Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ours Alone To Share

It comes up now and again.

I generally haven't written much of a very personal nature lately, because it's hard. The internets are judgmental. I want to share my stories because "putting it out there" makes sense to me.

The argument goes: you can write whatever you want on your blog. But by making it public, you are subjecting yourself to the opinion of others.

Generally, I have found that opinion to be good. But sometimes it's not. Sometimes, it's really quite awful and harsh. As follows:


Anonymous said...

You left your mom when she was in hospice? And you think you are an example of a "loving daughter?"

My mother had brain cancer and I never left her side even when she went into hospice. I moved from the Bay Area to Ohio after 25 years to be with her and take care of her.

Your post sickens me. You ran out on the last days of your mother's life, and you think a lotion bottle makes it good and erases your guilt? Shame on you. Just another self-centered person thinking of herself.

11:19 AM, February 19, 2008


I assume that most people who stop by and read here know that no entry can be the full story. These are all just snippets. I share what I can, but the depth and complexity of my life and my relationships does not lend itself to a couple blog entries.

Does yours? Does anyone's?

It would take me hundreds of pages to describe the six weeks of my mother's tenure in hospice. To even scratch the surface of my relationship with her. To try in any way to capture what it was really like.

Anonymous 11:19, I cannot know the relationship you had with your mother, or what all informed your decision to move and be the model of a loving daughter. Just as you cannot know what informed my apparent failure to do so.

You are quite clearly a far better person than I am. I will merely take some solace in having provided a platform for you to illustrate your comparative goodness: you're welcome. Your comment otherwise had its intended effect. I hope that you and your self-righteousness are satisfied.

60 comments:

  1. well responded. Some people feel that their decisions aren't validated unless they put down the decisions of others. I appreciated the previous post, and the insight into a real person's tough decisions, guilt and memory.

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  2. Seriously. If you have the nerve to have and publish such an opinion as 'anonymous' did, at least have the balls to not do it anonymously.

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  3. I know that as a writer, and as a blogger, you put yourself on the line and expose yourself to, well, everything. I'm sure it's hard to not take some of the feedback you receive personnally. But death, grief, the deep longing we have for those close to us who have left us... those are all VERY personnal. We each have our own way of coping. When my dear grandfather was in hospice, I stayed with him until it was nearly the end. When I saw it coming, I left and went home. I decided I couldn't be there, and that I didn't want my last memory of him to be his passing. I chose that, and my family supported me. I never once felt judged, and I am afraid that if I had've, I would not have been able to handle it.

    All this to say, well said, K. You did what you had to do and it was the way it was, and it hurt (and still hurts) the way it did, and no one can take away from that.

    I don't just read snippets of your blog, and it's plain to see that you obviously have a heart the size of Texas. So there.

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  4. the day my father died, i lied to my folks: i told them i had to go to school for something when i really just wanted to go get some chinese for lunch with my friend. i needed that lunch for my own well-being. i needed to just not be there.

    there are times when we need to grasp for our own sanity. anon 11:19 AM, screw you and your own self-righteous, self-centered awfulness. you judgemental scab on humanity. thank you for providing a platform where the rest of us can exercise something called "sympathy." look it up, and bug off.

    - el snarkster

    p.s. sorry for the bitchiness.

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  5. i'm a daughter who also lost her mother. i'm a daughter who also had her life turned upside down by terminal illness. i saw hospice and icu, weekend visits, extended stays, pto and fmla. i'm a daughter who saw fear and sadness and loss, too. and i, too, had to make choices that were painful and accept realities that i revolted against.

    and i see only one person who is behaving shamefully here. that's you, dear anon.

    dare i ask what nugget of regret you *do* feel that compels you highlight -- at another's expense -- your own sacrifice in the wake of illness? i wonder, where do you stand when your 'selflessness' is compared to the pain and suffering of the mother you lost? i mean, if we're going to jump into the debate of who is better and who is worse, aren't you being selfish in highlighting your worthiness, when you still have your life?

    it's a dangerous road, no?

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  6. What a horrible comment!

    I'm so sorry that you had to deal with that commenter on top of everything else in your life.

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  7. Wow, I can't believe someone could read your previous post (that in fact brought tears to my eyes, even though my own mom is alive and well) and come up with something so venom-spewed. I am glad you called them on it.

