I had a panic attack earlier. I suddenly realized, looking around the room at my grandmothers furniture, that maybe I never properly mourned her death. She was sick, on hospice, so it was no surprise. She was also 92-years-old and had lived a full life. I was with her when she passed, I went through her stuff, I quietly moved into her room. But did I ever really cry over her. Did I ever really feel the loss. Sure, there are times when I wish she was around to answer a question, and I miss her, but did I really move through all of the steps of grief and loss? Did I ever really mourn her death and accept it. I don’t know. Now my mom is gone too. The two women I went to with questions and problems are both permanently out of my life.

I hyperventilated so badly I nearly passed out. Every look at my furniture, which was hers, and knowing that some of her stuff is still in drawers, made it worse. Add on top of that the thoughts of my mother and I was a damn mess.

The truth is, my mother was alone when she died. She was in a nursing home where she wasn’t happy, and nobody she loved was with her when the time came. I blame myself for this. I hate myself for letting her die alone. I could have brought her home sooner, but I thought she was getting the care that she needed.

The truth is, I was afraid to bring her home. I wasn’t confident I could care for her. I didn’t know if I could change diapers and shift her in bed like she would need. Would I be able to get her in and out of bed for meals? I was scared. She was my mother and I SHOULD had done all of this with no question as to whether or not I could. I just should have. I should have contacted her doctor sooner about getting her on hospice care where she might not have to quit dialysis. She had other problems that would have qualified her I’m sure, but I didn’t do what I should have. I thought she would be ok. Honestly, I was trying to get her approved for medicaid so she could stay in that god forsaken nursing home longer while she healed and got physical rehab so she could come home strong. I should have known she wouldn’t make it. I should have known when I saw her that day and she told me she was tired that something wasn’t right. I just feel like I should have known. It shouldn’t have been such a shock.

That’s the tattoo I got in memory of my mom. Its on my right shoulder/chest. I got it done Friday evening, so its still a little sore and swollen. That picture was taken as soon as it was done. I really love it and am doing everything I can to protect it and take care of it. It means more to me than any of my other tattoos, all of which came with a lot of thought. I’m not new to tattoos, and I know all of the stigma’s and whatnot that come with them. I’m glad I got this. My mom accepted me as I am, tattoos and all, so I don’t think she’d mind. In her way, she’d be flattered.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to make sense of everything. Maybe I’ll be able to accept my part in her death, but for now I hold myself responsible for her being alone. I just can’t shake the feeling that I should have gone back to see her, or have known something was wrong.

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