Guilt and Grief: coping with the shoulda, woulda, couldas

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Litsa Williams



For further articles on these topics:


When my dad died I remember well the intense guilt I had in the months that followed.  Though his death didn’t fit into one of the categories known for guilt, that didn’t stop me from feeling guilty.  I felt guilt that I wasn’t a match for a bone marrow transplant, though rationally I knew I had no control over that.  I had guilt that I hadn’t called him more during my first year of college, guilt that in the hospital we had told him it was okay to let go and that we would be okay without him.  

When my sister’s boyfriend died of an overdose years later, my guilt went to a new level.  I rehashed all the things I felt I should have done, all the negative thoughts I had over the years, and approximately a million other guilt-thoughts that often plague survivors of substance losses.

Now, we could just assume I have guilt issues (quite possible) but luckily I have worked with enough grievers over the years to know that my guilt when grieving is the rule, not the exception.  In our experience most grievers have some level of guilt associated with their loss – sometimes big, sometimes small.  We have had a lot of comments about guilt on the blog and facebook lately.  So today we are thinking about, talking about, and embracing guilt and grief (well, sort of).

If you have ever felt guilt associated with your loss and articulated it to someone else there is a good chance you heard some variation of, “oh, don’t feel guilty!” or “you shouldn’t feel that way, it wasn’t your fault”.   If you’re like me, your inner-angsty-14-year-old probably screamed “don’t tell me how to feel, you don’t know me!!”.  In case you were worried, that is a totally normal reaction.  If you missed it, we wrote a post a while back about why you should never tell a griever not to feel guilty.

Here’s the deal – guilt is a feeling.  Feelings need to be validated and we need to find ways to accept, integrate, and move forward with these feeling.  We can’t stop feeling guilty because someone tells us to – sorry, that’s sadly just not how feelings works.  So, when it comes to why we feel guilt, it is important to reflect on the reasons for our guilt and then consider ways we can cope with guilt.  But first and foremost, we need to accept that guilt is a common and normal feeling in grief.


Why Do We Experience Guilt and Grief?

Because we really did something wrong.

As much as people are quick to say something wasn’t our fault or we shouldn’t feel guilty, a reality of life is that we all screw up sometimes.  We make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes have significant consequences.  Sometimes we fail to do things we wish we had done or should have done.   That may be as large as a grievous error in judgment or mistake that led to a death.  It could be as small as something hurtful we said, or something meaningful we failed to say.

Because we feel like we did something wrong.

As our dear cyber-friend Marty over at griefhealingblog.com has been known to say, just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you are guilty.  There are many, many times that we grievers are completely irrational.  As we have been known to say, grief makes you crazy!  We dissect every moment of time with our loved one, we consider every ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ you can imagine.  Our irrational brain will find just about anything to feel guilty about.  Despite being irrational, this guilt can be consuming.

Because we want order.

This is a big reason for why we experience guilt and blame, though as grievers we often fail to see this connection.  The bottom line is this: without someone or something to blame, we have to accept that the universe may be unpredictable and chaotic.  If we think we could have done something differently that would have changed the outcome of a loss, that can provide comfort that there is a rational order to things and that we have some control.  If we accept that we never could have known or changed the outcome we must accept that some things that happen are complete outside our control.  As long as we hold on to guilt we have hope that we could have controlled the outcome.   A perception of control (however inaccurate) is often more comforting than considering that we have no control.  Talk about the lesser of two evils . . .

As usual, the question becomes what do you DO about guilt?  Here are some quick tips for coping with guilt:

  1. Acknowledge that guilt is a normal grief emotion and don’t let others minimize the validity of your grief experience.
  2. Consider what your guilt is all about.  Is it rational?  Is it irrational?  Is it about control?
  3. Talk it over with others.  Though you don’t want people minimizing your feelings, talking about guilt can help you reflect on your grief.  A good counselor or support group is a great environment to talk about feelings of guilt.
  4. Examine your thoughts.  Often our guilt thoughts, whether rational or irrational, start to consume us.  They can drag us down into one of those bottomless black holes – the kind that are full of isolation, despair, and far too much wine and ben & jerry’s ice cream.  In order to adjust your thinking, you have to know what your guilt thoughts are and notice them when they arise.
  5. If your guilt feelings are irrational, admit it.  This doesn’t mean dismissing your feelings of guilt.  It means acknowledging that, though you feel guilty, you may not actually be guilty.  Some common examples are acknowledging you did the best you could with the information you had at the time, you couldn’t predict the future, there were many other factors at play other than your behaviors, etc. Being honest with yourself about your guilt is important, and accepting that grief is sometimes irrational can be helpful.
  6. Find positive thoughts to balance your guilt thoughts.  “Thought stopping” is a technique with mixed reviews among the mental health crowd.  The idea is this – when you notice a negative thought taking over (ie guilt) make a conscious effort to stop and replace the thought.  Though it may not be quite this simple, there is value in having a positive thought to balance negative guilt thoughts you experience.  For example, if you are feeling guilt that you were not there at the moment of your loved one’s death, when that thought comes up be prepared with a thought about the many times you were there.
  7. Forgive yourself.  Easier said than done, right?  You can start with this post on making amends and then check out this post on self-forgiveness.  Remember, forgiveness does not mean condoning or excusing.  Forgiveness can mean accepting that we may have done something we regret, but finding new attitude and perspective toward ourselves in relation to that action.  It doesn’t mean we forget, but means we find a way to move forward.
  8. Figure out what you have learned.  Guilt often teaches us something.  It can be something about ourselves or about the world.   We can learn and grow from almost any emotion (cheesy, but true) so take some time to consider what your guilt has taught you.
  9. Do something with your guilt.  Whether rational or irrational, you can use your guilt to help others.  What you do may come out of things you have learned. Whether it is educating others so they can avoid the mistakes you feel guilty about, raising awareness about causes of death (anything from heart disease to substance abuse to suicide), or simply encouraging others to talk with their family about end of life wishes, you can use many guilt experiences to help others.
  10. Consider what your loved one would tell you.  Get yourself in a space to truly focus on thinking about your loved one.  Imagine telling them how you are feeling – your regrets, your guilt, all of it.  If there are things you wish you had said, say them.  Then imagine what your loved one would tell you.

Guilt is a HUMONGOUS topic.  We have only scratched the surface today, so leave a comment to share your story and anything that has helped you with your guilt.  Then make sure to subscribe to get all our posts right to your inbox.

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

496 Comments on "Guilt and Grief: coping with the shoulda, woulda, couldas"

Click here to leave a Comment
  1. Lisa  May 30, 2022 at 8:16 am Reply

    This article speaks directly to me – thank you!! Two years ago, my parents died 4 months apart. My best friend died almost 5 years ago. Apparently, I have been distracting myself with life and I am just now dealing with the guilt because I’ve been a basket case the last couple of weeks! Your advice is right on target. Some of my guilt is irrational, some not. I think the idea of taking action to help others is great. It feels like that will help me handle the crushing weight I feel about the “woulda, coulda, shouldas”, as well as survivor’s guilt because things are starting to go well for me. I have subscribed to your blog. Thank you so much!

  2. Anon  May 21, 2022 at 11:16 pm Reply

    I feel like I caused an online friend to commit suicide, or at least indirectly encouraged it.

    I should preface by saying I didn’t know them at any kind of notable personal level. Just chatting occasionally. I’d also provide them with emotional support and some affectionate/intimate roleplay.

    One night they opened up to me completely. Said they’d had a crush on me at one point. Said they needed me. Said that I was the only thing keeping them going in life.

    I tried to push him toward therapy in that moment and he refused it, saying that if I was there for him he wouldn’t need therapy since I was “as good as a therapist.” (He later went back on this, instead saying “if you leave I won’t have a reason to go to therapy.”) He didn’t understand how much weight he’d put onto my shoulders.

    I ran. I left a long message reiterating that I believed in him and hoped he got the help he needed but that I couldn’t give him the support he needed. Then I blocked him.

    I thought I was just providing emotional support to a friend, but after he opened up I felt more like I was a crutch, like I was his entire livelihood, and I wasn’t ready for that. I felt like he was shouldering the entire weight of his life onto my shoulders, on top of my own mental health concerns.

    I later learned that he edited some of his last messages to me (Discord quirk) following my response. Talking about how I’d betrayed his trust, how I’d lied to him about how “most people deserve a little bit of unconditional support,” saying that he vomited from anxiety for the first time in several months after I’d blocked him.

    About a month later he tried to reach out via Steam. He accused me of not wanting to be friends. In short, I said that, no, I want him to get the help he needs. I didn’t want to totally disconnect. But he made some hostile remarks toward me. I blocked him there.

    He sent me many friend requests over Discord after that with account names such as “why?,” “how does abandoning me help me,” “I cant move on from you asshole,” and “what did I do wrong?”

