Note: This posting is something I worked on several times shortly after my mother died as a kind of conclusion, but I was never able to complete it. I never liked the idea of having a final post, so I suppose that's why I had so much trouble with it. As we are approaching the anniversary of her death, I am now posting it as is, along with one of my favorite pictures of my mom from September 2005, before she restarted chemotherapy.
July 23, 2006
This may be my final posting on TuesdaysWithMary. At least, that's the plan. My mother passed away two and a half weeks ago and I've been stalling writing some kind of conclusion. There have been some tough days in the last couple of weeks. More than I would have expected. I know that there is a normal "grieving process" that you have to go through but knowing it and experiencing it are quite different.
I've had dreams where my mother was still alive, in her late stages of fighting cancer. That's quite haunting. And then there's just the normal thoughts that occur when I think about things she would like or something I would have told her. And sometimes there's emotional ups and downs that come out, seemingly for no reason.
Despite all the difficulties we've gone through in the last nine months, it has made us closer as a family. That can't be a bad thing. I'm glad I was able to spend time with my mother and grateful that I had flexibility in my job to be able to get to Florida so many times in the last year.
About a week before my mother passed away, I asked her if she had any regrets. She answered simply: "Sure." But she wasn't one to elaborate on negative thoughts. I have some regrets also, but they are pretty minor. I wish we had all gotten together at Christmas last year. But I don't think my mother minded, so I guess I shouldn't either. There will always be things I will miss about her. What would my mother think about this or that.
My father told me that if he had to do it all over again he might not have had my mother go through all the chemotherapy she did in recent months. Once the chemo stopped working, all she got out of it was the side-effects that weakened her and made her ill. But you always want to give something like that a chance, just in case. And there's no doubt that the chemo she had in earlier on extended her life by several years. So I don't know if anyone could decide differently under the same circumstances. Still, it's something for families to think about.