After so many years of pain, confusion, trauma, arguments and restlessness, it has finally come to an end. My mother is no more. Did I grieve? Yes, I did! I grieved the mother my mind always assumed it had. The loving, doting mother. In reality, no matter how much I loved her and my heart ached for her, she was incapable of receiving my love and bestowing the same love upon me. Nonetheless, it was painful to see her body lie lifeless. Tears flowed. I had least expected her to leave so soon. In my heart, I had finally placed her in a decent and safe place and my hope was to see her alive the next time I visited Chennai. Instead, I had to go to Chennai to arrange her funeral and burial. That was one thing I couldn’t come to terms with.
When I visited her last, I took all my kids with me so she could see them and send us off happily. Instead, she cried and cried to be taken out of the cancer hospice and to be sent to her father’s family, her sisters. Her mind was troubled. No matter how much I was there for her, she only yearned for her siblings. There was nothing I could do to fulfil that wish for her because for her father’s family, my mom’s welfare, was the least of their concerns. One of her sister’s family actually volunteered to take her into their home and told us how much they’ll need every month and demanded we put some jewels on her before sending her there. Three days later, they called us and said that her sister didn’t want her there and refused to take her in. I realized that there was no genuine concern whatsoever. I felt sad for not being able to keep her in dad’s home. Just as I was making arrangements to move her downstairs, she fell and couldn’t get up for almost 12 hours. She was soaked in her own urine by the time I reached home. That’s when I decided that she needs a dignified end.
I’m glad her life ended in a dignified manner. She may not have had the people she wanted around, but she was surrounded by people who served her with their heart and soul. I’ll ever be thankful to the sisters at Jeevodaya Cancer Hospice for their selfless care and efforts to keep mom as comfortable as possible till her last breath. They are truly angels.
Her death also leads to the end of all my ties with her family. The last cord that connected us has been cut. I saw them at the funeral. I’ve never felt so disconnected as I did then. They knew where she was for the last few months, and yet they did not go visit her. The ones who had volunteered to take her into their home had all the details of where she was put up. Yet not a stir. I found that attitude brutal. My mom was all alone, with not even a soul to visit her over the last four months. The hospice was shocked that not even one soul came to visit her during her stay there. I simply had to tell them that I had no one. There was nothing to say, nothing to smile about, nothing to feel, just numbness when I looked at my mom’s family. A void so deep it could engulf me. What a miserable death these relationships have died! All because I had to spew out the truth at all costs. I had covered it up for too long because I was so confused. When it was all clear, letting it out released my mind from those pangs.
Many days, my heart has ached for the generous time that had been wasted with the wrong people while the least amount of time was spent with valuable ones. But my mom’s mind was stuck in a loop. Despite her family’s behaviour, she always wanted to return to them. She just couldn’t think in any other way. Now, all I feel for my mother is sympathy. Sympathy for the way her mind and spirit was always troubled throughout her lifetime. Who knew what kind of troubled childhood she had? Who knew if she had undergone any form of physical or emotional abuse as a child? Who knew what turned her into who she was with dad and me? Something was surely amiss, but we’ll never know. More than her physical rest, I was happy that her spirit and mind are resting calmly.
An era has ended. No one remains from my childhood. My dad is gone, now so has my mom. I’m kind of blank in my mind. I walked into the home where they spent the last part of their lives. It was a stark reminder of them, their faces. I couldn’t stand there for more than five minutes. I was shattered, broken, and agitated. It was all over, one half of my life is done and dusted and there I stood finding it difficult to move on.
One fact every human being must understand is that everything comes to an end, whether it is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, constructive or destructive. Nothing can stop time. Everything around is temporary. The most priceless thing on earth is inner peace and a sense of satisfaction of having done the right thing. I gave my mother a dignified end, and I’m so glad I was able to do so.
Goodbye, mum! I miss the mum I always thought I had in you. I hope you’ve finally found the peace you didn’t have on earth. God bless your soul!