I need to discuss this death that haunts me despite decades passing. My one question, is there blame?
It’s 1993, Spring. A man dies suddenly, unexpectedly, of a heart-attack. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father. His wife is devasted by his loss. She is left as a single-parent to their 9 year old daughter. She tries her best, but smokes more, drinks more, cries often. 21 months pass. There were trips to see family, a holiday to Wales. The mother and daughter often share a bed, the mother doesn’t like sleeping alone. It is January 1995. Things still hurt so much, every day is a struggle. Meals don’t always happen. Drinking does. The mother gets ill. She tells the daughter, now 10, that it’s flu. Meals stop happening. The daughter makes sandwiches, the mother doesn’t often eat them. She still drinks a lot. That’s normal by now. One morning the daughter gets up to go to school. The mother is lying by the side of her bed, like she tried to get into bed but failed. She awake, but won’t get up. The daughter goes to school, keeps up the pretense of a normal home life. The day passes. She returns home, lets herself in. The mother is in the same place as she when left, only she’s cold, doesn’t respond. The daughter goes to tell a neighbour. The mother is dead. The postmortem shows pneumonia. The mother hadn’t been to work for a week, didn’t call in sick. Work didn’t check. The mother hadn’t called the doctor at all. The daughter had left her mother that morning and didn’t go for help. The extended family knew the mother was depressed, and ill. They didn’t check in.
Is there blame here? The daughter was blamed by some members of our family. I don’t know. I see missed opportunities. Did they blame her to pardon themselves? Should she have asked someone for help earlier? Why didn’t she? Why did the mother have to die? It was self neglect, it could have been prevented.
Thank you for reading.
Gosh @Oceansdeep, that’s a tragic story. I honestly don’t have any answers for you but I just wanted you to know that someone has read your post. Sending hugs x
What a sad story.
The child is no way to blame, she is only ten, how can she realise the reality of what is going on around her.
This was nearly thirty years ago a very different world than today, when school would have picked up on what was happening at home, an employer would inquire why the mother was not at work.
If there was any blame it was probably from other family members not checking in on the family after the father died.
Easy to say I know.
Sending Hugs too x
Thank you. I’m the daughter FYI. I’d thought I was past it, that it wasn’t my fault. Then three years ago I discovered that my grandmother blamed me. The last time I saw her or my grandad was at mum’s funeral. They lived for years after. Now a colleagues suicide 6 months ago, and a friend losing her son to suicide recently has stirred it up a little. One day I’ll come out the other side…
It’s a sad story. I don’t believe anyone’s to blame.
The mother drinks. Consequently, the daughter gets used to seeing her mother under the influence.
The daughter could not watch over her Mum every second of the day. Extended family carried on with their lives, which is normal too.
The Mum drank, which might have affected her relationships with people. It’s not the Mums fault either. It’s just life.
People can pick up a virus/bacteria, which can kill them. Pneumonia can kill people in hospital quickly even when they have access to care.
Impossible, to say if it could have been avoided. Thinking about the ‘what if’s’ can drive one nuts.
I’m so sorry your grandmother blamed you, she was wrong.
My love goes out to you through this difficult period of time and the sadness of your friend and colleague.
We are all here for you and one day you will come out stronger.
Love Debbie X
People often blame other people, so that they don’t have to blame themselves.
It sounds like your grandmother felt guilty. Perhaps, she felt she could have done more.
I am so sorry, that you were blamed. I don’t believe any of you were to blame.
It’s just life and nature.
@Oceansdeep I did suspect that you are this lady’s daughter. Please get professional help, if that’s what’s needed because living with guilt is like a permanent milestone around your neck. I would go as far as to say the poor child ie you is living a life of trauma and sadness, when, in fact the whole situation is desperately tragic. I realise it’s human nature for others to perhaps find someone ( anyone) to blame, but the reality is that what happened was a tragedy. No blame. Just a tragic and possibly unexpected outcome to prior events. I now feel a bit self indulgent for wallowing in my own grief for my mum. I hope you find the peace of mind which you so rightly deserve. Take care xxx
I don’t know if there’s fault or blame but certainly it wasn’t your fault. You were only 10.
you were, and are, in no way to blame for any of it. Your mum God rest her soul would have said the same thing to you , you were a little girl ,a child ,an innocent , the gran may have been grief stricken when she said what she did and mentally unbalanced because of her grief of the loss of her child , please don’t ever give her or any other family members unfair and untrue words any credence and please don’t let any of this take away any more of your life , the one your mum wanted you to grow up to live and enjoy , remember you were just a young innocent child, I want to reach out and send you a huge virtual hug xx