Friday, 19 August 2011

Not just words....

There are very few things I regret in my life.

But these words I spoke to my mum are the most regretful thing I have ever said:

 "Mum, I've been reading this book. It's about life after death. They are so sure there is something after, you are going to be ok"



The look on my mum's face when those words left my lips... that moment... I just so wish I could take those words back. You see my mum was terminally ill with Pancreatic Cancer . And I was an 18 year old with idealistic thoughts of how the world works and I had very little life experience to have the right form of empathy.
I was selfish in terms of needing to know that my mum was going to a better place, for my own peace of mind, instead of just being there for her, giving her the most immense love and distraction that she needed. The 'me' of today would've dealt with this so very differently. But I was the 'me' of 1998. I was still a teenager. I was experimenting with who I thought I was. And I was wading through all the murkiness of a situation that was far from 'normal'.
I fought my mum's death sentence with a search of eternal life. To find out whether there was in fact an afterlife. I wasn't entirely thinking about her thoughts, her feelings.  
The moment she was diagnosed, nobody dare utter the words 'death', 'heaven', 'terminal' and so on.
If a movie came on the t.v  that alluded to death or the afterlife, the channel was changed.
We never spoke of the inevitable. Until..
Yes that f***ing moment I opened my big, fat, idealistic, teenage mouth.
I haven't changed my opinion of life after death. I actually still agree with my 18 year old self. But knowing my mum's fear of death, I dearly wish I could change that one moment in my life.
I scared her. I shook her to the bone with my words. They may be 'just words' to some. But they abused and bruised my mum. She was in fits of tears.
I heard her crying uncontrollably to my dad when I had left the room:
'She is trying to scare me.. Talking about death.. Why, why?' 


Hearing her sobs. Hearing her talk about me like I was trying to hurt her, instill fear in her... It cuts me to the core, to my very being. I thought I was going to help her and instead I brought every darkened jagged terror to the forefront of her fragile mind. Every thought that she'd fought against, I just torpedoed straight into her consciousness.
I repent to this very day.
My mum wanted to hold on to every last shred of hope. And I just f***ing plucked that last remaining thread and flung it at her face.
I don't regret my search for 'life after death' and Elisabeth Kubler Ross was a comforting read.
But if I just played along with the charade of invincibility.... That moment would never have happened... My mum would've felt like she could live forever. She wouldn't have been suffocated by fear and horrror.

So there you have it.

This is the one thing that haunts me to this day.

These are the only words I wish I had never uttered.

I just wanted her to feel safe.

And on her last day, I said...



'You are safe mum. You are surrounded by love. I love you. Everything is going to be ok'

Those words I never regret.

'..everything is going to be ok'

Those are the best words ever.
I have heard those words many times.
They are true.
Everything is going to be ok. Not 'fabulous', not 'crap'. Just 'ok' and that is ok by me.


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6 comments:

Alex aka WHOA MUMMA! said...

I often think about the things I said, should have said and would love to say with my MIL who died from cancer back in 2001.

I remember telling her everything was going to be ok too and she passed away a few hours later.

I think we just do the best we can in the situation that we're in.

Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran said...

So true Alex xx

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

you were ALL so delicate then. She was holding onto hope, you were looking for solace that she will be OK afterwards.

Don't beat yourself up about it.

You did it out of love and she would have understood that eventually.

xx

Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran said...

Thanks Kelley. I often think that she'd be trying to console me from the other side. Terminal illness is always a very fragile situation isn't it? Thanks again for you comforting words xxx

Gemma @ My Big Nutshell said...

Gee, that is really tough. I still agree with your 18 year old self and where you were coming from. I understood what you meant I agree with Kelley and Alex too. xx

Kate Sins said...

Oh Yeran, you were so young. My heart aches for you still regretting it.

*big hugs*