Magnolias for Isobel
Isobel, who lives in London and writes her blog Isobelandcat, just experienced the death of her mother. It is so hard losing a mother – even when she has lived a very long and full life or when it is a blessing because of disease.
My mother died about 5 years ago after a long, slow, painful bout of pancreatic cancer. Over months I watched her waste away. She lived in Florida and I lived in Michigan so I couldn’t see her often. I went a few times during the summer when I didn’t have to teach. But with my fibromyalgia I couldn’t go often enough or stay long enough – the travel and the stress took its toll on my body. When I would leave their house for the airport, when I was alone in the car, I would sob.
She died in March when I had a teaching load. I wanted to be with her, I wanted to stroke her face, hold her hand, whisper loving things in her ear. I was so thankful her husband loved her and was lovingly caring for her with the help of Hospice but I also resented him. He was doing what I wanted to do.
I wanted to be with her but no one could predict when she would die. I couldn’t take a lot of time off because someone else would have had to cover my classes. They said it could be a few day and it could be longer – and then the funeral. Her husband and his family said it was better that I wasn’t there at the end – but my mother and I knew each other from before I was born. I had a right to be there. I should have been there. I still miss her, but I haven’t been able to get over the deep regret that I wasn’t able to nurture her as she left this life. I think she would have liked me to be there.
Isobel wrote about her experience as she watched her mother slip away over months, weeks, days, hours. She shared her journey with a style of writing that is elegant, honest, and graceful. I understood her journey because I had very similar feelings, very similar needs. She was able to love her mother out of this life and into what her mother’s faith assured her would be a better eternity.
Emotionally I walked with Isobel. I think reading about her experience, how she was doing what I had wanted to do for my mother, helped me to vicariously nurture my mother in her time of dying. I am feeling some peace – and I know what I need to do to heal this wound. I do that kind of healing when I am alone.
Thank you, Isobel, for being honest and for sharing your journey so beautifully. You are one classy lady and I am very glad I have had the pleasure of your company as we have gotten to know each other through our blogging. These flowers are for you in your time of grief and to honor your mother’s life.
If you would like to read about Isobel’s journey, you can click here. I’m feeling a little uneasy posting this link but blogs are, of course, public. Even so, my urge is to ask you to please be respectful – isn’t blogging a strange experience.