Today is my first morning without my father. I can hardly get out of bed. I hardly woke up and I am already thinking about how to say to mother that we should not hire the cheaper mortician from next town, because it is complicated and conflict-prone to bring him to town, even if it is cheaper. I want to keep the family peace as much as I can, but I don’t want to create a conflict about the funeral. I am afraid that she is not going to understand the situation and my point, no matter how nicely, kindly, and calmly I try to say it.
My mother’s actions from the last days shocked me totally. I’ve never seen the dark side of her so clearly before. It terrifies me. She seems to be incapable to behave with empathy and discretion. She is unable to put herself in someone else’s shoes, she is unable to see herself and her situation from an outside perspective, she is unable to imagine and take others’ feelings into account. She has shown many signs of these before, and she has caused serious damages to me in my childhood as well, but I’ve never seen something like I did see in the last days.
I started recollecting the most bizarre moves of my mother from the last few days. The first was something I just understood days later, by asking my brother what really happened. It was the day when I woke up on a phone-call that my father was released from the hospital. After thinking about that, I didn’t want to believe that after all the efforts of more than a year, my father’s (female) doctor just released my father from my hospital a few days before his death, when he was unable to even walk. Because that was what my mother told me that morning that my father was practically expelled from the hospital. That was all I knew. What really happened was that the doctor came into the room in the morning and asked father and my brother, if they had wanted to take father home for his last days, because she could not help him get any better anymore. She asked them to think about that and tell her later about their wish. Then she left the room. That was all.
The next thing was that my brother told this to my mother, and she went out of her mind and started running wild. First she left the room and started complaining to the nurses and the hospital staff that the doctor expelled father out of the hospital, saying she was unable to help him anymore, so we had to take him somewhere else. All the nurses and the staff didn’t want to believe such a thing happening, especially in father’s condition. After that my mother practically broke into the doctor’s office to question her. The doctor wanted to talk about it later in the afternoon, but my mother didn’t accept that, so she gave my mother the options briefly: taking him home, taking him to a hospice service, or leaving him there in the hospital if we wanted to. My mother called me after that and told me that the doctor went crazy and wanted to send father away from the hospital, and interpreted it as a move to extort more money from us. This malice is really frightening to me, that my mother was able to interpret the whole situation this way, against all the facts and the evidences, assuming such a rotten move from the doctor who did so much in the last year to cure and save my father. And all this, just because my mother never really liked her.
Later that afternoon I talked to the doctor, and she spoke with the greatest respect, kindness, and empathy, and assured me that father could stay as long as we wanted it. And she refused to accept any more money from us.
The next thing was that my mother started complaining to me about how much she was hurt because of what father did to her, even in the last days. She told me that when her friend lost her husband a few years ago, she was given lots of kind and loving words from him, to take away. My mother expressed anger and disappointment about the fact that she had never received such things from father, and she couldn’t expect it any more, because my father was barely awake by then. She expressed to me other resentments as well. I could understand these feelings of hers to some degree, but I found it very outrageous that she felt these when father was lying in his death-bed and wasn’t able to communicate anymore. And she not only felt like this, but also had the courage to express them.
Saving Money on a Funeral
The next thing was just a few hours after my father’s death, when she started thinking and talking about the money that could be saved on the funeral by telling the local mortician that we want to arrange the funeral with a mortician from next village, because it was cheaper. We had a nice family house with a huge garden in the center of the town, we had three cars, including my BMW, and she would have been able to fight with the local mortician to save some money on our father’s funeral, who built all that we had. She blew my mind!
This morning all I was thinking about is how to explain her the situation, and how to ask her to just do the funeral with the local mortician, without any conflicts and fights. I knew this wasn’t a situation where I could compromise. My father’s memory, his legacy, his respect, and his honor was at stake for me. And I didn’t care about my mother’s peace of mind. This meant to me that I would solve this situation with force if needed, using any tools. I had to think about this the day after my father’s death. How sad could this make you daddy, if you had seen my thoughts…
So I got out of bed, went down to the living room and started telling him that saving a little money wasn’t worth to fight with the local mortician and let others laugh at us. She didn’t understand it, so I had to switch style. I told her that in this case we were going to do what I just told. She went absolutely crazy. She started crying and told me that father terrorized her all her life, and just one day after his death I took his role and do the same aggression to her. No kidding, it really happened. But I had no choice, I had to take and swallow all this, in order to provide a peaceful funeral for my father. So I swallowed, although it wasn’t easy. And then, step by step, one by one, I pushed everything I wanted through to my mother.
The Broken Idyll
It seemed to me that the magical change that happened in the relationship with my family during my father’s illness just disappeared. The idyll is over, and everything went back to the previous “normal”, which is actually very unhealthy and very abnormal. All of a sudden I’ve found myself closing and distancing myself from my family, and all I want is to be far away, anywhere but here in this depressing house…