    I kept blocking the accounts he made. I couldn’t handle it. The huge amount of responsibility for something so far out of my league and perhaps even control. The negativity and toxic/manipulative behavior.

    And then the friend requests stopped.

    I don’t want to reach out. I don’t want to open that door again. But his words haunt me and make me feel like what I did was cruel. And if I was truly the only thing keeping him going, then I shudder to imagine what else he’s done in response to me cutting him off.

    I feel guilty for neglecting his mental health because it feels sort of selfish now. I feel guilty about feeling guilty because that kind of codependency would have taken a huge toll on my own
    mental health.

    I know I shouldn’t blame myself for it. They say that if someone is saying things like “I have nothing to live for if you leave,” they’ve probably been there for a while even before something happened that made them vocalize it. But even if he’s still alive, that could even be worse, since I’ve confirmed his personal beliefs that a) he can’t trust anyone with knowledge of his shattered mental health and b) I don’t seem to have cared about him as much as I said I did.

    And honestly, I’m not sure how much I cared about him. I like making people feel nice. For years I’ve had a hard time standing up for myself. I guess I’ve provided a lot of people with emotional support and given them a lot of my time because I thought it was what I was *supposed* to do. Living selflessly, not selfishly. I thought it was the right thing to do.

    Now I don’t feel like I can trust that instinct. I want to provide *some* support for people — I don’t want to be a major reason for living. I don’t want to be the one holding responsibility for the life of another person.

    It feels wrong to say I don’t like myself because I’m too nice, but situations like these really make statements like that feel more valid because they highlight how disingenuous some of my people-pleasing can be. I don’t feel like I can live for myself without hurting other people, perhaps even people I care about, and I hate that.

    • Litsa  May 26, 2022 at 8:04 am Reply

      Anon, I am so sorry for all you have on your shoulders with this. Please know that your own words are so very right – you cannot be wholly responsible for someone else’s mental health and it is not fair for someone else to put that on you while declining other support. You made clear that you did care but also that you could not meet that overwhelming expectation. Boundaries are INCREDIBLY important. You cannot sacrifice your own mental health for another person and no friend is a replacement for a therapist or prevents someone who is struggling with mental health issues from needing a therapist. Encouraging someone to get help is not pushing them toward suicide, but rather pushing them to find another path. If you don’t want to open that door again but are concerned about his safety or wellbeing, many platforms have ways that you can report a safety concern and they will reach out, send the person resources, etc. I would strongly recommend two books that you might find useful for your own people-pleasing. The first is about boundaries – https://amzn.to/3lH5dx7 and the second is about codependency – https://amzn.to/3lQf17K. I know they both look quite “self-help-y” and if that isn’t your normal genre it might be leap to check them out. But both are really indispensable in learning to manage yourself in ways that will promote ongoing healthy relationships.

  3. A  April 26, 2022 at 7:29 am Reply

    My really good friend died in the hospital yesterday. I was the last person to see him in normal health condition. We had gotten some take out food from a taco truck. Fell asleep and at some point he woke me up saying he had stomach pain. I don’t remember what time that was, but I was groggy because I’d been drinking. We both had….
    He told me he thought it was food poisoning. At that point, I didn’t even think about 911. He had eaten something different than me so that was plausible. Also, sometime last year I believe, he had had an episode of intense stomach pains, had gotten someone to drive him to the hospital. They checked him out and said it was just something having to do with diet, basically that doctor called the issue “constipation.” That time, he just got some pain meds and I don’t know what other treatment he got. But I’m sure he had some kind of imaging scan(s), and nothing was found.
    So we moved from the bed to the couch, and I sat up with him. It seemed like the pain would fluctuate. He didn’t have any other symptoms except was in a cold sweat at one point. I was still thinking food poisoning, because he suspected that, and I was also thinking back to that prior incident he had.
    At one point, I went to the store for pepto bismol and pedialyte, which he took. I also think he’d taken ibuprofen, maybe before he woke me.
    At some point, I dozed off. Next time I woke up, the pain was worse, and he said maybe I should call 911. But maybe it got a little better then, he changed his mind. We waited some more and when he started yelling in pain, I called. Paramedics arrived pretty quickly, and checked him out. They said his vitals looked good. Asked about symptoms and he said, the pain and some difficulty breathing, which for some reason he hadn’t mentioned to me. They poked around his stomach and asked about pain. Said they were going to take him to the nearest hospital and also that there was some kind of imaging device on the ambulance they would use in the meantime. I watched him get loaded onto the stretcher, seriously panicked and worried at this time, but trying to be calm. I got some of his things to give to them and that’s it, he was taken away. I blew him a kiss and he gave me a weak smile. That was the last time I saw him…..

    He called me once he got to the hospital to say they were running tests. And called me a couple times throughout the afternoon. About 5 and a half hours after he arrived at the hospital, he called to tell me that they found an aortic aneurysm that had ruptured and that he was being life flighted to a different hospital for emergency surgery. I have never heard him sound so weak. I was on edge, waiting for news, trying to distract myself. Didnt hear anything until 7 the next morning, when his brother called me from my friend’s phone to tell me he was on life support and probably wouldnt make it because he’d had a lot of internal bleeding in his stomach, and that his brain and other organs were failing because they were starved of oxygen. “He probably won’t make it,” is what I heard. I was in disbelief. When I saw my friend’s name come up on my phone, my hopes went up, because I thought it was him calling me from recovery. I seriously just thought he was going to go in for a surgery and come back out okay.

    After hearing the news, I was a mess. I was crying all day long, my heart literally hurt and felt like I could barely breathe. His son called me later that night and said they were taking him off life support, probably some time around midnight.
    I got a call from his brother the next afternoon and he told me my friend had died shortly after being taken off life support. That just renewed my pain all over again. I had been constantly been thinking about how much I loved him, all the things we did together. We weren’t a couple, but almost as close as one. He was such a unique and irreplaceable person. Somebody I loved to hang out with. And now I would never get to see him again.
    This whole time, I have been trying to cope with the grief of losing him. Crying off and on. Still dealing with that crushing feeling in my chest. Not being able to sleep well, barely eating. But then I have the immense guilt of not calling 911 sooner. I keep searching the internet about aortic aneurysms, and if one should call emergency for stomach pain. They say one shouldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes to call for intense pain. I don’t understand why I treated it the way I did. He was in pain! Why didn’t i just take the initiative, make a decision, and call? Why didn’t i think it could possibly be a serious emergency situation? They would heave checked him out sooner, he would have gotten to the hospital earlier and diagnostic imaging would have hopefully shown the aneurysm before it ruptured (not sure when it started happening.)
    I feel so very guilty. The grief of losing my lover and who I would consider my best friend at the time is compounded by this huge guilt. I’m screaming at myself, wishing there was a way to do it over. I would have called sooner. Even if I waited for an hour after he woke me up with pain, he would have had more time for his life to be saved. I feel certain he would have made it. I am beating myself up so badly over it. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. And i’m starting to have feelings like, something bad should happen to me; I want to be where he is; maybe I should end my life. Then I become rational again and try to dismiss those thoughts.
    This is going to haunt me for a long time. Don’t think these feelings will ever go away. I’m inconsolable, my heart is broken. I miss him so much, don’t know how I can live without him. And knowing it’s my fault he didn’t make it is making this so much more awful.

    1
    • Litsa  April 29, 2022 at 4:07 am Reply

      A, first – If it ever feels so bad that you are thinking of hurting yourself, please contact the suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-8255 or go to their site for an online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. I am so incredibly sorry for what you are going through. I know the immense grief can feel crushing. Please know that feelings of guilt are so incredibly common, but feeling guilty does not mean you are guilty. What you describe in your actions above are the actions of a caring, compassionate, thoughtful person who was absolutely doing the best they could with the information they had. Describing what you have about your friend’s condition, no one would anticipate that could be anything so serious or fatal. You went out of your way to do all the caring things one would do – sitting with him, getting him medicine. I would encourage you to read this article we have about hindsight bias In grief (and in life) we do this thing where we use information we have now to look back and think that things were obvious in the past. They only seem obvious now because we know how things turned out. But at the time there would have been no reasonable way to know. https://whatsyourgrief.com/known-understanding-hindsight-bias-grief/ That is how I see your situation. Because you know what happened, you think you SHOULD have known. But this was a completely unexpected and there was no reason anyone would have ever anticipated the outcome could be what it was. You showed him care, comfort, and support. This was a devastating and random medical event with no obvious warning – that is not your fault. Please know that your grief will stay with you, but it will not always feel as crushing as in this moment. You will learn to live without him and also how to stay connected with him, honor, and remember him. I know that feels impossible now, but that is the work of grief. People do it even when it feels impossible, one day at a time, one breath at a time. Please know there is support – there are wonderful therapists and grief counselors out there. Please let us know if you need help getting connected with someone.