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  8. Some people just need to be rude to others in order to feel fufilled-so sad but so true

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  9. Speaking as a mother, and a friend, I have to say that you did exactly what I'd ask of my kids if I ever face that situation: Come be with me for awhile, say goodbye like you'll be back again (even if you know you won't), and then GO LIVE your life.

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  10. Doctors, nurses and veterinarians will tell you this happens over and over. People sit with ailing loved ones for days, weeks, months. They sleep, eat, pray, cry, all of it in the same place as the one they are so afraid to lose. And then, when they decide to go out, just for a bit, to get some fresh air, to grab a cup of coffee, whatever, their loved one finally lets go.
    Of course, they worry when they return that the loved one died because they "abandoned" him or her. In actuality, they simply set them free, with a clear and definite good-bye.
    Your departure did the same thing, Kristy. It said: I love you. I will miss you. You have my blessing to let go and be free."
    And to the chicken-shit who so self-righteously, so venomously questioned your love and your motives, I say this: There is a special place in hell for you. May you rot there.

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  11. Unfortunately, what makes you a good (or bad) daughter isn't how you spend the last few days, it is how you spend all the days that preceed those final moments. Perhaps Anon 11:19 felt compelled to lash out and one up you because her only claim to the title of "good daughter" was that she was there when her mom died. You know your truth, Kristy - don't let anyone ever try to make it out to be different.

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  12. Damn. What kind of awful person reads something so filled with pain and grief and then replies with that venomous dreck? And does it in such a cowardly way? Feh.

    If I were of the same mold as Anonymous 11:19, then I'd probably tell them something like: Your comment sickens me. Your self-righteous judgment of someone you don't even know is pathetic and cowardly. And you think that you're an example of a human being? Grow a set, post your name, and deal with the consequences. Jackass.

    But I think I'd rather go the other way. I sincerely hope that Anonymous 11:19 reaps all that (s)he sows. I hope that every action, word, and deed that they've ever committed comes back to them three fold.

    *wanders away muttering about petards*

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  13. I'm sure there are people who benefited from your experience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of angry people out there who have little control in their own lives and like to anonymously take out their frustrations on people who are brave enough to share their experience.

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  14. okay.
    i'm normally silent here, because half the time i don't have anything particularly interesting (or even a little bit interesting ;) ) to add, and the other half, i'm just too damn lazy or i try to keep our friendship "in real life" somehow separate from your "blog" life.

    but this goes way too far for me.
    and this is one instance where i absolutely canNOT keep my mouth shut.

    i know that everyone deals with death differently, and i can only hope that, maybe in some small way, this disgusting personal attack is cowardly anon 11:19's way of "dealing" with her OWN feelings of guilt regarding her mother's death.

    but, just as everyone deals with death differently, there is clearly no one right way, and to assume -- as absurdly and callously and heinously as anon does, that because YOU dealt differently than SHE did, that she is somehow the "good daughter" whereas you are "self-centered," that your behavior was shameful?

    yes, of course, "you can write whatever you want on your blog. But by making it public, you are subjecting yourself to the opinion of others."
    true, indeed.

    so, i suppose it's well within my own rights as a participant in this public space to say to anon 11:19 a big, hearty
    FUCK YOU.

    from the bottom of my heart to your grief-stricken self, FUCK YOU. *you* sicken me, with your assumptive, cruel, nasty, and just plain MEAN comment. oh, and did i happen to mention that not only were your words nauseatingly awful, but also just plain WRONG, you self-righteous moron?

    you see, i wasn't there when your mother died from brain cancer. i didn't move from the bay area to ohio to be with her and take care of her. and i'm happy for you, if it makes you happy, that you were there with her when she died. clearly, that made you feel better.

    but, you know what?
    i WAS there in new hampshire with kristy and her family.
    i WAS there at their house, driving 5 hours each way, a week before my wedding, 2 weeks after september 11th, to visit "one last time" while my then-fiance attended his bachelor party.
    and we saw her. and we laughed. and we remembered. and we cried.

    and we said goodbye.

    but then, months and months and months later, kristy's mom was -- miraculously? mysteriously? amazingly? perplexingly? sadly? -- still with us. our "goodbyes" were said over and over again.

