Dealing with the Death of an Intolerable Relative

By Kim “Supermutt” Goodman

One of the hardest things I ever had to do was deal with the death of my mother. When people think of the word “mother” they think of someone who is kind-hearted, caring, loving and nurturing but my mother was none of these things. People say that there is nothing better than a mother’s love. I say there is nothing more painful than a mother’s love.

My mother died in her apartment. Her body was found the morning of July 30th. She was my mother and I was her only child so I had to deal setting up her cremation and cleaning out her apartment. The hardest thing for me to deal with was interacting with the people involved. The people at the Medical Examiner’s office, the funeral home and the apartment complex were all so sympathetic. Everyone was “sorry for my loss.” It bothered me that I had to pretend to be sad because no one would have understood my feelings. To them it was my mother who died, and they felt I should have been sad, hurt or crushed because if they had lost their mother that would have been how they would have felt.

My mother’s death actually made me feel a sense of relief, because of everything she had put me through. When my mother had me she was not ready to be a mother. She was totally dependent on my grandmother even though she was an intelligent and able-bodied person. She didn’t know how to make sacrifices for me or how to show gratitude to her own mother for providing for her and me. As a kid if I tried to lie near my mother or try to hug her, she would push me away and accuse me of being too clingy. She was not the type to say she loved me, or say encouraging words to me or be supportive of me. When I would hurt myself I would cry because I was in pain. Instead of my mother doing whatever it was that parents did to comfort their child, she would yell at me for crying or beat me if I cried too much. When I complained about not having friends my age or told her about kids picking on me, she said it was my fault for being “weird.” After my grandmother passed away my mother didn’t feel a need to go out and get a job or public assistance. We lived in the house with no lights, gas or phone and very little food. Every time I complained about being hungry she told me that she was hungry too and I needed to do something about it.

From the time I was twelve until I was about twenty my mother verbally tore me down. She robbed me of my self-esteem, stripped me of my self value and took away my self-confidence. Then she expected me to go out into the world and be successful so that I could take care of the both of us. My grandmother had taken care of my mother from the time she was born up to the time my grandmother died, and my mother expected me to pick up where my grandmother left off. My mother felt that I owed it to her to take care of her because when she got pregnant with me. She felt I screwed up her life. I tried to get a job, but I struggled with employment. A lot of times I would get a job and within a month get fired. After getting rejected by a lot of employers and fired by many jobs I started a hand painted t-shirt business. Instead of being supportive of my business venture my mother destroyed it. She told me I wasn’t smart enough to run a business, accused me of with-holding and hiding money from her and hid my tax forms so I couldn’t file my taxes on time.

Copyright Street Chronicle October 2013 Cleveland Ohio.