My sister-in-law lost her mother yesterday. She knew it was coming, but you can never be completely prepared to let go. My heart is breaking for her on so many levels right now and it is almost unbearable for me to know her heart is suffering such a tremendous loss. This is breaking me in unexpected ways and I cannot imagine how deep her pain... the weeks (years) ahead of learning to cope and say good-bye. Some of my own suppressed emotions have bubbled to the surface over the past couple of weeks and I am trying hard to keep some pretty rotten thoughts and feelings at bay. As I grieve with and for SIL, I'm also being extremely selfish and making things (internally) about me.
We were told a little over two weeks ago that SIL's mom would be passing soon as she had made the decision to go off of dialysis. It was about this time that I started thinking about my father and his failing health. My dad is not a good man. He's not a horrible monster by any means, but he really doesn't contribute anything substantial to anything in his life or that of anyone else. It doesn't seem fair that my SIL has lost her beloved mom while my dad, who won't really be missed by anyone, lingers on... frustrating everyone, feeling sorry for himself, mooching off society, torturing the various medical personnel that care for him. So my heart is not only breaking for SIL, but it is also heavy with the guilt of thinking, "Why couldn't it have been him?"
My mom is coming home for the funeral Friday. If apathetic describes my feelings towards my father, then, I would have to define my current feelings towards my mom as all out disdain. I am beyond angry that SIL lost one of the most important relationships she will ever have, that her mother's passing is such a grievous loss, and that I will never understand what exactly that feels like. I'm angry that my mother is incapable of being a comforting maternal figure for SIL to help her though this time. Mom will simply show up, fulfill her obligations, then head back to Florida until work starts again in 5 weeks to supply her with an excuse for being too busy for us all.
Somehow, in all of this, I am grieving... and raging. Grieving for SIL and her family. Grieving for the relationships I never had with my own parents. Raging over the unfairness of it all. Wishing that I could switch places with SIL and take her hurt away. Raging that it just wouldn't matter to me. How profoundly screwed up is that? I want to look my mother in the eyes and say, "You know I will never grieve for you this way. You never took the time to be anything that I would miss." I want to hurt her, leave her as empty as she has left me. I never will, though... she doesn't care enough to ever feel anything.