    i WAS there in that hospice.
    i WAS there, doing the jigsaw puzzles, drinking the wine, listening to the CDs.
    i WAS there, watching her deteriorate right before our eyes -- and yet, somehow, holding on.

    i WAS there as kristy's mom said things to me like, "i never really knew you," even though she'd been a part of my life for 25 years and was a second mother to me.

    i WAS there when kristy phoned to tell me she was returning to san francisco.
    and i WAS there when she phoned me 3 days later, at 5 in the morning, to tell me that her mother was gone.

    i do not say this to give MYSELF props, but to illustrate that, while you were there with YOUR mother, you were NOT there with kristy's mother, with kristy's family.

    and so, as such, you have NO IDEA what you're talking about with regard to their situation.

    that kristy's mom continued to live AT ALL was, as i said, miraculous... or mysterious... or perplexing, amazing, sad... however you chose to look at it. she was "supposed" to have gone many, many times over... and yet, she was still there.

    and so, rather than be "sickened" (you heartless idiot) that kristy chose to leave and return to san francisco, i was actually proud. because i thought, she is out LIVING her life, rather than just sitting here waiting for someone to die. and, as you know -- or wait, do you? do you actually know ANYTHING about this situation??? -- if kristy's family exemplifies ANYTHING in this world, it is how to live life to its fullest.

    (this is not, in ANY way, to take away from kristy's sisters' decision to stay. they, too, lived their lives -- but they did so differently than kristy, something i've always thought was wonderful, a testament to truly being who you are, rather than simply conforming.)

    i know that my own mother -- who happened to be kristy's mom's best friend -- absolutely and wholeheartedly "approved" of kristy's choice to move back to san francisco. as she has told me many times, she would want ME to do the same, were i in her position -- to go and live life, rather than be held prisoner by waiting.

    seeing as how often kristy's mom and my mom saw eye to eye, i'm confident that kristy's mom found comfort, not only in her other daughters' and her husband's beautiful bedside company, but also in kristy returning to her life. because doing so gave her "permission" to go. life would go on, even without her. she could see it. and it allowed her to leave.

    i have always thought that kristy gave her mother an incredible gift in returning to san francisco, and i hope that, heaven forbid, if i am in a similar situation, i will have the courage and fortitude to do the same.

    unfortunately, i clearly do not possess kristy's courage and fortitude today, nor her grace and poise, because instead of dealing with this comment as it truly is -- a piece of meaningless falsity that doesn't deserve even a second of my anger -- here i am, getting all worked up.

    but what can i say?
    you mess with my best friend THIS cruelly, THIS misguidedly, THIS just plain WRONGLY...
    and my claws come out.



    i will stop rambling now, and return to my regularly scheduled anonymity.

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  15. Kristy, I am just plain sorry that you had to deal with Anon 11:19. Just that people would be so self-righteous as to compare lives stuns me. Or to think that they ever know the whole story from someone's blog, no matter how personal it seems to be. Mostly, though, I just want to send you a hug. You do not deserve remarks like that.

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  16. I am always in awe when anyone hides behind the cover of the anonymous comment.

    Anon 11:19 you are a self absorbed chicken shit and I truly think that there is a special place in hell for people like you who purposly inflict suffering upon others.
    This will all come back in your face. Karma rules.

    Hugs to you Kristy. I sat by my father's death bed until my mom made me go home to get some rest. He died shortly there after. If I had known that I could have set him free from pain and suffering he had been through..I would have left earlier.

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  17. Kristy, you are amazing to me in the way you take things in stride, even terrible comments like anon's.

    Sometimes leaving a loved one is the hardest thing, and the right one. I remember whispering to my grandma the last night I sat with her that it was ok for her to go, that we would all miss her, but even my aunt would be alright. We would take care of each other. I kissed her goodbye, and somehow knew that would be our last.

    No one should comment on another's way of dealing with loss, or grieving. Everyone is different. Everyone needs to deal with loss on their own terms. Preparing for it. Saying goodbye. Remembering those they've lost. Holding on to lotion bottles. Or keeping grandma-made Christmas decorations up year-round.