  4. Marina  April 19, 2022 at 6:51 am Reply

    It is so wonderful that you covered this topic because, unfortunately, a feeling of guilt is so widespread among people and it is really difficult to fight with it, especially, when your pet dies. I absolutely agree with you that it is important to realize that the death of your pet is an accident and that you didn’t purposely cause it because only the right approach can help not torture yourself. It is really important not to drown in self-flagellation and remain objective. Also, you are absolutely right that it is necessary to understand that you feel a normal grief reaction and we frequently can blame ourselves, regardless of the true state of affairs. In my opinion, primarily you need to accept the guilt and try not to perceive this feeling so globally because it is a real path to nowhere. We always need to be kinder to ourselves and not to take so much responsibility for ourselves. [link removed per site terms]

  5. Xuxa  April 17, 2022 at 5:55 am Reply

    I feel guilty for not checking on my mom. We lost her last night. We had a huge fight late last year but reconciled after the new year. I have asked for forgiveness for everything i said and that i hurt her. She is under treatment and i send her money for medication. But we seldomly talk the way i talk and check on her several years later. I feel guilty that i didnt call and text often these days just to tell her i love her and how much she mean to me

  6. Jessica  April 13, 2022 at 1:42 am Reply

    My husband passed away December 5th 2021. He has been over weight most of his life. We had done diets, he would lose quite a bit, and then we would seem to cheat on the diets and he would gain the weight back. It was back and forth for years. He had been in and out of the hospital for water retention, and always seemed to come out fine. About a year ago, we discovered he had a hereditary blood disorder called hemochromatosis, it’s where your body absorbs too much iron and salt. It damaged his liver so bad that he would need a transplant at some point, sooner rather than later. They said he would need to get the weight down to be able to get that done. So we did. We cut out all salt, ate mostly chicken and fish, very little red meat. Lots of salads, veggies and fruits. No soda, only water and tea. He was amazing. He lost over 120 lbs. He was able to come off of the oxygen he had been on for 5 years. He was more active. He was feeling good, looking good. Then all of the sudden, he started gaining the weight back. And quickly. I thought he was cheating on his diet while I was at work. I accused him of all sorts of things. He hardly seemed to eat anything when I was home. He was so tired, and the pounds kept piling on. His legs were swollen and had sores that just oozed out water. He’d had them before, but not this bad, and not for quite some time. He would be in the same position in his computer chair in the evening when I got home from work as when I left for work. He wasn’t cooking or cleaning or anything. I was getting so frustrated. I said horrible things to him. I told him he was a glorified babysitter, nothing more. He had gained almost 100 lbs back within 2 months. I should’ve known something wasn’t right. We were supposed to visit my mum for thanksgiving, he called me at work the day we were supposed to leave to tell me he didn’t think we should go. I was so angry. I bit my tongue, made last minute thanksgiving dinner, we ate at up the table with our 13 year old autistic son, said grace, gave thanks for each other. He went to the hospital 3 days later by ambulance. They transported him to a bigger hospital, and he passed away 2 days later. We learned that his body had stopped responding to the water pills he was on. All the weight gain was nothing but his body retaining water. Over 100lbs of nothing but water. His organs shut down one by one because the water wouldn’t give them room to function. I feel so guilty for everything that I said to him. For accusing him of cheating on his diet and being so lazy. For not recognizing that this wasn’t like the other times and for not sending him to the hospital sooner. If they had gotten to him sooner, maybe they could have reduced more of the water sooner. I hate myself for everything that happened. And to top it all off, I wasn’t in the room when his heart stopped. I am just devastated.

  7. Leslie LeBlanc  April 2, 2022 at 12:58 pm Reply

    My husband had COVID and passed away a week later. The kids were sick and I was busy cleaning up vomit. I mentally just took him off my plate because I never dreamed he would pass away. He asked me to get him a towel because he didn’t feel like he could go down the stairs. I didn’t question it, just tossed him a towel and kept on w the kids. Later I was bathing one of my kids who had thrown up on himself again and I heard my husband breathing loudly but he had sleep apnea so again didn’t think too much of it; I was even annoyed that he was able to sleep while I was dealing with everything. A little bit afterward I went to our room and found he had passed away. My guilt is so strong that my throat burns and I break down every single day even four months later. I feel shame for not being a better wife and guilt for not being there when he needed me.

  8. Lauren Tschantz  March 29, 2022 at 1:04 am Reply

    I was in an 11 year relationship with my ex boyfriend. He did drugs on and off our whole relationship. For the last year of our relationship I had grown distant and detached and was just content living with him. I ended up leaving him pretty abruptly and started dating one of our mutual close friends. My ex took it very hard and started using heroin which ultimately took his life a year after he started using.

    It has now been almost a year since he has passed, my now fiancé was very supportive while I went through my grieving. My fiancé was also his friend for 11 years, so of course he was upset about his passing. He never really went through the grieving process until now. He’s started struggling with feelings of guilt. He’s even questioning our relationship. He has asked me to give him space so he can decide how to become okay with himself because right now he feels like our relationship, our coming together is what caused my ex to spiral down into addiction that took his life.

    Is there anything I can say to him to help forgive himself?

    My ex told me that he forgave him and i and I really took that to heart. But my fiancé didn’t believe him.

    It feels wrong but I’m having feelings of anger towards my ex for still having control over my life and keeping me from being happy.

    I’m feeling lost and hurt and just want to take away my fiancés feelings of guilt..

  9. Tahlia  March 13, 2022 at 4:14 pm Reply

    please I am seeking comfort, I have not told anyone about this.

    Hi,
    I lost my Auntie in Nov 2021. She was only 43…She called me while she was at work, it was like 10 in the morning. I had just woken up, I’m still laying in bed and Auntie calls me. She says, “T can you bring some pads I’m not feeling good. I might need you to stay here and help me with work.” and the background is loud as fuck for an office workplace, I could barely hear her. But I remembering thinking, “she sounds drunk? but no way, because she’s at work”, So I dismissed the thought.

    My auntie was born with one kidney and her being in pain with cramps and stuff is normal and when she said bring pads I’m thinking it’s just cramps. So my dumbass is taking my sweet ass time to get ready and be on my way to her job. To be honest, I was annoyed by the task because I just woke up? or I don’t know why. I was such a bitch. I feel so guilty for being annoyed. Anyways, I get there (to her job) an hour later and knock on the office door. The manager opens the door and tells me he found her on the floor and she was just taken away to the hospital a few minutes before I showed up. Dumbass manager doesn’t even know what hospital they took her to.

    I get back to the car and I call my Nana (grandmother), my auntie’s mom, and tell her the situation. We call all the hospitals to find her and finally did. We show up and they tell us she had an aneurysm (at this time she is not yet an angel) and they want to transport her to the best hospital suited for the brain. That night I’m lying in my bed trying to register what happened that day, I realized my auntie was having a seizure or stroke because of her distorted speech! But I was too dumb to realize! Even with the loud background noise over the phone, I feel so stupid. AND I KNOW THAT SIGN (slurred speech/distorted speech) BUT I DON’T KNOW WHY IT DIDN’T CLICK FOR ME. Like I’ve seen posters of “know the signs of a stroke” and I’ve been watching a lot of medical shows at the time. I feel so fucking dumb and guilty and I’ve been blaming myself. I could have saved her had I realized. I know I can’t blame myself for the aneurysm but I do blame myself for not being there when she needed me.

    My Auntie was in the hospital for about a week before she passed away. She was fighting to wait for all of us (my siblings, mom, nana and her brothers and sisters) to come visit her. Literally after the last visitor came to see her she went on to be an angel.

    I feel guilty for being annoyed after the phone call. I feel guilty for not being there. I feel guilty that she was alone at that shitty ass job. I feel DUMB for not realizing what was happening over the phone. And I feel guilty for not sharing this information with my family. All they know is what she called me for and the loud background over the phone. I just can’t, I’m too ashamed, they would hate me and probably disown me. This is something I’m taking to the grave. I even tell myself often that I deserve to die because of it. She was so young and she was fucking healthy!!! She was doing so good. I know it was the stress from her job that was a main cause to her aneurysm, especially traveling far just to get to work. I just miss her so much, I wish I could rewind time and just be there for her when she needed me.

