I would really love to move through the guilt I feel around my mother’s death. At the end of November she died while we were traveling in Morocco. By some fate, I managed to call her – even thought I knew it was 2am where she was – for a FaceTime chat with her my, my husband and my daughter (whom she adores). She answered! We video chatted for about 5+ minutes then said our usual goodbyes and I love yous…Then later that day she fell and broke her ankle, and died of a heart attack in the hospital. She had visitors that morning but was alone…and the thought of that slays me.
We live in Alaska, and she lives in California, where I grew up. I asked her to move in with us but she didn’t want to yet because it was too cold and she said she eventually would, but not now. We didn’t see her at Thanksgiving, and I had a chance to visit her in October but felt too overwhelmed with all I had going on. In the past, we flew her up for 7 weeks at a time 3 times a year, but he doctor told her last year to not come to Alaska anymore because the travel was too hard for her heart, and it was much harder for all of us to leave to visit her…so we saw her much less than usual.
We had a complicated relationship, and the last time I saw her I was irritable most of the time – a mix of overwhelm, stress, and the tensions from our volatile past. At the end of that visit I apologized and told her I was just too stressed out and that I did love her and was sorry for being so irritable.
I have a mix of sadness that I did not visit her in October, or have more patience when I visited her in August…and then I always wanted to care for her when she was dying, and I did not get to do that. I feel guilty for moving to Alaska and it being a place she didn’t love.
I know this feeling of guilt does not serve me, and I don’t think she’d want me to feel it, but it is so hard.
C: I was not there at mom’s death
T: I am a selfish daughter who cared more about adventures with my husband and daughter than visiting her
F: guilt, shame
A: replay horrible images in my mind of her being alone and scared/sad as she died
R: sad memories fill my mind more than the happy ones. I mope around and recall ways that I failed her.
I would love some feedback about this model since I am relatively new here, a well as suggestions for better thoughts/actions to take.
C: I was not there for my mother’s death
T: all happened as it should
F: peace and acceptance
A: focus on remembering her and celebrating her
R: feel joy about our relationship and gratitude for the ways I did show up for her as a daughter
Thank you in advance!