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Six Word Memoirs
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Hate you. I hate you. Hate.

by JohnBigJohn on April 11, 2013   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

A year and a half ago I sat with my mom as she died slowly from a brain bleed. I watched as this very strong willed and proud woman melted like an ice cube as she withered away in a cold hospital.
One of the things that haunted me about watching her fade away from me over those seven weeks was witnessing her mind shut down a little bit more each day. She went from being a woman who spoke her mind very freely (often too freely if you ask me) into a frail bag of bones that rambled on and on because her brain was betraying her. She was getting words mixed up with one another and had become unable to say what she really meant. For example sometimes she would ask for slippers by saying something like "Flowers need ice" instead. Early on in her process of dying this was something that bothered her greatly. Nobody could understand her.
In the last week of her life I was particularly troubled as she stopped saying a variety of words and started just repeating a phrase over and over.
The phrase was "I hate you." She would just say it again and again until it joined the beeping machines as background noise that I grew accustomed to. Sometimes she would look at me in the eyes and say it with such conviction and other times she would just close her eyes and whisper it over and over as if it were a prayer.
A good chunk of my heart understood she didn't mean this. She was not in control and I knew that I shouldn't fall into the trap of believing she meant it. The problem is I'm weak and I of course fell right into wondering if this was what she really meant. My mom and I had a up and down relationship with many words left unsaid.
So for many days I sat by her bed listening to the same mantra and allowing my heart to break each and every time I heard it. I kept trying to respond as if she heard me. I was desperate for this not to be her final words to me.
"I hate you”
"No...you don't Mom"
"I hate you”
"Please don't say that. Say something else..."
"I hate you”
"That's not true”


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