    8
  10. Belle  March 9, 2022 at 10:20 am Reply

    I moved my elderly mom to a retirement community. She was upset leading up to the move, but I pushed her. I wanted her life to be easier and safer. She wanted a new sofa for her apartment, but didn’t know where to go to shop for one. I didn’t really know either and was busy getting ready for the holidays and put it off. After the holidays, I realized even if we ordered a sofa, it wouldn’t come in time to go with her on her move so I told her to take one that was in a long unused area of her home and we would replace it after the move. She moved in and loved the place! She couldnt believe how good she had it and how good the food was and how many friends she was making. After a few days, I noticed an odor in her apartment when I would visit. It was a strong moldy smell. The apartment was all new with new kitchen, new floors, everything. I couldnt figure out where it was coming from but suspected it was the furniture, perhaps the new apartment was a humidified air and mold spores were taking off.. I didn’t know how to handle it, She wouldnt have been comfortable coming to my house, I couldnt just get rid of all the furniture , she didnt want me to open windows as it was so cold out, I was scared to call facilities because she was new there and would be embarrassed that she brought old furniture that possibly had mold spores. I was super busy with things in my own life but was worried enough that stopped in each day to see if the smell was better. She didnt notice it since she was living in it. I took my husband and he thought maybe it was new contruction smell and so did my mom. BUt I knew it wasnt. The next day she called me short of breath. I had the nurse at the facility check her and the nurse said she should go to the ER. They discovered she had a mild pneumonia and were going to admit her. She was FINE , just a little short of breath. They started her IV fluids to fast for her frail body and she went into heart failure and the fluid backed up in her lungs. She coughed lots of blood and couldnt breath. SHe was drowning in her own lungs. I feel I didnt make a big enough fuss in he ER to get her quicker help when the air mask didnt seem to help and I watched her suffer for an hour. she ended up going unconcious and they intubated her and she was in ICU for a week where sepsis set in and they couldnt find an antibiotic to treat the infection. She died 7 days after going to ICU and suffered pain the whole time. She had only lived at the apartment 10 days. She is gone, and I cant fix it. I have to move everything out of the apartment I just moved there. Plus finish cleaning out her house. I have incredible debilitating guilt that I didn’t buy her a new sofa as soon as we knew she was moving there and have it delivered on her move day. I have guilt that once I realized there was a mold problem I didn’t get her out and act immediately. I feel guilty I didnt take the time to smell each piece of furniture to figure out the source. I have guilt that I didn’t advocate for her strongly enough in the ER while she was suffering. Everyone around me tells me it’s not my fault, and the doctor doubted that mold could have started the pneumonia that fast..but I have researched it and found that in the elderly it can. No matter what anyone tells me, I know in my heart the strong mildewy smell caused the pneumonia and led to her ultimate sudden death. I cant get past my fault in it .

    6
  11. Tonya  March 4, 2022 at 11:56 pm Reply

    My Dad is diagnosed with cancer. In 2019 he was eligible for medicaid because he was getting his social security early at age 62. He knew then something was wrong and he would tell me he needed to get a check up. At that time, he was eligible for medicaid but didn’t know how to fill out the application online. He had someone in his town helping him at the dcf office but I guess he didn’t know to report the change in income. Long story short. I didn’t help my Dad fill out an online application and that mistake may kill him

    2
  12. Ed  February 17, 2022 at 4:19 pm Reply

    I lost my husband (we were same sex couple) last Sunday 02/13/2022. He was battleling Multiple Myeloma for almost 5 years and the medication some how was destroying Him little by little. His heart was doing well even His Cardiolist was watching His heart. I did all I could to to take of Him. I was there with Him all the time through His journy and I never left Him alone. I felt that for the last few weeks thing were changing. Beside MM He prostate problem and blood pressure problem. He lately was getting dizzy when He stoood up and before I notice it months a go I was always near Him to hold Him if He fell to avoid hurting Himself like He did many times before. The last night before He passed I had to hold Him 2 times and I thought He would die during this 2 moments (but he did not because I was there to revive Him). That night (His last night) I watched Him all night and in the morning I came and He was wake telling me He could not sleep and I covered Him and try to rest a little bit, but when I woke up he walked to the kitchen and during His come back from the kitchen He blood pressure changed (changing His heart beat) and passed on. When I went to look for Him because He was not in the bed I went to the Kitchen and I found Him lifeless and I called 911 after I tried to revive Him for few minutes and when they came they told me “I am sorry but your partner is gone.” Oh my God broke my heart. I feel so GUILTY for not being there to help Him when He fell. I was doing it for the last 6 months. I can’t stop crying and feeling guilt. I don’t know if I did enough (that is my feeling). I am here now writing it and tears are insisting on falling. I was His parner/husband for almost 28 years and He was 13 years older than me & I was His caregiver since He became sick. I am proud I helped Him to the end and I would do it again if needed. I never left Him alone. I love Him so much that thinking about His passing hurt deeply. I am in deep sorrow and I can get way from it. I did everyting I could to help Him and I love Him very much. Please can someone help me stop feeling guilty. My heart bleeds and my pain is infinit.

    6
    • Litsa  February 21, 2022 at 4:21 pm Reply

      Ed, it sounds like you were an amazing, loving, and caring husband. No one can be with their loved one 24/7 – it is impossible. We often beat ourselves up because we believe we had more control than we did. But you were doing all you could, providing him the same loving care you had. As much as we hate to admit it, there are always things outside of our control. It is easy to fixate on regret of one particular moment at the end. But it is so important to remember that what defined your relationship is the millions of moments that happened every day that you were a couple. Try to imagine for a moment if the circumstances were reversed, and it were he who had cared for you and was left with this guilt. Though I don’t know you, I feel sure that you would probably tell him not to feel guilty – that he had loved and cared for you for so many years, that you know he would have been with you if he known, and that there is no reason to let this regret overshadow his memories of what mattered most – the love and care you shared for all those years. We are all human and life, unfortunately, rarely goes exactly as we would wish – the best we can do is show ourselves self-compassion and to honor the memories of those we’ve lost by embracing the full of our relationship with them, not getting lost in the regret of moments over which we had no control.

  13. Suchita  February 10, 2022 at 2:06 pm Reply

    I am Dr suchita from India , i lost my mother suddenly 3 months back to ruptured brain aneurysm causing subarchnoid haemorrhage . She was on ventilator for 10 days , tried best of everything possible for her , undergone surgery but she passed . Being a Medico it’s too hard for me , the guilt is so much that I can not handle it . My mother was having high blood pressure as adviced by one of the doctor I have started her on medication but she was irregular on some days . The guilt of if I would have paid more attention to her hypertension she would have been alive now , spending time with us , is consuming me to death . I was too much attached to her and she was the only thing i loved more than my life . Whenever she used to fall sick even with fever I used to take her to hospital and get her admitted . But this time I failed miserably , I can not stand it .

    3
    • Tonya  March 5, 2022 at 12:06 am Reply

      Suchita,
      I understand. I am an Insurance Agent and didn’t make sure my Dad had Medicaid when he was eligible 3 years prior to his cancer diagnosis. Not filling out his online application could be the mistake that takes his life
      He depended on me for those things. At the time there was someone helping at the dcf office in his town but I guess somehow the change in income was not reported. He also knew something was wrong and even tried a free clinic near his home. They gave him a number to call for emergency help but he got frustrated and threw it away. He’s a little stubborn and that’s also why I needed to help. I am not sleeping or eating.
      For both of us, I can say, we didn’t know what would happen and they didn’t come to us or ask for help. I feel a little anger also because I feel my Dad could have done more for himself with or without my help. God Bless us and everyone feeling guilty and grieving

      1
      • Manj  March 19, 2022 at 8:05 pm

        My father fell down and fracture his hip on 1st Feb and he was due for surgery few days later but suddenly oxygen saturation reach 60 on the operation day and we had to abort the operation nxt day he got pnemonia and was intubated he became conscious then we change hospital for much better treatment …
        He was kept in the ICU he came out of ventilator and reach his optimal condition for surgery and it was done all was well but after 2 days his pnemonia which was still mildly there cause him to be again on ventilator …but short time about 3 days only then he came out was fine we thought things were getting better but his bp was getting low day by day last Sunday 13/3/2022 he again got complications bp was low, did not pass urine and saturation drop things spiral down and again he was intubated this time it was worst and monday i gave him permission to rest in peace we lost him tuesday morning at 3.45am, 15/3/2022 and he went to be with the Lord. I feel so guilty to put him through the last ventilator because i felt he was moving n blinking still as a child i would do my bestest to save him but the last sight suffocates me for hvg put him through the last intubation. He survives 3 ventilator but could not do the last fourth . That guilt that i made him suffer is eating me n my brother as its still fresh

        1
  14. Billie  February 10, 2022 at 1:24 am Reply

    I just lost my mom on Jan 30th. I was just getting over covid and she knew I was really sick. I last talked to her Tuesday Jan 25th . I usually would go only 3 days max not calling her. I returned to work the Friday after 18 days and was very tired. By Sunday I had thought, I gotta call mom I haven’t talked to her for a few days. I called her 5x no answer. Then I checked my messages, she called at least 2-3 x a day. I had no messages since Wednesday!! I panicked. Called her superintendent and had her bang my moms door. My mom had fallen and it was since either Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning she was there all alone. Once the paramedics got there she was still coherent and knew her name. 6 minutes later she went into cardiac arrest. She later passed at the hospital. The guilt is insurmountable. That’s the longest in a while I didn’t call her. She was last seen Saturday afternoon doing her laundry. I was her caregiver and had to move out of city due to my divorce. I’m trying so hard to move past but it’s so hard.