    You do amaze me. How you handle the things in your life that most would consider tragedies, that you are able to deal with gracefully, I'm not sure most of us could.

    A hug from far away.

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  18. Perhaps Anon 11:19 is dealing with their own guilt issues and felt the need to lash out at you to make themselves feel better. While entitled to their opinion, their behavior was inappropriate and insensitive. I don't know you at all, but your post really struck a cord with me. Mother/daughter relationships are deep and complicated and beautiful and ugly. A post on a blog is nothing more than a sentance in a novel.

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  19. I don't usually comment here but I just wanted to stop by and say I'm so sorry you had to be subjected to that horrible comment. You shared a beautiful, painful story here, and no one, especially some anonymous stranger, has the right to judge you in that way. What a damn fool.

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  20. Kristy,
    I want to say thank you for your honesty, and bravery. Posting like you do is not easy... Spending the time with your mother, like you did was a loving act. Leaving her bedside was the same thing. You let her know that it was okay for her to go, and you let her know that you would be okay. I think it's also worth pointing out, though you physically were not with her, you never left her. The little green bottle is proof of that.
    It's not uncommon in hospital/hospice settings that a loved one waits to pass until the few moments that they are alone. I've seen it happen.
    Your sharing and honesty opens doors for people. You blog about your life, but really, you're writing the stories of so many...letting them know you're not alone....
    So thanks.

    D.

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  21. K, You have probably said it better with this post than I have said it in my entire blogging-life. Thank you for posting the way you do, about the things you do. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates it so much.

    nix

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  22. I guess I tend to agree with the other people who have commented here. I think (based on my experience) that sometimes you're doing the best thing by leaving. The people we love are sometimes unable to go when the people they love are around.

    This selflessness on their part sometimes prolonges their physical discomfort. They yearn to stay for us even when they know that they have done enough and are ready to go.

    So what do I say about this situation... I say that I believe you did the most gracious, caring thing a daughter could do.

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  23. please do not say "You are quite clearly a far better person than I am." sure, your tongue must have been firmly planted in your cheek, but anon is most likely too ignorant to get it.

    anon, you should be ashamed of yourself. how dare you pass judgement on anyone who opens their heart the way kristy did? you know nothihng but what she has allowed you to know about her relationship with her mother. you know nothing about how different people desire their last moments to be.

    a few days before my mom's death she encouraged me to go on a business trip. she gave me a few pieces of her favorite jewelry to wear and told me to live my life. i tried to argue, gave her the "i am living my life, here with you" comment, and mom outright insisted i not sit and stare at her. said i had arranged folks to be with her around the clock so she would enjoy visiting with them. i left on friday. late monday i got the call that mom took a turn for the worse. i was close and flew home as soon as i could on tuesday morning. drove straight to the hospital and held mom's hand until wednesday when we moved to hospice. and what did she do but go and die at midnight. talk about the guilt i heaped on myself for leaving during her last few days. uggggggh.

    but the worst part? the memory of mom's last breath. the memory of her laying in the bed. the memory of my aunt saing "she's gone." i would give anything to have not been there. to have been out living like mom wanted me to.

    so anon, fuck you. fuck you, you fuckin fuck. kristy's mom knew she was loved and spared kristy the terrible, terrible memories i have. how fucking dare you question either of them? and how dare you be such a bitch to someone you only know from a blog? i have the number of a wonderful therapist if you would like to work out some of your issues, because it is painfully obvious that you have huge issues, you childish little asshat.

    if only i could insert jester's flaming fuck you award into this comment, because anon certainly deserves it. perhaps i should send avi over to spew cockslapping monkey fucker comments.

    kristy, you handled this with such class and you are a lovely example of how to deal with those less fortunate, those who are mental midgets. i'm proud of you. and my heart still goes out to you.

    all the best,

    hellohahanarf

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  24. Flaming Fuck You Award granted. Anon deserves nothing less than a few rounds with Bubba Joe, the beer-canned dicked anal rapist.

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  25. While I am on K's side (100%). I do think that if one has a public blog, then you need to respect other's right to air their opinions - even if hurtful, cruel or just plain stupid. Yes?

