I don’t want to be a bad person, but I don’t want to confuse the universe. It’s hard to keep the messages clear. Let her go, but not because I am heartless, but because she is not happy or living really. Okay, maybe a little bit because she tortured me. She was my sadist, nightmarishly focused on reaching down my throat and grabbing the very voice within me, so at last she would know who she was…
Year after year they tell me it’s end stage. Dementia: the slowest path to death known to man. She’s lost everything, not even a scrap of self left. In the end of her life so it was throughout – blocking herself from love and then yelling as if it’s our fault. She swears like a sailor. Even with her eyes closed. Not a recognition or response in sight.
Every case management meeting I have to re review the advanced directives. How much clearer do you want me to be? No intubation. No ER. No food. No IV fluids. No antibiotics. Yes morphine, a double dose, and hit me with it too, would you? I got pain that needs easing. Even though I am deciding again and again on care and comfort, it can’t be hidden. I am the gracious murderer, not curing, but ending. My personal Passover – a future freedom discovered. Her personal Easter – a historic capture ended.
I know they judge me harshly, the sing-song, nursing home aides from Haiti. For my own sanity I don’t go visit for a few weeks. What? You question me? After over twenty years of managing her life, being her only care taker, I can’t have a break every once in a while? There is no one else to step in. I have nothing but this pretty-much-already-gone-mother who tried to end herself so many times, and messed it up. So now it’s me here waiting. I mean, this could have been taken care of years ago.
“You will regret not working things through with her when she dies,” people have told me. Maybe. When she goes (or if) will I cry? Like maybe it’s going to creep up on me out of nowhere. I am not sure.
But where will I put her? These ashes of a life spent loving through hating. Where do these things belong? Back to the earth seems unrighteous somehow – future generations and all.
©Gabriella Strecker, 2016
image courtesy of https://www.behance.net/gallery/11360693/LIMINAL-SPACES