    4
  15. Becky  January 25, 2022 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Over the last few months my husband had a series of health issues, from kidney stone surgery in November to then catching a cold that turned into pneumonia, after which he caught covid. My children and I also caught covid, which prevented me from visiting him in the hospital until I was out of quarantine. After 2 weeks in ICU he passed away… I had only been able to visit him twice by that point. I feel immense guilt that I didn’t get to visit him and make sure he was receiving the proper care, and I will always wonder if I could’ve done more, and if so, would he have survived…..It just doesn’t seem fair that we are all okay and he is gone forever…

    2
  16. Melissa  January 13, 2022 at 12:40 am Reply

    I lost my significant other and best friend to brain cancer August 28, 2020 after an 18 month battle. I still cry myself to sleep almost every night. Yes I miss him more than anything in the world and that is definitely part of it but I also feel extremely guilty. I was his caregiver for 17 of those months prior to him going into hospice. He got to a point that I physically could not care for him any longer as he was in a wheelchair and lost his left side mobility. I did not want to take him to hospice! I knew he wouldn’t come home. I feel horrible about taking him there. I also always told him “I got you babe! We’ll get through this”. And I failed him. At the end, I slept with him that night and then his family came. I left to give them some time and thought I’d run and get them all food at the store which was 6 blocks away and he was unconscious. I knew better… why did I do that? I was gone 10 minutes and missed his last breath. I will never forgive myself! I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel horrible. I know he would not want that but I can’t shake it. I talk to him every day and say how sorry I am. Sorry I couldn’t cure him, sorry I brought him to hospice and extremely sorry I left that morning! I miss him so much!!!

    2
    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 10:39 pm Reply

      Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss and the guilt you feel. As someone who has worked in end of life and grief for almost my entire career, please know that one thing that so many hospice and hospital nurses will tell you is that it is VERY common for people to wait until the person or people closest to them leave to die. Almost every hospice nurse will tell you story after story of people staying at the bedside for days or weeks straight, and it was only when they finally left (begrudgingly) for some reason that the person would quickly die. I have heard many hospices nurses frame this by saying that often the people who are healthy want to be present, but the person dying has their own wants and often that want and wait for that moment when the person is gone. Another important thing to remember is that when a person is at the point of hospice care, it is often the most compassionate thing you can give them. Hospice nurses can ensure that someone is not having pain in a way that it very, very difficult for people to do on their own or in the hospital. It sounds like you cared for him so deeply and not taking him to hospice wouldn’t have changed the outcome – if anything it would have put him at risk of greater suffering. If you find yourself stuck on these feelings of guilt and regret, a counselor can be incredibly helpful.

      1
    • Tonya  March 5, 2022 at 12:13 am Reply

      Just a thought but…maybe he waited to pass when you were gone. Sometimes it’s hard for them if they now we want them to hold on and they just can’t anymore. I grew up in a Retirement home and saw death often. The spirit needs permission to “leave” if it’s a natural death. In other words you choose when you go. You did everything you could do for him. He also may have been protecting you from seeing that moment

      3
  17. Mari  December 30, 2021 at 2:18 am Reply

    Me husband and I got into argument over assumptions of cheating while Being aware that his grandfather was on his deathbed, 3 hours later his grandfather passed and he wasn’t able to say his goodbyes.

    I feel guilty, although I couldn’t have been able to predict his death, a part of me feels guilty and/or selfish for bringing up an argument knowing what him and his family are going through.

    1
  18. Bill  December 27, 2021 at 10:57 pm Reply

    I am 20 year old boy from India..I recently lost my dad.He had some health issues. I took him to hospital for consultation and the doctor told he should be hospitalised as his BP was low..I asked my dad about his decision,and he told he was feeling normal , I went after his decision..I lost him that evening…I am really feeling like ending up my life as the guilt is killing me every single second..I knew he was sick and could have gone with the doctor’s decision but ……I really really feel very low and frustrated on what i did…My dad was just 45….I can’t handle this situation..

    1
    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 9:49 pm Reply

      Bill, please know that your father’s death was not your fault. Often we engage in something called “hindsight bias” – when you know how something ends, you assume it was obvious and you should have known it all along. Your father expressed that he felt okay – normal. You had no way to know what the outcome would be and you were making the best decision you could with the information that you had at the time, respecting the decision that your father himself made. It is normal to wish the outcome had been different, but please try to show yourself some self-compassion knowing that you were doing the best you could and clearly loved your father very much. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, please know there is always support and suicide is never the answer. There are support resources and helplines available in India – please see the options on this website. http://www.aasra.info/helpline.html

      1
  19. Tyson  December 18, 2021 at 12:14 pm Reply

    I lost my best friend to a substance overdose about a month and a half ago. We had a falling out and I had not talked to him a bit before, and he called me asking if I had time to talk, I said no, but I did have time. Next time I hear he passed, and the last time I talked to him I said I didn’t have any time for him. I’ve never felt this sort of guilt before and it’s shaking me up.
    Given on how he died, his family were not very open about where they wanted him laid to rest, he was cremated, so I don’t have a place to go to visit him or something.

    3
    • Litsa  December 20, 2021 at 6:51 am Reply

      Tyson, I am so sorry for your friend’s death and the guilt that you’re feeling. Please remember that it is easy to focus on the interactions that happened at the end, but relationships are built of a combination of the countless interactions that came before. Those at the end were likely a small fraction of the full scope of your relationship. Though you can’t change the past, in his memory you make a conscious effort to not put off conversations with others in the future – this is sometimes called a “living amends”, where you consciously use your regret to guide your future actions in memory of someone. Though he does not have a gravesite, you can pick a place that feels meaningful to you – somewhere he loved or that you all went together. The goal is to have somewhere that you feel close and it doesn’t matter where that is. So just pick a place that feels right for you, even it is a new place you just decide on now that you want to be the place you visit when you want to feel close to his memory.

      3
  20. Kayla  December 9, 2021 at 12:33 am Reply

    We lost a family member two weeks ago. I’m having a hard time eating and drinking because I know they will never be able to eat or drink or enjoy things again. I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced this feeling before. I cant even take a sip of water without feeling guilty about it.

    3
  21. Mel  December 4, 2021 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Hi,
    I lost my dad almost 3 years ago and my mom over a month ago. We are three children, my brother who is the eldest, me and my youger sister. My brother and his family moved away from our hometown and only can home maybe once a year. Me and sister lived the closes to our parents but is was always me that they called and depent on if help is needed. Even though we all had our own households my parents especially my mom would always be worried about my bother and my sister and buy groceries of even send money for them although they were pensioners. I was divorced, had a daughter to take care of and also had to work. My mom always said that she knew that I was the strongest and didn’t need help from them. Even tough I struggled I kept it to myself and kept on going and doing what I felt was right. In my own way I rried to be there for them all
    I don’t have my own transport and had to depend on my friends when I was to do shopping for me and my parents. My siblings always make me feel like an outcased and that I wasn’t good enough.
    I begged my brother to.move closer to home for may years when my parents started to get older and their health deteriorate, even my parents asked them, but with no luck. My dad’s health got so worse that doctors said we have to put him in an old age home for care. It was difficult for me but it was the best at that time. My mom refused to go and I respect her wishes. I had to take my mo for visits with the help of a friend and was an emotional battle everytime. Later with a struggle my bother came and he blamed me for everything as if I was the one who made my dad sick and for putting him in the old age home. Eventually they decided without me my mom must also go and wanted me to take her which I refuse to di and they took her. Pack up her their stuff at home and left the house with no one to look after it. They left and it was up to me to get someone to rent to house. Soon my parents’ nest egg was depleted because of the expenses of the old age home and it was up to me and my daughter to step in and pay they stay. My sister eventually took on her to go take them to live with in her house which was by the way also my parents house, but because I handled my parents finances I had to hire someone to take care of them since we both worked. After my shift I was responsable for them I had to just dropped my bag at my home and go and releave the caretaker…my sister came home and went to her bedroom or get in her care and drove off. Sometimes I had to even cook for them as well. I took my father to doctor 600km away from our hometown to find out what really was wrong with him with no assistance whatsoever from my sibilings…in fact my bothet was furious for me doing it. I neede to know what was wtong with him even if they told my they could do nothing for him. He had stage 4 cancer. Two weeks before my father a month after our doctor,s visit my bother and his family moved back home. Long story short my mom lived with them for six months then his wife told me to come get my mother because she’s not her mother. My mom stayed with me while I was wirking and her health also deteriorate and mine as well that the doctor told me that I wasn’t equipped to give my mom the professional care that se neede and going on at that rate I will probably die before her. With a heavy heart our path had to part and she was put in an old age home. I cried every day because I felt like I failled my mom. It was difficult for her because she lost her husband of 51 years and now she had to stay in an old age home. Covid-19 came.and made everthing worst. We could have physical contact even tough we could se her through the window it was difficult. I had to run all her errands…from buying her toiletries arrange medication with doctors, being her linked with her attorney and handle my dad’s estate. My mom died and my bother told me I was the worst daughter to my mom…the worst daughter that ever lived…his wife was the best daughter my mom ever had. None of them know my struggles as a single parent because my ex husband also died soon aftervour divorce. They didn’t knew how I struggled to cope with my dad’s death, with me not being able to take care of my mom myself, but I tried to be there for her. I had to hore someone everytime that I needed to do something for my mom because I had no transport. I could even depent on them to help me. With my dad’s funeral I had to pay for everything with my daughter’s help they didn’t give a dime. I govtbrough some much emotions here on my own. I even though my bother appologise for his behaviour and I forgave him I can’t forget what he said to me and their behaviour towards me hasn’t change a bit. I live with this guilt of being a bad person for not being there physically to take care of my mom allyough I know I did my best. I still feel like a failure.

