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  • Writer's pictureDiana Fletcher

My Mom Died and I Am Happy

My mother died at the end of 2019 and I wrote this piece but never published it. This morning, I thought about the people who may be scared to say they are happy about someone passing. Scared to acknowledge the relief they feel.

This is for them.

In all of us is a flame, a light, a power. Diana Fletcher
A Flame of Hope and Happiness

My mom died and I am happy.

I could justify this statement by telling you facts such as this: She didn’t want to live anymore. She missed my dad. She wanted to go. She wasn’t in pain at the end and she died in her sleep. I could tell you statements such as these, which are all true, and make you think that I am happy for her.

I am not.

I am not happy for her at all.

I am happy for me and I am happy for my sisters.

I woke up the day after she died, and my very first thought was, she can’t hurt us anymore.

I have spent years, analyzing, crying, and despairing, heart filled with sorrow and grief. I have mourned what could have been, and written about how I wanted it to be.

I have done all that, and I wasted too many moments of my life on all of it. I can now let go of everything I don’t need. All of it.

My mom always made everything more difficult than it had to be. I have written about how I grew up and I don’t need to get that out anymore.

But for the last twenty years, around the time my father began to decline, she upped the pressure. It was too much. It was all too much.

She thwarted every one of our efforts to help, but insisted we help. I don’t even want to list all the ways she did this, because I am free.

I don’t have to think about any of this anymore. Neither do my sisters. We are free.

People who have good relationships with their parents will never understand what I am talking about here. Those of you who have never been caregivers may not get it.

I am happy for all the people who won’t understand this. I really am.

But some of you will understand. Some of you know what I am talking about when I say, I am so happy that she is gone.

I am writing this for those who do understand.

The hurt souls who need to know that there are other people who feel as you do. People who have been emotionally abused all their lives.

I want to tell you this: it is ok to be happy, it’s ok to want to be happy, and it’s ok to fight to be free, whatever that means for your situation. It’s ok to fight to be free of a negative force that makes you feel so much less than who you are.

You are so much more than you have been told. YOU ARE EVERYTHING! You deserve every single blessing you desire!

It took death for me to be free. I wish I could have been free sooner. I am now feeling a peace that I have never experienced before in my entire life. Seriously

Over my lifetime, I told my mom in letters and aloud how grateful I was for everything she had done for us. I treated her with compassion and respect even though she was driving me out of my fucking mind.

I tried to be positive for my children who experienced love from their grandma and had a different relationship with her than I did.

I did what I did so that I would have no regrets about my own behavior. And I don't. But I can't help but wonder, at what cost? Was it the right way to live?

The world has so much more space without her negative energy. My world is so much better.

I can love myself unconditionally and no one is alive or in my orbit now who can tell me I'm too much, or put me down with a quick cut under the guise of humor. There is no one to make me feel less than who I am.

Could I have felt this sooner? Would it have been better to cut her off years ago? Would I still feel this peace? I may have more answers over time.

But right now, life is so much better. It just is. I'm STILL happy she is gone.

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May 03, 2022

Good for you for setting boundaries. I wish I had done that, but it's over now. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings!


Mar 23, 2022

Diana, I definitely empathize with you. Mom is 86. Much of my early life was spent being abused by my father and then molested by family friends (two separate occasions). Where was my mother in all of this? Wasn't it her job to protect me and my siblings - HER CHILDREN? It was only last year (2021) at the ripe old age of 53 was I able to give myself permission to not be the dutiful son.

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