Monday, December 12, 2016

her sister died.

my mother's sister and i had a troubled relationship. i loved her so much as a child - she was the "cool" aunt. she had the nice house, and the good snacks, and her kids were the same age as me and my brother. she was the one who let me sleep over, and had the pool in the backyard.

i got a phone call in mid-october that she had been in a serious car accident and suffered a brain clot in her brain. the whole thing was so surreal. i didn't believe it was as bad as they told me, and held out hope, even as she clinged to life in a medical coma. she couldn't die. she just couldn't. she was 61, and a new grandmother, and she was always there. always. a pain in my ass, but always there.

a few days later, she was gone, just like that. the bleeding in her brain hadn't stopped, and her children had to make the decision to let her go. the same day, i had tickets to go out of the country on a vacation that was pre-paid and couldn't be rebooked. i did the dick move and went on the trip. i knew it meant i would miss the funeral, and i tried to cope with that fact. you see, i'm always the one in family to do the right thing. i am usually the first one to cancel all the plans and go help. it felt awful to not do that this time.

but this was so complicated.

this woman, this aunt, whom i loved so much as a child, had hurt me so deeply as an adult. i've written about her on this blog before - she was the one who scolded me for not keeping in touch with my mother (even as she had an order of protection.) the one who helped my mother "kidnap" my brother and i the night before our parent's custody decision was announced by the judge. the one who constantly berated me for my weight and for always being single. she made me feel like shit pretty much every time i saw her. and we hadn't spoken in almost a year.

but i wept. oh how i wept for her.

i couldn't decide at the time if it was for her, for her kids, for me, or for my mother. you see, her kids didn't want my mother to know. she hasn't been in touch with my aunt for years, and the concern was that telling my mother would cause some sort of reaction. no one wants to deal with my mother. no one.

but my aunt was always the one who explained her to me. no one knew my mother quite like her, and somehow in my mind, i had always assumed she would be there as my mother aged and my brother and i had to make decisions about her. now she's gone, and i have no idea what she would have told me.

i wish i had asked her more questions. asked her for more stories to get to know my mother better by proxy. i should have called her more often. i should have... i should have...

even now, a month later, it doesn't feel real. her birthday and my birthday are two days apart, and she always called me. it's hard to imagine her not calling this year. i took it for granted she would always be there. it makes me feel more alone in this burden of my mother's illness.


  1. I can completely relate to your blog. I have been feeling very alone until I found your blog.

  2. My mother recently just passed away. She was in another country near her family. I was her only child and I loved her very much but did not keep contact with her for the past 7-8 years. She was a paranoid shizoprenic. When she was in this country my husband and I tried to get her help. We had her involuntarily committed to the hospital 3 times. We tried to get her a guardian as she was not paying her bills or taking care of herself and was about to loose her home.

    We tried assisting her financially for a while but she needed mental help. She fought back saying she was not sick despite the paranoia, delusions, her inability to pay bills, keep relationsips or care for herself. She ran away from hospitals and I had to go looking for her. She would stalk me and everyone else by calling old friends and showing up at work while being in denial of her illness. She won in court but ended up loosing her home. I had enough at that point and refused to let her live with me. She has a mother and a large extended family in another country so she went back there. In the end she severed every relationship she ever had until close to the end when my cousin found her not taking care of herself and not eating. I did get a chance to talk to her before she passed to say that I loved her. I was blamed by my aunts and uncles after her death for not keeping contact and checking on her as her only child. I did not know how to help her. Whenever she did have money she spent it on her delusions of trying to get away due to people trying to kill her and not on taking care of herself or paying her bills. I found myself getting mentally ill in the process and just let go. I have dealt with anxiety and depression at various times throughout this journey but now have it very severly. I suffer from guilt, remorse and intense grief over the mother who should have accepted treatment and been in my life. Thank you for your blog and for helping people like me feel less alone.