Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grieving Life, Grieving Death

Last month, my mother passed away. For long time readers, you know that my mother, due to severe depression, suicidal tendencies and mental instability, chose to leave our family when I was 3 years old. I did not meet her again until I was 27. Even though there were some phone calls over the years, not nearly enough to form an emotional bond with a woman I barely remembered. My brother, however, did manage to form an attachment and with that attachment he formed a grudge against me because I did not. She had a problem with her lungs (she was a long time drinker and smoker) and in the end (at 63) was on an oxygen tank. In January they called in hospice, she shrank to 87 pounds and then she died in February.

I grieved her so much in life that I can't grieve much in her death. My former pastor said often death is a relief for those who have been abandoned. It is a heavy burden lifted. He might be right. Her status of "is" an absent mother to "was" an absent mother allows me some new life and acceptance. I have always grieved what she wasn't around to teach me about: love, life, sex, parenting.
I grieved a life that I wish I had had...one where I was thin and there was a balanced meal every night on the table and not Hungry Man TV Dinners in front of the TV by myself. I grieved a life where I wouldn't be allowed to eat a whole bag of chips in a sitting, or a box of Little Debbies.

My weight issues started before I was 5 years old. Now I am super attentive to what my kids eat and teaching them that they can't have a snack every 10 minutes.
I was at the checkout last night with lots of fruit and veggies and the cashier commented how healthy I was feeding my girls. I'm not super crazy about it, they still eat fruit snacks all the time and we go to McD's at least once a week, but I try to make sure their lives are balanced.

I always feared I would turn into my mother, because I was often depressed. But that fear has really changed me as a person for the better, because I know I would never leave my children even in the worst circumstances. I grieve for children that have no mother. I don't have a fondness for alcohol, so I don't need to worry about turning into a drunk. But now I have something to fear, something I can change. I don't want to die at 63. My mother was thin early in her life, but had gained weight as she aged. Then she died at 87 lbs. I don't want to have to be heading towards death to lose weight. I want to LIVE.

1 comment:

  1. I understand completely what you are saying about "relief" when a parent who abandoned you passes away. My mother died in February also, and while she didn't physically leave me, she left me behind in so many other ways from the time I was born. I have always grieved the mother I didn't have, and feared the one I did have. I think that fear is at the root of my compulsive eating issues.

    In the last years of her life, I was the one who was there for her. Why, I don't know--perhaps compassion took over--perhaps because my better loved brothers wouldn't interrupt their lives. In any case, I haven't felt the grief I felt when my father passed away, because I have been grieving all my life, and now that can stop. There is truly relief in that.

    I'm sorry for your loss. I understand what you have gone through and what your are going trough now. Take care of yourself. You do have a life to live!!