Sunday, April 27, 2014
It Is Done
As of yesterday, my mom and her two dogs became a part of one of the state parks in Iowa, scattered near a lake with a pretty view and lots of wild animals to be with them. This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life, and even though I was there with family, I think it was the most alone I've ever felt for some reason.
I already knew what cremated cat remains look like. I figured that human remains must look similar (they do). But the feeling upon seeing my mother's remains in a plastic bag, inside a plastic container, inside a what looked like a gift bag, hit me hard. To hold that bag in my hands (my father released the first third, my sister couldn't release Mom, so she released the dogs, and I released the rest of Mom), knowing this was the last time I'd ever be able to touch her, was guttural and it broke my heart. I cried like a baby all over again, because this made the pain start all over again, like it was the last time I saw her alive, or the last time I talked to her, or the day she passed away. I didn't want to let her go again. I couldn't even speak while I was doing it.
What made it all the harder was the leaving. We made it into a picnic, so that my sister's daughter could be a part of it. She's only four, so her dad took her over to the lake while me, my sister and my father released Mom and the dogs. When that part was over, we had a little picnic lunch, flew a kite, kicked a ball around, that kind of stuff. Eden just knows that Nanna went to live with the angels last year, but she still talks to her on the phone. :)
But when it was done, yes, we left. I felt so much guilt as we drove away. I was leaving them behind, even though it was what my mom told us she wanted. What compounded my guilt was the fact that this area had a raging thunderstorm that same night and the bad weather continues into today. I left her outside, unprotected, in the rain and thunder and lightening. Even if the tables were turned: I was the one who had passed and she was left behind, would she had been able to leave me out there in the woods like that, even if it was what I wanted?
I've got a lot of "what if's" running through my head right now. What it boils down to is this: why do I feel guilty for this send off of my mom's life, even though it was all what she wanted? Why do I feel like we should have done more?