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  26. Certainly she is not a better person than you, as I imagine you are not the kind of person maliciously impugn another's character. Even if she had known all the circumstances of your life at that time, she's no better than you and has no right to judge you. You are a good person.

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  27. Hi Kirin,

    It's not really my place to answer a question posed to K in her blog, but I'm going to answer with my own view anyway.

    When you choose to put details, big or small, of your personal life out "there" to share with others, it's
    like inviting someone to your home.

    As a guest in this person's "home", it is the visitor's job to be gracious and courteous to their host. It's the height of ignorance to accept an invitation to someone's "home", and then insult their host.

    So no, I don't think it's necessary to give respect to those who are "hurtful, cruel or just plain stupid", since they've been so disrespectful in the first place.

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  28. I took the previous post as it was: a beautiful story about what it is to painfully go forward in life (day by day) while dealing with grief, and how the little things (like a bottle of lotion) can conjure up emotions. We all have those moments, don't we? That CD of an ex-boyfriend's band, the last e-mail from a friend before their death in a car accident; it's all relative.

    And, not ONCE, when reading your story, did I think that your decision to leave was inappropriate. I have been there myself.

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  29. I can't begin to imagine what you went through. However, I do know with absolute assuredy(sp?) that my mother would never want me to drop everything to take care of her, especially if she were terminally ill. She would want to continue on in the way that she had lived her life: Wondering what all the fuss was about.

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  30. I just do not get it.

    Kristy, you are beautiful and your honesty is a gift to the world.

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  31. I loved your previous post.

    my grandmother passed away from terminal cancer 3 years ago. The night she died we all knew it was coming. Her breathing became labored and myself, my 3 cousins, my dad, and all my aunts and uncles gathered around her and my grandpa in their bed and waited for her to die. It seems odd looking back now, I guess we really needed to be a part of her final moments. But her breathing became stronger and our presence gave her energy. No one wanted to leave for fear that we'd miss it and thend she'd be gone. When my cousins and I did go we said goodbye knowing it was the final time. She died less than 10 minutes after we left.

    what anonymous fails to recognize is that terminal illness is a tough thing and there is no right way handle it. only what is right for you is right.
    it was right for you to leave because (as i interpreted from your post) it seemed as though your mom didn't want to be the first one to leave when you were all together. makes sense to me. So you left, and then your mom did too.

    you did the right thing, because it was right for you. Anonymous did the right thing because it was right for her, but she has no right to critique your actions during that time - no one does, because you did what you needed to do to cope.

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  32. I have read almost all of your blog (I just happened to stumble upon it one day last fall) and enjoy reading it because I feel like we have had some paralleled life experiences- right down to dealing with a terminal illness in the family. It is a terrifying and awful thing to live through, and I cannot believe that another person who has had the same experience would dare to criticize the way a perfect stranger dealt with it. Knowing what a painful experience it is, I understand your decision to go as well as their decision to stay because I understand people deal with things differently.

    In my case it was my Grandmother, the woman who had a great hand in raising me. I was in college when she was in hospice, and she passed away two days after I returned to school. I still struggle (as I'm sure you do as well from time to time) with my decision to leave and miss her last few moments on earth, but the honest truth was I couldn't stay any longer; I wasn't strong enough. I understand now, that I had to leave for my own mental well-being. I was exhausted and drained, and visiting a woman who could no longer even remember how old I was literally took everything I had left. I understand.

    I don’t know if that is any comfort, but I hope that you will keep writing openly and honestly because that is what I appreciate most about you. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there for the world to see, in spite of those who want to tear you down. You have to understand that people who behave that way and constantly look to belittle others are unhappy and always will be; when you know that, they can’t touch you. Easier said than done though, right?

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  33. It's quite obvious that Anon's mom raised a self-righteous twat that has to take cheap pot-shots at strangers on the internet. Girl's got issues and I honestly feel pity for her. Kristy, forgive yourself.

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  34. to Anonymous 11:19 - whatever makes you feel better about yourself... but know this... every time you judge someone else, a little of your own soul darkens.

