This active woman who went to the gym 6 times a week and went to her tango classes and organized luncheons is now practically bedridden and refuses to take visitors or leave the house. She asked for aerobics DVDS, so she could exercise at home instead. She has no high-speed internet, so that connection to the world is out. All she has is her dial-up connection so she can receive emails from her brothers and sisters.
It frustrates me, because I don’t get it. She calls them and from my POV, all it does is upset her. She cries even harder during and after the phone call, but it must be something she wants. She must enjoy the phonecalls somehow. She must enjoy the depressing emails.
I feel like I have lost my only family in this process – I cannot share any victory or joy regarding my married life because I feel guilty. I don’t want to hurt her by being happy and even though I know that’s not logical, she certainly doesn’t react the way my mother normally would.
Goodbye First Christmas with the family, or Thanksgiving, or anything. The way she sounds – nothing will ever be ok. She even told me the other day that she realized that her father was HER age now when I was born and said that “maybe that means that there might be happiness again.” Wow, that’s really horrible. I’m so sad that she is gripped by such sadness, but a tiny little part of me was upset. She is plunged in such deep despair that nothing we say or do matters to her at all. I get frustrated when I change the subject over and over and it doesn’t help.
I went down for a week after the funeral (I wasn’t able to attend) and so I did a whole week solid of helping her through things and talking through everything. Don’t get me wrong – I never stop her cold, but I do try to mention good things to distract her. But it’s not working.
I don’t know what I can possibly do. Nothing works to make her even the least bit happier, it sounds like she’s getting worse, and I’ve lost my best friend – my mother. I can’t tell her anything about what goes on with us because she just doesn’t care right now. And…. she’s all I have. She said at the very beginning of this that “This year was supposed to be the best year and it’s become the worst.” and it made me sad that my new life is included in that turd that is swirling down the toilet right now.