I learned that my mother had died. She chose to take her life (or, she came close to choosing and got too close to turn back). We had a challenging relationship, neither of us meeting the other's expectations. But I know that the last words I spoke to her were "I love you". And that has to be enough.
I've spent the last year wrestling with the whys. Why did she make that choice? What could I or my sister have done differently? Is she at peace? These are questions with no really satisfying answers.
My younger daughter talks about her often. She'll come out with, often out of the blue, "your mom is dead." Or "Gramma Donna died." She remembers doing activities with her, traveling back East to visit relatives with her, games they played. Older daughter is more hesitant, doesn't like to talk about it. She'll try to stop us if we're talking about her. That worries me. I want her to remember. I have but one vague childhood memory of my maternal grandfather and only one adult memory of my maternal grandmother. My paternal grandparents died decades before I was born.
It's been a year of tears and sadness. I could cry every day. I don't, because life would go on hold if I did. But not a day goes by that I don't think about my mother.