1. cbspira
    July 17, 2023 @ 10:22 am

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    It’s a loss of not just your mother but the loss of the potential, of a relationship that perhaps should have been more but wasn’t, and now will never and can never be.

    It’s a deep and profound loss and you have a legitimate right to grieve.

    May you find comfort…


  2. Sherry Power
    July 17, 2023 @ 10:29 am

    I think, perhaps, the key thought is you and your mother did the best you could. What more can anyone ask of us than to do our best? You were put in a position where you had to make a choice. What other choice could you have made other than choosing your husband and your beautiful children and the family life you and Joe worked so hard to create and maintain? We all long to be part of loving relationships. That’s what we hope for. As long as we live, we dream that dream. When the “distant” one dies, the hope of face-to-face reconciliation dies too. It’s the end of that particular hope that we grieve.
    Following her wishes regarding service etc. there is nothing to stop you from gathering with your family (siblings and your own family) and honoring her memory. It could be anything that might bring you some comfort.
    Your writing is lovely and very insightful. You’ll come out the other side of this stronger and lovelier than you already are.


  3. Kate Ferry
    July 17, 2023 @ 10:39 am

    Everyone gets a “Clean Slate” in Heaven.


  4. Tonya Pennington
    July 17, 2023 @ 12:47 pm

    I’m an estranged mother. It’ll be 9 years next month. I know how you feel, I went through the same when my father passed. My mother who left me when I was in diapers is still on this earth. I’ve prepared for her passing and the grief I know will come as I struggled with a hard depression after my father passed. My concern is for my daughter who refuses to even try to talk. She got married last week. I wasn’t invited. 2 weeks before our estrangement, she told me I was her best friend. She moved out at 18 bc I handed her ass to her for being a teenager and pulling that “I’m 18 now” act (she was being a real shit—her brother will even attest. He & I are close) I hate this animosity for her! I truly do and I’m afraid for her grief as I know how I struggled and I almost didn’t stay on this earth but I’m glad to know you care……that means she must too. Always holding out for hope.


  5. Meredith
    July 17, 2023 @ 10:27 pm

    For a moment, I thought you were writing my story. My story is similar to yours. Summers on Cape Cod. Mom screaming and dealing with her psychiatric illnesses. She had a tough life. She was a single mom of two. No child support. We were close until I decided to grow up and get married. We loved each other. I was her guardian, her caregiver. I did everything to make her happy. She was never happy or satisfied. She had vascular dementia and advanced COPD, severe aortic stenosis. She died on 6/22/2022. I miss her so much. I’m told it’s complicated grief due to the type of relationship we had. I’m struggling. I miss her. When I lost her, I lost my entire family. No one will speak to me.

    Thank you for writing your story about your mom and your relationship with her. It was very similar to my story. I wish I was able to move on and feel better but it’s not that easy for me to do.


  6. Mike B
    July 19, 2023 @ 10:16 am

    I have been on both sides of this issue. My estrangement from my family lasted 10 years. Next year, it will be 10 years since my entire family has heard from our child. I taught my child well. I taught my child dodging issues and blaming others was the way forward.

    I did not realize the devastation I had caused by my decision to “take care of myself”. Only after my family welcomed me back did I feel their pain. To this day, although my family is back together, it is forever broken. I did that. I will pay the price, but would rather be with them, then to ever walk away again.

    We will not welcome our child back. It may seem cruel and hypocritical. So much has changed. We now have 6 grandchildren. My family took a vote last year to decide whether we needed to let go, or try to save it. I was to vote last. I never had to vote. It was unanimous, none of them wanted our child back.

    Estrangement is a slippery slope. Plenty of advice can be found to get out of a family. Not much can be found regarding the damage it causes. Not much on the depth of pain. Not much if you changed your mind.

    I have read thousands and thousands of reasons to walk away. But I never hear the person that walked away take any blame. It is “what was done to them”. My generation was far from perfect. So was the one prior to us. So are the ones looking forward. Forgiveness is tough, so is admitting you were wrong. I was wrong and will pay the rest of the way.


    • Lola
      August 5, 2023 @ 5:56 pm

      Incredible writing!
      Our daughter has also chosen to be estranged from us. Similarly to what Mike has intimated above, we’ve apparently done some things that she and her husband find objectionable; we don’t know what and even offered apologies. It’s been almost seven years and I feel numb. It’s when I read such poignant words about estrangement and alienation that I awaken from my numbness. Truly, we all do the best we can, the best we know for the time.
      Gratitude to you Ms. Cariello


  7. Jamie Mueller
    July 31, 2023 @ 2:58 am

    This is the first of your writing I am reading. It is moving, beautiful and true. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry for the loss of your mom.


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