    • Kisa_Nao  January 9, 2022 at 4:23 pm Reply

      Hey I’m a total stranger to you but I want you to know that even if you feel that you failed your parents, and even if your family (esp your brother) blamed you for it all. The way I looked at it, the one who failed them the most is your stuck up brother.
      Everyone had their own difficulties, and just because you’re a divorcee with only a daughter to take care of: DOESN’T mean you don’t struggle. And tbh it is harder for you then him who don’t contribute anything throughout all this happenings between your late father and then late mother. He and his wife just shoved the whole things under the bus and blame people but not themselves.
      You’re stronger and more helpful than you think, Girl! Your sis might help with Mom a bit with that living thing, but not as much as you did in all areas. Meanwhile your entitled brother keep rejecting to move back home and not providing any financial helps (like a bird keep twittering but no action, what a twit!), you had been juggling taking care of Dad, Mom and your Daughter. You might think it is not enough, could have done more, but if you had worked till even doctor said your health also deterioting, that means you work hard enough till you almost drop. That is sayin something Darling!

      I never met your brother or your sister or your sis in law but gotta say, esp to your older brother; if your sis is the worst daughter and your wife is the best daughter, you should get a mirror and quickly confess your sins to a priest in Chruch. Cause I see YOU are actually the Worst Son and actually Worst Child that your parents had the unfortunate experience to bring you up till adult and you spitting on their alive and dead state. How many cents had come out of your pockets and how many hours days you had spent caring for your parents, to easily accuse your little sister for being the worst when you’re the devil in your fake angelic son sticker.
      Your wife is the best daugter? WELL the best daughter you proclaimes had given your mother back to your sis after only 6 months claiming she isn’t her mom. Well never seen a daughter in law so ungrateful like her. Bet if Mom living a 2nd life, she would sooner kick you and your wife down the street than having your shits. Or better yet just put you in orphanage, you ungrateful bstrd! Father will sooner be alive rolling in his grave seeing you doing blasphemy than critizing her daughter
      Cause I can see your sister is doing 1000x times better job as a child than you, your wife and your youngest sister did! And she is doing that while taking care of her fine daughter!

      Dear, I hope wherever you are, please understand that you never did fail them. You have done the best you can do. Fate is just a strange thing. You could have been successful in life and financial, but still got loved ones gone for one reason and another. I just hope you can take care of yourself more. You’re busy caring for others, you often burn out.

      Hope you also give yourself some forgiveness and peace that yes, you have done what you can do at that time and all. Now there’s nothing to do anymore and regret and guilt won’t bring any of your parents back, and only making you more miserable.

      Don’t give up. Have peace in prayer and surround yourself with more positive environment than toxic people a.k.a your bro and his dmn wife.

      Do open sharing with your daughter so you can strengthen each other. Do some bonding activities together. Maybe even more somewhere else farther from your toxic family and occasionally deal with them from phone only (I find my boss is calling me. Sorry busy excuse better and beep beep beep hung up!). 🙂
      Hahaha. Good luck sweetest hardworking daughter and mother!

      Lottsa lottsa Love,
      Kisa

      1
  22. Sondra Camp  November 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm Reply

    I lost my sister to Covid recently. She lived in Florida and I live in Virginia. My sister had mental health issues/anger and past substance abuse problems.
    My issue is I don’t feel a significant amount of sadness about her death. I feel very guilty about that!
    My sister did horrific things to my parents and manipulated them into signing an irrevocable trust agreement where she was given complete control over their lives. I did not know this for several years until they became ill and I began to question what was going on. My sister loved money and did almost anything to get it. She was divorced after a short marriage. She had questionable lawyers and was able to sell their lake place and home & moved my mother
    Into her home which was right next door after my dad died. He was a very reputable Pastor in their community. My children & I were only allowed to see my mother for 1 hour visits with supervision by a nurse and my sister we had to drive from Washington DC to do this!’ I’m not sure why we were a threat except I had contacted Adult Protective Service about abuse issues I knew were going on via her friends & some family members. When my mother was visited by the caseworkers all she would tell them was “it’s a family matter or it’s a personal matter.” I even spoke to a Judge but his reaction was I should have fought the irrevocable trust that was set up several years ago!!
    I am sorry for going on but there is much more I could tell about this situation! The bottom line is my sister and I did not talk for 5+ years. She begin to reconnect by sending small trinkets owned by my parents & eventually we began to talk, avoiding all the things she had done earlier. For the past 8 years we have talked weekly & I have sent her $ for her Birthday & Christmas.
    My son reconciled with her about the same time but my daughter has refused to communicate in any way.
    Even though we talked often & I was supportive of her
    I was never able to completely trust her. Even after her death while I was dealing with her memorial service I discovered other things that was going on while we were talking but she never discussed with me. I was 4 years older than my sister & never had consistent contact with her over the years even though we did talk by phone on occasion.
    I am a therapist & have had some training in grief but I must say I have felt much guilt over the lack of grief for my Sisters death. It was very sudden & maybe it has not hit me yet but all I can do is think about a plcture she sent my saying “yes you are my sister & I think it’s funny you can’t do anything about it”! I have felt sadness for the difficult life she had & I have cried about her loss. I miss our phone calls but they consisted of me being her support & therapist instead of a give and take sister conversation.
    Yes their has been some sadness an tears but I haven’t experienced the deep grief and I feel regret about this!

    • NJM  March 14, 2022 at 7:19 am Reply

      Someone told me that whatever emotions you feel during your grief are the right ones for how you’re feeling. Maybe sadness isn’t the only way to feel a loss, and maybe missing someone’s presence isn’t just pain? Maybe it’s also anger, and incredulity, and a little helplessness? Maybe you’ve got too much to deal with now and once you’ve processed everything your sister was to you and what you think she was, only then the sadness will come? Even if you never do feel it though, you guys are sisters, and this is how you’ve lived, and whatever meaningful connections you both have don’t need additional grief to be meaningful. they’re meaningful on their own, I feel like.

