“What do you do with painted images etched into a mind of a loved one’s last days?
You find another loved one or friend, or trusted professional and ask them just to listen to you as you express your emotions…
You can write about it as your therapy in a space that may serve others to give themselves permission to feel.
Here, in this space, I mourn the loss of my mother, but even more so, I mourn her gut wrenching circumstances which she endured in the last 7 months of her life. I validate her fear, her pain, and finally, her decision to not fight to live…without judgment and in a loving space.
We can never truly comprehend what another is feeling and experiencing. We can empathize, we can tell them what we think they “should do,” (I hate this phrase), we can tell them what we “think” we would do if faced with the same circumstances. In the end, we must accept whatever their decision is knowing that they have made this decision as one that is best for them using the coping skills and life strategies with which they have relied upon throughout their life to “survive.”
However difficult to accept a loved one’s decision to leave us even when it is unnecessary, we must recognize that this is where they stand in their power.
A final “life” decision. It is their right.
So, today, on Yom Kippur, as I mourn the loss of my mother and memorialize her life…
I find empathy and deep compassion for her decision. I may not agree or understand, but it is not my journey, nor am I qualified to judge what another does with their own life.
It took me months to arrive here, to understand my mother’s actions, and to forgive her for her choice to “end her life of pain,” as was her physician’s words, and to leave us.
There are no truer words than “we can only control our own actions,” and “forgiveness is freedom.” Today, I offer myself the gift of peace. It will not be a linear journey, but I am prepared with the tools I will need to navigate this path.
Always and forever mom.”