Saying Goodbye to Mom

It’s hard to say goodbye to someone who has passed, especially when your ‘hellos’ were cut short before the end.

I miss my mom. She passed a year ago yesterday. We weren’t close. As much as I love her I had to come to terms with her mental illness and how it impacts her relationships -which included her relationship with me. Things were black and white with her….either you were with her or against her….either you were all good or all evil. There was not in between. That’s the hallmark of borderline personality disorder. She was also delusional. Mom thought she shot JFK -she was 9 when that happened. Mom thought she could communicate with Jim Carrey, psychically. She told me she had powers that she could not explain to me just yet, but that one day she would tell me. And no, she wasn’t a witch. She was just ill.

I have to remind myself that my mother was ill when I was little in order to help me understand her all or nothing behavior. I have to remind myself she was ill when I have to reckon with how she worked so hard to make me feel small, crazy and inadequate one moment, then told me she loved me the next. As an adult she told me I was the perfect daughter …until I wouldn’t unfriend my own brother -her son- on Facebook. I guess he was being a jerk. I don’t know. But I told her no, I would not unfriend me, and she wasn’t to tell me what to do.

That was the end.

Mom cut communication after that, but this wasn’t the first time. We once didn’t talk for 7 years, and not because I didn’t try. She didn’t want to because I called her out on her emotional abuse. Still, I sent her cards every year for her birthday and Christmas. Eventually that ended and we resolved our issues by ignoring that one in its entirety. Then it happened again, only this time I chose to not pursue. When her birthday came around I told myself “No. It will do no good. Do not torture yourself. Let her go”. That was September 26th.

She died October 11th.

Does it hurt that I didn’t get to say goodbye to mom? Yes. So today, on this rainy day, I sit and ruminate. I think of her and miss the good that she was, because very few of us are completely terrible. Most of us are a cluster of black and white, with varying shades of gray within us.

I love you mom. You will forever be a part of who I am.

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