  23. Lin R  November 16, 2021 at 8:56 am Reply

    I lost my husband of 34 years in 2015. He had Cancer for the second time and the doc thought he was doing well on the pills he was taking, since he had trouble with his chemo earlier in the year. I was having an internal breakdown due to him falling apart and I was sub consciously blaming him for letting his health go. It wasn’t just the Cancer but a lot of other co-morbidities. He couldn’t walk upstairs and designed a rope to pull himself up. I slept up stairs because I was working two jobs for 15 hours per day and he was a nightowl who watched tv for most of the night. He put a makeshift bed together in the downstairs den and i didn’t think I’d fit on there since he was a big guy. So, for his last month, he slept down there alone. When he struggled to get upstairs and hobble down the hallway, I yelled at him because I had messed up the bedroom and didn’t want him to see it. He turned around, went downstairs and the rope was thrown to the top of the stairs. I don’t yell and scream but was silently blaming him for his poor health. He never upstairs again. We had been talking about a note that my Aunt sent to a cousin and it was confidential information about a few incidences when I was growing up. My husband adored my Aunt, who is now 86 and I said that I was upset that she passed my private info along. I said that I wouldn’t go to her future funeral and looked very sad. We were very compatible for the 37 years that I knew him and at times, we had disagreements. There seemed to be a few that day and I regret them. I was in our living room and tripped. My husband was rushing to put his leg on and help me. My son ran downstairs to pick me up and my husband didn’t have to get up. This was approximately 11:30 pm and I went back into the den with him. I said “We should go to bed a little bit earlier so that we don’t drag ourselves into church”> He agreed that he wouldn’t stay up and watch tv. I always watched tv with him on Saturday nights, downstairs. I went to bed and my son went downstairs at 3am and called upstairs to me. He said that Dad didn’t look good. I came downstairs and my son was on the phone with 911 and they were talking him through the cpr. I knew cpr from years before but when I saw my husband slumped, I knew he was gone. I went into the hallway and started picking things up because I knew that I’d have paramedics coming in. I should have been next to my son, comforting him, but I was sensitive about my house looking messy and went into the other room to straighten up. I think I knew that he was gone, but the paramedics weren’t there yet. All of a sudden, we had a house full of paramedics and cops and they wanted to make sure it wasn’t a crime scene, and told me that it wasn’t. I knew that already. They told me that they were sorry, but he was gone and I stood in shock across the room. My son was next to him and my oldest dtr was at a wedding 90 minutes away. I had to tell her at 6am when she returned the call, that he was gone. I was worried that she’d find out on facebook. Wanted to drive halfway and tell her in person, since they were so close, but people in their own kind way were coming into our house with cakes very quickly on that day. I had to make a decision about the embalming or autopsy and had people running in with cakes. They meant well but I had 10 minutes to make a decision. I chose the embalming. I did appreciate people coming over, but I still had to make decisions and couldn’t entertain company. I feel the most guilt when I think of him smiling and approaching our bedroom and me yelling him out of the room. I found a full insulin under something in the den. Spoke to the pharmacist and he hadn’t renewed his insulin from 15 days prior. A full one was left which makes me think that he “gave up” and stopped it. He only had 10 insulin shots in 30 days, as I surmized after talking to the pharmacist and seeing what was left of his insulin. There was a new suit in a plastic bag and it ws hung in our closet. There were also paper lined up on his makeshift bed and he passed away in the recliner that I had bought for him. He had his favorite dress shoes on w/o socks and never wore them that way. Had his favorite shirt and shorts on and I don’t remember him wearing those when I went to bed. An old insulin was by his feet and empty. The newer one was under something. The funeral director was begging me not to have an autopsy as I’d have to wait 6 months for the results and wouldn’t be given much information. I have a feeling that she knew he stopped his insulin based on her training. I feel guilt in the way that I acted, but think that I was having an internal breakdown over his crumbling body and I pulled away at times. We had a long marriage and three beautiful kids but he felt alone since my son worked and was upstairs with video games al most all of his non work hours. My dtr was working and had a lot of friends and my youngest, whom he adored, had behavioral issues and is autistic. She was placed in a group home, 4 years before and we visited her a lot. I had to work 15 hours per day and he must have felt alone, at times. The house always seemed to be messy and we couldn’t invite people in. HE did go the supermarket with his cane and drove to his docs, 2 days before. The nurse told me, after his death, that he was on a med that was giving him side effects. She told me that he told her to keep him on that med. It was to help mosquito bites from one month before as he wasn’t healing and had them head to toe from working outside. My sister was turning a milestone birthday and she lives over 3 hours away. He chose to not go up to see my family for his own reasons, for years and I was pressing him to go to her big birthday party. I think he took the drug that didn’t interact well, to clear his mosquito bites. It was unusual to see so many bites on his body and he may have been uncomfortable going to a family party. He didn’t say why. My sister turned the big number on his life celebration night and my twins and I drove to New England for her birthday, one day after he buried. I didn’t want to miss that and it was good for us to get away as I was having PTSD about the den that he passed away in and seeing him, slumped over and then laying on the floor with my son giving him cpr. We were told that he passed around midnight, which was 30 minutes after I went to bed. I worry that his bp may have gone up because I tripped in the other room and he was rushing to put his leg on and help me. A few days before he passed, he gave me a bunch of kisses on my face and said ” Oh, I love you”. I think he stopped his insulin and knew his time was short. He was fixing the outside fence on that day and my son told me, days after that he had tripped and caught himself coming in the door. I was at a church event all and of course, I didn’t know it would be his last day on earth. I’m focusing on all of the negative when there was so much positive for many years. This is over six years and I still have the PTSD. What do you suggest?

    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 9:25 pm Reply

      I am so sorry for you loss and all that you are coping with in your grief. Please try to remember that often our brains fixate on the few moments that we regret and would wish to change, but your relationship was made up of so many moments over so many years – those were what created and defined your relationship together and love for one another. If you are still struggling with the guilt and unanswered questions and symptoms of PTSD, talking to a therapist is probably the most helpful thing. Have you worked with a counselor or therapist since his death?

  24. Kevin Bell  November 8, 2021 at 5:02 pm Reply

    I lost my best friend in a boating accident a few years ago. I was in the Army at the time, and was suppose to come home for memorial weekend and go on a camping trip with him and another friend from high school. Something postponed my trip by a day and couldn’t make it home for the trip. The next day I received a phone call saying that my friend had drowned and passed away. I’ve been dealing with survivor’s guilt for a long time now. I think about that phone call, everyday since the accident. I don’t know how to handle the feelings when they arise, cause i’m scared of what might happen if I give into the dark thoughts

    • Litsa  November 9, 2021 at 6:23 pm Reply

      Kevin, have you talked with a therapist? The VA has really fantastic mental health services (I actually did some of my training there) and they do so much work specifically in survivor guilt. Though this death wasn’t related to your service, I think a therapist with the VA might be a great option to help you find a safe space and the right tools to face the feelings when they come up and to learn to cope with and carry them. These articles may also be worth a read: https://whatsyourgrief.com/known-understanding-hindsight-bias-grief/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-and-guilt-grief-and-regret/ And please know at any time, if your thoughts are feeling too much or too dark, you can reach someone by phone or by online chat at the prevention lifeline – 1-800-273-8255

    • Mei  November 15, 2021 at 12:16 pm Reply

      I am still feeling extremely guilty because of my father’s dead. He felt ill suddenly mentally in last two and half years. And First, mom and I discussed this with a psychiatrist and he seemed to be better, later he didn’t have any appetite and we thought it’s normal for an elderly. And i didn’t take it seriously. Later, father’ health was totally in terrible situation and i did not even notice and thought that would be too much worse. I just got stuck in work everyday. When mom mentioned it seriously and we didn’t know how to do with my dad’s internal organs cancer. At this 1 month before he passed away, he was in very suffering state and we could do nothing at all as the family had some financial problems and we couldn’t afford for the hospital cost. Finally, my father passed away when i was on my way to work. Since from that day when my father passed away, i got enlightened of how much wrongs did i made and how cruel and neglectful I am. I was not a dutiful daughter for my dad. The grief and guilt is never leaving me since that day December 20th 2019. Whenever my guilt and grief get over me like a blanket, I just hate myself. I wish i could go back to that time and gave all the best and cares to my Papa.

  25. Elle  November 2, 2021 at 11:02 am Reply

    I lost my dad (60) and the day before I don’t remember what made me angry but I wrote down that I wished he died, with capital letters, and now I feel really guilty, I’m scared because I feel like it’s my fault, even if I know that he had lots of health issues and chronic pain I can’t stop thinking that if I hadn’t written it he would still be here!!!

    • Litsa  November 2, 2021 at 11:23 am Reply

      Elle, this is something known as “magical thinking” and it is common in grief. Losing someone is a devastating event that we have NO control over, so our brains will often look for ways to find control by looking for a “cause” even when rationally that “cause” doesn’t make sense. Sometimes we would rather blame ourselves than admit that we don’t have control over so many things in the world, including losing loved ones. Your father’s body gave out after what sounds like a long stretch of fighting against illness – that and only that is the reason he died, not anything you did!

      1
      • Elle  November 3, 2021 at 1:30 pm

        Thank you SO much for replying, I’m struggling a lot and feeling like I’m going crazy. I’ve been reading on the internet about wishing someone dead and all I found is how wrong that is, and that makes me feel so ashamed, because is true! is wrong! At the moment I didn’t realize because I wasn’t thinking straight and it wasn’t the first time I had that kind of thought with my dad, I tried to stopped myself but I was repressing a lot of anger and I would impulsively feel/think it. Lot of what I read said that if you wish someone to die and that person dies, that makes you a murderer and it has stuck with me since, everytime I’m eating or just plain breathing I feel guilty my dad isn’t and I panic at the thought that my thoughts/words could have caused it, and I feel I deserve to suffer

      • Litsa  November 30, 2021 at 7:13 pm

        Elle, I’m sorry for my delayed reply. Please know that our ACTIONS are what we are responsible. Thoughts come to us all the time that are not the thoughts we want or that are consistent with our values. But we don’t control our thoughts, we control what we do with them. And our thoughts do not have an impact on the world unless we act on them. Your thoughts/words are not what caused this because thoughts/words do not have the power to do that. I think it would be very useful for you to talk to a therapist or even a spiritual advisor (a pastor, priest, rabbi, etc) if you have a faith system. I think you will find that often our thoughts (unfortunately) lie to us and cause us to blame ourselves in ways that aren’t true or fair. I’m so sorry that you’ve been feeling so overwhelmed by these difficult thoughts.

