Today marks five months without my Dad. In general, I've come a long way, but my latest battle is regarding my Mom. She is lost in her own grief, in a very angry, distant and anxious place. I'm unable to grieve around her. She can't see past where she is most of the time.
We had very different relationships with the same man. He moved out to try and "protect his sobriety" because things were so hostile at home. Years upon years of emotional abuse mixed with love and an addiction that took control in the last 4 years. Dark times I was not home to experience. But he's gone. And her anger towards him is turned on everyone else around her. Or she is so anxiously moving from one task to the next to even stop and play with her grandchildren.
I'm torn. I am part compassionate, patient and understanding. Of course she is all these things! Everyone grieves differently. Show her nothing but love and kindness despite how she acts. If I could do these things for my Dad in the midst of his rehabilitation, then I have to do this for my Mom during her grief. It takes a LOT of energy for me to be this person.
I am also sad that I have to face my own grief without my Mom to worry about me and love me as only my mother can. My disappointment is followed closely by anger that she won't get help for herself either. I see this potential future where my Mom is a bitter version of her old self. I lost my father to depression and addiction that he was very actively trying to heal. Could I lose my mom to another version of depression and grief that she just lets consume her? I'm working very hard to get through this, mostly for my little ones. Why won't she take care of herself for our sake?
A fellow survivor on the forum has advised me that when suicide hits, family members may not be able to count on each other for support--we are all too broken. It reminds me of when women have babies and then comment to their friends, "No one told me it was going to hurt so much!" Of course it hurts, but sometimes we withhold information because there is such a thing as saturation and wanting to protect. This forum has been a literal life-line for so many, especially new survivors like me.
This post originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum and was reprinted with the permission of the author.