My mother’s death

 

Last night, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. She was 102, and had been increasingly deaf, blind, bedridden, incontinent and confused for the last few years.  

On hearing the news early this morning, my initial reaction was one of relief that she isn’t suffering any more, though it’s too early to tell what feelings I might have in the longer term about her. I’ve spent many years in therapy working on the consequences of her behaviour towards me, so hopefully that will now help me to cope with her death.

My mother was a complicated, intelligent, energetic and demanding woman. She was very controlling, dominating, angry, frustrated, and emotionally abusive. Throughout, and beyond, my childhood, her unpredictable, explosive rages were utterly terrifying. During these uncontrolled episodes she was verbally aggressive towards those present, and could be could be violent and destructive towards objects nearby.

She was also a very selfish, manipulative and egotistical woman. Despite the efforts I made as an adult to talk to her about her behaviour, and the ways in which it has affected me, she always minimised it, never acknowledging, or apologising for, all the damage she caused.

Recently, I’ve been trying to forget the bad things she did, and to remember instead the good things about my childhood. However, the positives are so few, so undependable, and so short-lived, that I quickly gave up the effort, which felt artificial and unhelpful. 

Well, none of us is perfect. We all have many faults, including me. Fortunately, I started working hard to forgive my mother several years ago, and have continued to pray for her, and try to forgive her, every day. 

Some months ago, I spoke to her privately for the last time about her behaviour, its effects, and my forgiveness. However, by then, she was incapable of replying. I’m glad, though, that I was able to be completely honest with her, after a lifetime of anxiety, fear, dread, panic attacks, depression and physical illness caused by her abuse. May she rest in peace, at last.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

7 thoughts on “My mother’s death

  • I have just flund this Ruth. I have no words. May she rest in peace, and may you live your life in peace now. My mother is exactly the same. Xx

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    • Or sure if I’m seeing your messages in the right order, but I’m so delighted that this writing chimes with you. That’s my aim. I’m undeniably relieved that my mother is on longer on the earth, though this is a very sad thing to have to say. After years of working to forgive her, and to develop healthier boundaries and barriers with her, I now pray that God will burn up all the bad in her, and absorb whatever is good back into his own wonderful Being. Peace for you has to be our priority from now on! XXXXXX

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      • What a story. My mother is exactly the same. I have always had conflict about it all. Never had therapy but worked it out with God. I forgive her. All the time. She could die any time and refuses to see that she did any wrong even though she beat me for being pregnant AFTER marriage so was not an unmarried mother which could have fuelled her even more. I never had children because of her. Longvstory. But yes, for the last few months or weeks of her life I would like peace. I am too sick now to deal with her. Mothers Day on Sunday will hurt like anything. My brother will be with her and may take her out if she is well enough. He is the Go,den Boy. She is a malignant narcissist. I have a sister too. I don’t know what I will feel when she dies. Strangely, I love her. But yes, I would like peace now. She never accepted I was ill when I was diagnosed with cancer. Xxxx

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      • Ah, how strongly all you said reverberated for me. So many similarities, and I’m so sorry you have all this to deal with. Cutting to the heart0f the matter, “malignant nacissist” is a very fine chacterisation of these very difficult and damaging women to have in our lives. I’ve had loads of therapy, and a best in maintenance antidepressants. I could say so much, but I think the main thing right now is that we share so much. You can take it as read that I fully understand all you say., because I have shared so much of it XXXXXXX

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    • Thinking of you, and just trying to find your earlier messages, which I glimpsed, but wasn’t able to return to at the time. They are somehow arriving in a channel of excommunication I haven seen before, so please forgive the unintentional gaps XXXX

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