- May 12th, 2012
I cannot express how sorry I am that we didn't finish on good terms. It is one of my biggest regrets in the world - not having a good relationship with you for the majority of the life we had together. When I received that phone call on Thursday morning, in the back of a cab on the way to Hartlepool hospital for a psychiatric conference, I instantly broke down into tears. I hated myself for not being there with you, whilst you lay alone in that hospital bed. Sectioned from the rest of the ward, with nurses reluctant to enter your negative pressure room. You must have felt so alone.
I cannot even imagine what thoughts must have been going through your head. Faced with inevitable death from a disease, the cancer, that you fought for years. Those years where I neglected to realise how much it affected you, how it drained you, how it ate away at you. It wasn't until you were hospitalised with a naso-gastric feeding tube, unable to stomach food, emaciated and in crippling pain that I began to realise that you were dying. Even then I refused to come to terms with how sick you were, I found it so difficult to spend time with you then. Whether it was the encephalopathy, the medication, spread of tuberculosis or metastasis of the tumour, you began to lose your mind. Hallucinating, accusing me of stealing... even forgetting who I was. It pained me to see you that way, and I hate myself for not spending every second I could with you then.
You won't be there to meet Michael, the man I am madly in love with and who I am going to be living with in the next few months. I realised you wouldn't be there to see me learn to drive, buying my first car, becoming a doctor, buying my first house, my wedding day, the birth of my children. I really wish you could be there for these things, I will never have the ability to ask my mother for advice again. There's been so many times in this past year when I've just wished that I could speak to you and ask you to tell me what to do. I've felt so lost without you. Then again I won't be there for you, I won't be able to run errands for you, visit the supermarket and buy you groceries. You won't be able to visit for lunch, we won't be going out for coffees in town and shopping, I won't be able to give you the joy of grandchildren. You have no idea how much that hurts.
Although we often clashed heads, you raised me to be strong and independent. This may have actually contributed to our arguments! Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today and I cannot thank you enough for that. You've taught me the value of money, the importance of business, how to work efficiently, the importance of a clean home, the benefits of organisation. Everything I do in life now, from how I wash up to how I wrap presents has been influenced by you. I just wish you could be here now to guide me in this stage of my life. Houses, rent, bills, hell even a little relationship advice wouldn't go amiss. I know you tried to protect me from everything you could, keep me a child for as long as possible. I've just reached that point in my life where sometimes all I need is a phone call to my Mum to ask her what to do. I can't do that anymore. I tried so hard to make out that I'm strong, but in reality I didn't want to admit how much you meant to me, how much I valued what you said and what you thought. There are days where I feel so alone without you.
I'm still a child. Everything you worked so hard has fallen apart. It broke me, it really did. I couldn't maintain the house and it was destroyed. The mortgage, life insurance, estate... nothing followed plan. I know that you would have planned to the letter, had you been in the right state of mind, and none of this would have happened if you were here. Things would get done, sorted. Instead I continue to bury my head in the sand and hope that it all goes away. I wish I knew what to do, I wish I had a few more years with you so you could share your wisdom on these matters.
If I could do it all again, I would have done so many things differently. I wouldn't have said half the things I said, do half the things I did. If I knew how it would feel to live with the regret, I would have been there for you. I wish we could have spent time together as mother and daughter, instead we co-existed with one another in the same house. I wish I could have helped you come to terms with your cancer, and have become involved in your medical care and planning for the future. I feel as though I was left in the dark most of the time, I know it's because you wanted to protect me, but I feel so lost now.
I was awful to you. You were awful to me. Our bitter relationship left us both in our rooms crying about what the other had said or done. No family should be that way. I just want you to know that I loved you. I still love you, and although I never wanted to admit it, I respect you. You did so well for yourself after coming to this country. Flying over with borrowed money, working at McDonalds only to become a business tycoon with two businesses and several houses both here and abroad. Everything you did was out of love for me, regardless of whether you displayed emotions.
I don't know what I'm hoping to achieve with this. What I've written is just an accumulation of thoughts and feelings since your death; things that I wish I had told you or things I wish I could tell you now. I love you so much, I hope you're happy and at peace. May you be reincarnated into an easy, tranquil life.
- Your loving daughter.