    Dealing with dying and death is a very personal experience. Everyone handles it differently. My story is similar to Kristy's and many others. Mine person was my Grandma... my favortist person in the world.I think I was around 15 when she was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, As she put it...the same cancer that killed Jackie Onassis. She had been over her 75 years close to death a few times due to various illnesses. But this time I think she knew she wasn't going to make it, but she put up a good fight and did the treatments like a good soldier.
    When I was 16, she started going downhill a little.... my summer vacation was spent with her, every day watching her die, she went back in the hospital that fall, I visited a few times, but when she got really bad (when the morphine no longer touched the pain) I just couldn't go... I just couldn't...I didn't want to remember her that way.

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  35. I have read you since almost the beginning even though I rarely comment.

    I know even 35 nice, helpful, sweet comments don't quite undo the nasty ones, but I think I understood what you meant by that post and love you for writing it. I know I don't really know you, but I feel like I do and I think you're brave and funny and wonderful.

    So there.

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  36. I saw the anon comment yesterday but I never comment on blogs at work.

    K., the last post was touching and sad and made me want to give my mother a hug something terrible. The way you write about things is amazing, the fact that you allow others to read it moreso.

    To Anon, just a hearty fuck you, you twit.

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  37. I am sorry that someone would feel the need to draw on what is such a difficult situation to begin with. I know what you are dealing with. I had a very similar situation when my father was in hospice care, although he was not there for long. I saw him one night and I said goodnight and he started crying and said he did not want me to leave. I told him I was just leaving for the night and I would be back the next day. He smiled and said that he would see me then. The next day when I got to the hospital, my brother stopped to talk to me and I did not get a chance to see my father before my boyfriend called and said he was leaving me there if I did not go out to the parking lot. I thought I would just go down and talk to him and explain the situation. That did not work and we were soon on the way home. It was a 5 hour drive. I was planning to turn around and go back with my sister and younger brother the next day, but before we even got home, my older brother called with the news that my father had passed away. I can never forgive myself for that or get that time back.

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  38. Yet another reason my blog is private. Too many assholes.

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  39. Judgement is ugly. I'm sorry you were judged.

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  40. Long time reader, first-time commenter. Not being perfect (and having no interest in it, either), I'd still like to say that I think if you are truly a good person, you don't need to go around declaring so, or knocking down others for 'failing' to meet your 'standard.' I hope you can brush that off and move on--this person isn't even worth wasting anger/rebuttals on--trust me.
    Hope you have a great day ANYWAY!

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  41. How do I respond without saying mean, hurtful things about Anonymous? How do I defend Kristi without also attacking her attacker? I do not want to do that which I believe Anonymous did -- attack a person for their actions without knowing the whole person or the whole story. Ultimately, I think the best I can do is to say that -- from what I have seen -- Anonymous behaved reprehensibly, and Kristi was wrong in her estimation that Anonymous is "clearly a better person" than she.

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  42. I'm sorry you had to get a nasty comment like that. I got the impression that leaving your mother gave her "permission" to move on, that you felt she was fighting to stay on this side of the veil to be with you and the rest of the family together. Once someone stepped away, it gave her permission to step away too.

    I've read your backstory and Anonymous clearly didn't. I can't say I completely understand how your family worked (wacky! fun!) because mine didn't work that way, but I certainly don't judge your decision(s) or anyone elses.

    I'm sorry, K. Hugs to you and know that most do not see you as does Anonymous 11:19.

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  43. Oh my God what a load of horseshit, Anonymous is. Everyone is entitled to deal in their own, way.

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  44. Maybe I'm the weird on this... maybe I'm a bad person too, I don't know... but I don't hate the anonymous poster for what they wrote. Don't misunderstand me. I do not agree with it, just that I don't think they were horribly out of line for saying it. That person seems to have given up their life to spend what they saw as their last waking moments with the woman that gave birth to them. To them, that was the ultimate sacrifice and show of love to their mom. If you take on that mindset, then yes, leaving your mom in hospice would be a horrible, unthinking action.... so to them Kristy leaving was just that, a terrible thing.

    But you have to remember it's an opinion. Everyone is different. Everything thinks and feels different things.

    Personally, I would not be able to leave my mom, no matter how many goodbyes I've said. I know that she would not harbor ill feelings towards me if I did, but I know that I could not... for me... leave her.

    But I also realize that some people are stronger and more secure in themselves than I believe myself to me. I realize that people have different feelings and relationships with their familes. I don't blame Kristy or think negatively on her for leaving to go back to SF, even though I know that is something I could never do.

