After a life altering experience like watching your child suffer then die, watching the ones you love the most suffer as well. Your mind goes to such difficult places to try and understand. The “what is life”? question. Is it just a struggle? Of course there are things to be grateful for, to “love” but in the end are we all just struggling to achieve something different? Something “better” or maybe just something more? There must be something more to life.
I haven’t spoken of her, or this. She died too in 2012, the same year my Lily did. Two weeks before I think… I couldn’t grieve for her at the time because I had a baby in the hospital that I was consumed with. All my energy was taken. I am talking of My Nana Milly – Mildred Matilda. My Dads mom, died early February or Late January 2012 I don’t know the exact date no one does I think, she lived alone with not many –if any- visitors- My grandfather, Robert William Matilda died in 1995- I remember watching my dad struggle, he fell hard and fast after that, I am not sure he has ever recovered, although Grandpa died the same year my parents divorced so perhaps it wasn’t all grief that had him disappear into himself. Anyway she lived alone since Grandpa died and she died alone. I didn’t grieve for her, I do think of her however, I wish I could have been normal enough to have organized or participated in honouring or remembering her life or at the very least seeing her one last time to say goodbye.
Her children, there are nine, some are indifferent, some not. Spread out; not a close family. My dad was one of three (of nine!) that visited, brought her food. She lived on a very fixed income of less than 600$ a month with most going to rent. Can you blame the others though for wanting nothing to do with their mother? They were raised in poverty in the East end by what some would call alcoholic parents that left them to fend for themselves most of the time. I don’t know if you can blame her children for abandoning her as I’m sure they felt abandoned. I’m sure they have many resentments as well as bad memories of their struggle of a childhood. I’m sure she was as we all are selfish at times but I have no doubt that she must have loved her children even if she didn’t know how to show it, or didn’t have the means to provide for them properly.
The last time I saw her was when I was pregnant with my second and my oldest was two- that was four years before she died.
Milly was 89 when she died, she took the bus or walked every day. She used to travel to the flea market to sell her blankets that she’d knit. I used to love curling up in her blankets as a child. I am still amazed at the size they were. They must have taken some time making. I still have two- though my dogs sleep on them now at least they are not shoved away in a closet or under the stairs. She must have had a hard life. I feel sadness not for her death but heartache for what was her life, her struggle. I hope she is finally at peace with grandpa somewhere or at least wherever she was happiest I hope she is there now.
In fact, I hope in death her struggle has finally ended.