Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rest in Peace

Ok - struggle du jour: My mother in law passed away this morning. In the 12 years since I've been with her son, she and I were never close because she was absolutely certifiably crazy, a hypochondriac, conspiracy theorizing whacked-out narcissistic nutjob a la mode (and believe me, I know crazy - I've earned multiple degrees in crazy and have another in the works). She was also nearing 80 and had multiple untended health issues due to her long-standing suspicion of the medical profession and refusal to leave her home. She was one of the most difficult people I've ever known to be around, much less make even the minutest effort to get along with. Most of my conversations with her went something like this, "Uh huh...really...hmmm....You know, I never thought about it that way...That's one way to look at it," et cetera while she nattered on about whatever came into her head.

While I can empathize with my spouse and his family in their grief because you're never too old to need your mama, no matter how crazy, abusive or whatever, I don't feel sad that she is dead, but consider her passing to be a blessing on a number of levels. She was old and worn out and truly is better off - out of pain, not tormented by her own paranoias, no longer ill and so forth. Interestingly, I don't feel guilty about my lack of emotional response, but am puzzled by it since it is so atypical, even for me, the queen of atypical.

The coming weeks and months should be more fun than a large ovoid wooden container of primates, given that she died with only a handwritten will (she didn't trust lawyers either). I can hardly wait.


Flumadiddle said...

For what it's worth, I don't think you should feel guilty about your lack of emotional response. I think people make death this sacred event that is supposed to wipe out how a person was when they were living. As though, by dying, they suddenly changed who they were. If you had no affection for this woman when she was living, I don't think anyone should expect you to have any for her now that she's gone.

Of course, there's always the chance that I'm a total moron.

drsharna said...

Thank you for that. I love it when other people think with my brain. There's always the chance that I'm a total moron too, despite what the people who gave me that Mensa card said.