    I think it's malicious and callous, no matter how good it might make us feel to point the finger at someone else and tell them what they think is wrong. Anonymous let out in an open outlet what they thought which happened to be different than what other people think. Just as they said negative things about Kristy, many people said negative things about them... just as I'm trying to say negative things too... the difference being I realize what I'm doing. I know that I'm judgeing all of you out there who judge anonymous. I think it's hypocritical to talk "trash" about someone who talks "trash". and I am a big hypocrit too.

    ... i feel like my comment went off topic somewhere... but i hope it made somewhat sense.

    I just wish people would stop judging and put themselves in someone else's shoes.

    Also, I'm sorry to those of you who have had to go through prolonged family deaths, or deaths of any kind. My heart goes out to you. Including you Kristy.

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  45. I left a comment on your previous post but I'm worried you won't see it. In a nutshell: Anon should be ashamed of themselves for missing the opportunity to bring comfort to someone who has gone through a similar loss.
    And I think that you were right in that your mom was waiting. As a nurse, I beleive that some do wait.
    The day after I graduated from nursing school I found out that my grandfather, who had taken care of me after my father left, had lung cancer. I quit my job, moved in with he and my grandmother and spent every second of the next eight months taking care of him. Then he went into the hospital to get a tube put into his lung so that he could breath and when I went home to get some sleep, that's when he died. I think he waited for me to turn my head for a second because I don't think he ever liked me seeing him like that.
    Your mom knew, knows, you love her.

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  46. I have never commented on your blog before but I have been reading it for over a year now. I, too, am a writer and understand the feeling of "exposure" when writing. I cried when I read your ordeal with your mom on hospice and was outraged at the response from 11:19. Keep writing. You never know who needs to read it.

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  47. Kristy -- big hugs. Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there, despite the vile bile some can't help but post anonymously.

    Your post was beautiful.
    Dana

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  48. Just because 2 people live through a similar situation or life event, it doesn't mean they have the same experience. At.All.

    Wow.

    I think many of your regular readers are more intelligent than that... it's your life. Your experience.

    Wow. Sorry someone else's pain was spewed out on your blog. It's unfortunate that not everyone is on the same path when it comes to healing, respect, kindness.

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  49. oo... also: I went back and read the commentary on that post and this one... they are FILLED with kind words, people sharing stories, etc.

    That sort of kindness and caring should go a long way in obliterating one @**hole. Focus on the good ones. :)

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  50. It's painfully obvious to me Anonymous 11:19 isn't better than you. A truly kind human wouldn't leave such a shitty anonymous comment on someone's blog.

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  51. Kristy, I'm not sure there's anything I can say at this point that hasn't been said by the admirers, friends, and iifs that came before me.
    One reason I read your blog is because of the frank way you tell your stories, even the painful ones, and the way you are able to inject humor into them. Please don't get discouraged by one evil douchebag. For every one of them, there are dozens of us who love you.

    Hilary

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  52. Stupid anonymous commenters. Your story made me cry a little, and thats why I love you. You're willing to share the inner-most workings of your soul.

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  53. Up theirs! I'm sorry to say it like that, but is there any other way? Losing a parent is crushing regardless of the relationship that existed. It was so generous of you to share your experience. I think you were brave for staying as long as you did and for leaving when you did. And we can just let those better people lead their better lives. I'm happy that I read your post and hope you continue to advance courageously in your writing.(And for those who are wondering, yes, I have had a similar experience. And it sucked.)

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  54. I don't comment on your blog often but I want you to know how much I enjoy it - especially the hard emotional posts. They are inspiring. It is easy and safe to write fluff (although not to write about it with as much humor as you insert into everything) but it is difficult and vulnerable to expose your still-open emotional wounds. Your post was well-written and as many others have said brought tears to my eyes. Please don't let one ignorant and hateful comment discourage you from continuing to post personal stories - they are what attracted me to your blog. Instead, read the incredible volume of superfans who have come out to defend you en masse because they are the ones who get you.

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  55. That is one of the things I hate about blogging: if you truly share your feelings on your blog, you are likely to get people who will leave hurtful comments.

