When my mother passed away, we didn’t really talk about why. Everyone wanted to know, was she ill? How old was she? Was she in pain? These are questions people ask because it helps make sense of the nonsensical. And it gives people solace and something to talk about when there are no words. But these questions did not bring me solace. We told everyone she died of liver failure and lupus and a secondary infection. All of which was true but all of which fell far short of the whole truth. My mother was a recovering alcoholic who by slow and steady progression, one day was no longer in recovery. She was a diabetic who stopped testing her blood sugar. She was a sufferer of lupus who decided she didn’t want to live anymore and accelerated her own demise. It is hard to say these things because they sound like blame. I do not blame my mother because I do know that in the end, if she could have stayed, she would have. But I also know I spent two years watching her steadily digress not knowing what to do. I couldn’t step in. I couldn’t save her, not again. I do not blame her, but it does not mean I am not angry. I turned to Adult Children of Alcoholics for help. They are very irritating. I’m sorry if you are a fan, I am not. They ask lots of questions and offer no answers and they teach you to let go with love-which I did. And my mother died. And I can’t quite forgive myself for that. Nor will I ever forgive them. But all these things you cannot say when you lose someone you love, someone who meant so much to so many. You cannot say how they truly died, for it casts a dark shadow upon the deceased.
So here is the Eulogy which I never got to say; which has been in my heart now since before her passing, when I knew it was imminent and did not step in.
Mom, I miss you so very much. I am so sorry that I didn’t fight harder for you. I should have seen, I should have known and I should have helped. You were the light that shone over this family and now that you are gone I don’t know if we will stay together. I have failed you. But you failed us too. I can’t believe that you just gave up. I don’t understand how you could just give up on us like this. Weren’t we enough? Weren’t we enough to make you want to stay, to make you want to get better, to make you want to fight? And how could you leave, knowing that I would never be able to forgive myself for letting you go? I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know even how to be a whole person and I need your help. What do we do now? You always knew what to do. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. You were supposed to get better, like you always do. I love you.