My beloved Mother passed away on 16th Feb. this year and with that, my purpose to live is gone.
We are three sisters, I am 41 and the youngest. Both sisters are married, have grown up children and are in the same city as ours. I never wanted a family, other than the one gifted by God. So I stayed unmarried to be with my parents all my life and to be of help to them.
My father passed away in 2007 and I was devastated. My mother supported me emotionally and since then my sole mission became to give her my care & company and all the comforts of life. She received pension. I worked online from home. So there was never any financial problem or problem of leaving her alone.
She had diabetes and BP problem, but with regular medicines, it was all in control. Even though Mummy was getting old, (she had just completed 77), she was wonderfully active (physically & mentally), for her age. She managed our little house, cooked food, was friends with neighbors, with whom she would sit daily in the garden and chit chat. She prayed regularly, had mostly good relatives. She could walk for miles, slowly and steadily & took active interest in life. We did outings in our city (going to gardens & malls etc.), and a few tours, within India and abroad. We both went to Europe and Russia in group tours and just last year we were in US for two months. The people we know, admired our spirit of life and would get inspired.
Life was just perfect. There were monthly visits to Govt. clinic for her medicines for diabetes & BP and occasional visits to hospitals when she had fracture or cataract & gall bladder surgeries. Then thrice we went to hospital emergencies pastmidnight, when she felt uneasy in chest. There doctors would find her BP high, put a drip, monitor her body vital signs and she would get better and be home. Last we went to hospital emergency in 2012. Her b’day had just begun.
This year. on 15th Feb., she felt uneasy like before. Being evening, this time I took her to a nurse in the neighborhood. She is an experienced nurse in cardiology department in a reputed hospital. She checked her BP, found it to be higher than normal, changed her medicine of acidity and told us to rest at night and if not feel better, then go to hospital next day.
Next day Mummy woke up late, felt better, carried on with her daily routine. Spent a happy time with her friends in the garden, walked on the grass to get better. When she came back home, she mentioned she was not feeling good. But she looked so much better than last night. So, I cooked food for her (after a long time, since it was always she who cooked food for us). She appreciated my cooking, again said she did not feel good and went for afternoon nap. Again she talked and laughed with me before dozing off.
At 5.30 pm she asked me if I was making tea. Then she left the bed, came to the sofa and collapsed right in front of me. Within 30 sec. she took a long breath and stared at the roof and then went unconscious. I panicked, called the next door nurse again, she did CPR nothing happened. All my neighbors took her to hospital within 20 minutes, but there she was declared dead, reason being Cardiac Arrest.
Now, this is killing me. Why didn’t I take her to hospital like before, instead of going to next door nurse? Why did I take a chance? She could have been easily saved in the hospital, like 3 times earlier. People tell me it was destiny. I say, whenever we went to hospitals, she survived. This time we didn’t go, she did not survive. So, I am to be blamed. Why did I blindly trusted the nurse and took a chance with my beloved mother’s life?
Why didn’t I go to hospital? At the most they would have said, she was fine. Now, I read that cardiac arrest can be prevented, if symptoms are recognized and one reaches the hospital in time. Here we had the full day, yet we didn’t go to hospital.
People tell me that my mother had a good life, because of me. I gave her support, company and comforts of the life. But then I add, I gave her death too. People say, that she had a fulfilling life and a peaceful & instant death. But that does not console me. I feel like a murderer. She trusted me for her life, for her health and I betrayed her. She was so dependent on me. She used to go wherever I asked her to go with me. Had I mentioned hospital, she would have gone there too. But I didn’t say it.
She does appear in my dreams. And mostly in dreams, we are in the hospital and she is recovering and getting discharged in good health. This could have been a reality. She wanted to live for me. I wanted her to live. We were having a fantastic, carefree life, the best phase of my life. But because of my foolishness, I lost the most precious person of my life, for whom I claimed, I was living.
She was my Mother, friend & companion. We had such a strong bond, we talked and shared everything. It is said God helps those, who help themselves. I did nothing that day and so even God did not help me. It was so easy to save her. I let her go too easily. I did not struggle for her life. She was unfortunate to have an insensitive daughter like me on the last day, who did not get alarmed even though she was not well. We both got so relaxed after seeing the nurse’s calm reaction that we became confident it was a minor health problem that was curable at home. Otherwise, we felt, the nurse would have definitely sent us to hospital at night itself.
I still don’t feel normal even though people say it is high time. But I always found her by me since I was born. We were together even now. I know we all have to go one day. But to lose my precious Mother due to silly mistake is killing me. Her health and age were such that, she could have easily lived for at least 10 years or more. We were at the peak of happiness until 15th Feb. Within 24 hours our lives became miserable.
My mother had such a long beautiful life. And it came to an abrupt end, due to my foolishness. She was such a beautiful soul with sweet voice. I miss her tremendously. We had so many plans for this year and the forthcoming ones. Even my soft spoken mother was very happy with her present life and I feel her right to live has been taken away. She didn’t deserve to pass away like this, without medical treatment in this modern age. She was so permanent in my life. There was so much more to do with her.
Sorry for writing such a detailed note but I feel responsible for her death. I feel restless. I am still in denial.
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Dear C., The first thing I would suggest, having lost my own mom and knowing how that felt, is that you see clearly that you chose the path you have taken in your life. There is only one way it could end…in loss…because we are all on this planet temporarily…like the plants and animals. Your parents were lucky to have you, However, the day that you would find yourself alone and without purpose had to come.
Guilt, in retrospect, about not having done something you wish now that you had done, is also a choice. You did your best. What you didn’t have available was perfection or a way for foresee the future. Guilt is often part of self-pity…be careful that you don’t get stuck there.
You are still experiencing the gift of life that your parents gave to you willingly and with love. It is, again, a choice to honor or to not to honor that. You have the option of finding out who you are beyond a loving daughter and what this wonderful world still has in store for you, if you’re willing. You are only ‘nothing’ is you choose that identity.
It takes time to change course and move on. And it’s tricky sometimes to know when to start and how to do that. Since life is a gift, it is always an adventure. What kind of an adventure, is up to you.