    I read your original post and it never would have occurred to me to think that you did anything bad by leaving your mom. I thought that leaving was the biggest sacrifice you could have made, and a wonderful gift to you mom. It is odd to me that it could be construed any other way.

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  56. sometimes, people just need to crap all over someone else to make themselves feel better.

    i've never understood that.

    and those people are best ignored.

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  57. I just want to tell you that I look up to you and the way you handle yourself in everything....life,love, family and most of all your writing. It takes a brave person to put themselves out there for all of us to "see". I just hope that you don't let someone like this change you. I don't know you, but through your blog....I find myself telling people I know (in person) about the funny thing my blog friend said all the time. I don't comment very often, but wanted you to know that you are a very special,strong and caring woman, don't let one bad person define you!

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  58. I'm sooooo sorry I'm late to this party. I haven't read all the wonderful comments people have posted here, except Em's, which brought many tears to my eyes.

    I love this blog. It gives me a chance to touch base with my cousin in a different way, in a public way. But it destroys me sometimes that people judge her. I suppose that's the deal with blogs, and certainly why I don't have one.

    But, to anon - you are a craven, cruel, soul-less, worthless fucker for presuming that your experience gives you the right to judge my cousin so deeply. If she's brave enough to put her name out there and let the world judge her, how callow and empty are you that you take pot shots at her and hide behind anonymity. You know nothing of her strength, compassion, love and amazing-ness. You know nothing of her mother, my aunt, and the relationships we had with her. You know nothing of my family, of our world, of our connections and of our inter-connectedness. You know nothing of my aunt's death and her condition. You know nothing of any of these things, much like I know nothing of yours. But what I do know of you is simple - you have the nerve to judge without being visible. Typical of a small, powerless, meaningless existence, you make yourself feel better by trying to shame a person brave enough to show herself to the world.

    To steal words from your post - you sicken me. Do you enjoy using your mother's death to prop yourself up as a paragon of virtue? Do you think it reflects positively on you that nail yourself to a cross about "going back to Ohio" after 25 years? What demons are you hiding that you revel in your "good son/daughter" because you never left her side - perhaps she would have liked having you around for that 25 years instead?

    You are small and pathetic. My cousin is brave and beautiful, strong and poassionate and is a rock that holds her orphaned family of sisters together. You have no concept of decency, no concept of responsibility, and certainly no concept of what it means to be a strong person.

    And unlike you - I'll tell you exactly who I am. My name is Nate "Cuznate" Smith, and I stand behind this message. Apologies to all others for my innappropriately caustic tone, I try not to get too defensive about critisism of Kristy, but I simply can not let this one pass.

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  59. Anony 11:19's comment made me sick. People who are that steeped in self-righteousness are not happy people. Inside, they are bitter about having to be the perfect daughter (or whatever) and on the outside they use that self-righteousness to mask how bitter they feel about their lives. Why else would she say something like she did, instead of extending a kind word and saying something like, "I know what it's like to lose my mother to illness, too." Because for god's sake, it's not a competition. And if ever there was a time for a kind word, this is it.

    I really appreciated your honesty. It is rare to be able to peek into someone's experience and know about the choices she made and some of the reasons she made them.

    Anony 11:19 is a bitter, unkind person. You are a real, honest person.

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  60. Hey, obviously it was a mean-spirited thing to say, cruel, sanctimonious, self-righteous, blah blah blah, words words words....

    But the thing that strikes me when I read shit like that is the fact that such comments always seem to come from "anonymous". Who are you, person who is so eager to share your opinion? And what's your story? Do you have children whom you secretly fear won't stick around to the end of the ride with you? Are you bitter that you sacrificed so much for your own mother? Why are you so pissed off? It can't be at Kristy - a woman you don't even know, can it?

    Stopping by a blog and leaving a crappy comment is easy to do - it's like a vicious "blog drive by" that probably makes the person feel good for a minute - giving her the satisfaction a bully feels after belting the little guy on the playground.

    But it's a temporary fix for issues that we will never ever know about. In the words of Mr. T - pity the foo. She sounds miserable.

    Love ya, Kristy. You're a charming, entertaining, vulnerable and strong (yep, you can be both) woman and I love to read your stuff. Thank you.

    Becky

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