a friend of mine is losing her mother… not today, nor tomorrow, but sooner than later. and this friend is all mixed up because her relationship with her mother is wrought with issues…ummmm who’s isnt (wasnt!)
i think mothers and daughters always have complicated relationships…even the seemingly perfect pair!
and my advice to this friend (because she asked me how to deal with the range of feelings she’s having), and correct me if i’m wrong, is to get it all out.
GET IT ALL OUT! her gripes, concerns, disappointments, successes, things that made her angry, things that made her gleeful… she needs to tell her mother all of it. ask all the questions she may have, tell her she loves her and how she made her amazing and also a little insane and a little (a lot) angry. laugh about it. cry about it. just talk.
because until someone is gone, we can work through everything and heal so much. when you know that someone has a terminal illness there doesn’t have to be anything left unsaid.
i was lucky. even with an overbearing somewhat crazy mom, i never felt unloved or unappreciated.
yeah, i felt too fat, and my mom definitely placed more importance on my appearance than was necessary, but ultimately i knew i was her sunsine.
and while she was sick, we had plenty of conversations…the good, the bad, the ugly. and i am so soothed now, 20 months later, that i told her everything i needed to.
2 days before my mother died, after telling me that she loved me, my mother said to me… “i’m sorry”…and although i don’t know what she was referring to exactly, i believe she meant for all of it…for mothering me in some ways too much and in other ways too little, for getting sick (no apology necessary), and for dying (no apology necessary)… and i am staggeringly aware of the gift of our last conversation.