    • horodver  November 18, 2021 at 5:09 pm Reply

      “Magical thinking”, yes. That just reminded me of an event, not a sad one though, but implied similar process. It was 14 years ago. Ages ago, as it looks like. Happier times for me for certain. Me and my college friend were returning from tai chi practice and she wanted me to go out with our friends from faculty. I refused because I already had an arrangement with some other guys to go to a gig that night. She then told me “You don’t want to go out with us! I HOPE YOU DIE!”… And, as I was returning from that gig, it was some hours past midnight, me and my friends were attacked by some street hooligans, I had a concussion, don’t remember any of that, but there were no consequences and I luckily survived. But I easily could have died then! When I later told my colleague friend that – she froze! If I did die then, she probably would be feeling massive guilt – although she most certainly was not the one who would cause my death in ANY way, and she did mean no harm to me, she only wished for me to have a good time with her and our colleagues. Of course I am not here on this page because of that event (I’ve had massive multiple losses in life later), just had to share this story below your comment.

      • Litsa  December 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm

        Thank yo so much for sharing – it is a good example of exactly a time when magical thinking could likely arise.

  26. GenieI  October 19, 2021 at 11:27 pm Reply

    I just lost my fiance and best friend 2weeks ago today. about a few days before he was having lower back pain that would come and go.he had to take breaks when trying to walk. He was going to let me take him to the hospital and then we got home and he changed his mind.he just wanted to rest and stay home with me. So we laid down I rubbed my fingers across his face like he liked.and as he was snoring and his eyes closed he made a big smile. I kissed him good night and I fell asleep,which I regret doing.when I woke up at 625am he was already passed away.he was alive and breathing at midnight. I was going to try to make him go to the hospital that morning but I was too late.i screamed when I turned the light on to see him not breathing I called the ambulance and they came and stayed a few hours trying to bring him back. I just didn’t know the signs of someone passing away or anything.i had never found anyone passed away.he had pnemonia in the past and I finally got him to go to the hospital and he had to have lung surgery.poor thing seemed like he would have pains on and off since then.he just didn’t like to go to the hospital.and he didn’t like me telling me what to do since he was a little older than me.i just can’t stop blaming myself because I wonder if I had known the signs of him not waking up that morning and called for help sooner would he still be here today with me.it kills me inside every day thinking about it. All I know so far is something about major organ failure.its still too early to find out what caused it.i just don’t like waiting,I just want to know if he had a medical problem we never found out in time. He was under alot of stress. I didn’t get to say goodbye or tell him how much I love him.he felt safe with me.he would have anxiety attacks and he just wanted to be with me and I failed him by not getting help in time.i loved him so much and I miss him terribly.its so quiet and will never be the same.even our cat misses him. I ask God to bring him back and take me.i never meant to make this type of mistake to cost the one I loved so much his life.every night I drop to the floor crying and asking him and God to please forgive me. I just always wonder if I knew that back pain could be something of an emergency and called sooner and didn’t fall asleep would he still be here? The lady from the ambulance told me she was sorry they did everything they could but that he passed away peacefully in his sleep and that he wasn’t alone,but I wonder did he really or was he trying to get my attention and I didn’t hear him because I was stupid and fell asleep.and yeah he passed away next to me but I wasn’t awake and telling him everything I wanted to say.he was so young only 50 it happened so fast and unexpected.i just wished it was me and not him.i miss him every day and would do anything to trade places with him.i just hope he’s not in pain anymore and being comforted by God , which I believe he is.he believed in God and Jesus and he always talked to me about God and told the best stories and was so sweet,caring and intelligent and handsome.i just miss everything about him.i struggle with thoughts of suicide,but sometimes I think of him telling me never to do that again when he was here.its very hard not to blame myself.im in therapy but still I just feel that my biggest mistake cost the person I was going to share the rest of my life with his life .I will regret it everyday for the rest of my life.and I’m just so sorry but it doesn’t bring him back.im such a mess on and off.if only I knew the signs. We were together for 5years and 8 months.we had our rings already and I was with him talking one minute and then in a second everything changes.

    2
    • Sharon  November 7, 2021 at 3:01 am Reply

      Genial,
      I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad just two months ago today to sudden death. He was unwell but I didn’t think he would die unexpectedly. My parents live in another country, thousands of mile away and I could not be there for my him or my mum who experienced his sudden death first hand. Everyday I tell myself, I wish I had made him go to the hospital. Why didn’t I book that flight I looked at just days before and made the effort to take him myself? I should have done more. Reading the article about guilt articulates the journey we are on. The journey to find peace within ourselves about the things we cannot and do not control, even if we think we can or could have. Hindsight is an unwelcome presence today and tomorrow. I send you my hugs and love. Thank you for sharing.

    • Loye  November 7, 2021 at 5:21 pm Reply

      Please read Psalm 139:16. Before we are born, God predetermines how many days will be in our lives. Nothing that you did nor didn’t do caused your fiancé’s death.

      I would like to suggest to you to see if there is a GriefShare group who meets in your area. It would really help you to attend their meetings and partake in their ability to help you deal with your grief.

      May God richly bless you! If you’re not a Christian, ask Jesus to be your Savior and He will help you!

      • Tonya  March 5, 2022 at 12:33 am

        Thank you! For reminding us of that Scripture. God isn’t working on our time line. Our mistakes are also not a detour in His plan

  27. Preetha  October 6, 2021 at 11:43 pm Reply

    My parents used to live in India, while I live in the US with my husband. Ever since the first wave of Corona, my mom was extremely scared and cautious. She completely stopped even stepping out of the house, she wouldn’t even go for a walk in our gated community, she would wash everything that came from the outside like milk packets, groceries, etc. and would wash and sanitize her hands very frequently. My dad was a little careless and they would fight almost everyday over this. My dad started experiencing very mild covid symptoms as soon as the second wave started in India. A few days later my mom also started getting the same mild symptoms and by this time the numbers had started getting extremely high. I started thinking about going to India to help them out. But two things were preventing me from travelling immediately: First, I was in the process of visa renewal during which if I went to India it could have jeopardized my chances of coming back to the US, as all the consulates were closed back then. Secondly, the numbers were so high in India that everyone (my parents and all my other relatives) advised me against travelling half way across the world at that time. Also, they only had minor symptoms and dad had already started feeling better. But after a few days my mom’s SpO2 level started dropping. I left for India immediately. All of us (me, my husband and all my cousins) tried our best to find a hospital bed for my mom but she crashed so rapidly that we couldn’t even get her to the hospital. She passed away when I landed in Delhi. Its been more than 5 months since this happened. But I cannot forgive myself for not doing more. If I had gone to Delhi even a day before, may be I could have saved her. Were her symptoms not as mild as we thought? We were extremely close. We had a relation unlike any other mother-daughter duo. She is my best friend. Inspite of the time difference between India and US, we would talk every single day. I feel extremely guilty for not being a good daughter. I feel like I killed her. I don’t know what to do!!

    4
  28. Lucy  October 5, 2021 at 3:53 pm Reply

    A few years ago, when I was 16, I went out to a bar with some friends. After almost everyone I knew left there was only one very drunk friend, the guy I liked and myself.

    When the drunk friend was in the bathroom I told the guy I liked “let’s go” because I didn’t want to go through the trouble to bring my drunk friend home.
    We left without saying goodbye while our drunk friend was still in the bathroom. A while after we left my friend went home alone and on the way he got hit by a car, he died on the way to the hospital.

    I feel guilty and I’m still so scared to tell anyone the truth about that night because I think they will hate me.

    I don’t know if I should tell my therapist the whole story. I’ve never told anyone and I’m scared of what will happen if I do.

    3
  29. Danette  September 16, 2021 at 1:20 pm Reply

    My father died of a massive heart attack. I was the first one there.and began cpr I couldn’t save him. All of my life he pushed me hard to excel at everything. I never felt.like I quite measured up. I loved my father very much. I feel so guilty that I wasn’t good enough at cpr to save him. I feel like I always fell short in life and now my failure allowed him to die. I can’t get past this. My husband says I’m being irrational and refuses to talk to me about it and just says I’m very frustrating to him because I won’t move on. I want to but I just can’t seem to.

    5
  30. Nicole  September 12, 2021 at 9:27 pm Reply

    A little over a year ago my ex husband and father of my children lost his life due to severe PTSD from the military that had reentered his life when our son was deployed to Iraq and Syria. I have three children. The oldest was the one who found his body. She had been helping her step mother by taking him to a hotel when he was struggling and drinking so their sons who were young wouldn’t have to see him that way. My daughter would do what she was asked to do. These hotel visits continued until one day my oldest daughter was no longer recieving texts that were legible so out of concern she and her husband headed for the hotel to check on him and he had passed away. She struggles with feelings of intense guilt. She was so close to her father and it seems she was put in a terrible situation. I don’t know how to help her

    3
  31. Morgan  September 6, 2021 at 5:39 pm Reply

    I know this is different but I put my dog down a few hours ago and the guilt is eating me up from the inside out. I feel like I could have done something else like putting him on meds. But I let him die and it’s my fault. I can’t fall asleep I feel so empty and alone. I know he’s not human but I loved him so much.
    Help would be much appreciated

    9
    • Sally  October 7, 2021 at 10:07 pm Reply

      Morgan, I hope you are doing much better. I am so sorry for your loss. I had something similar happen to my family in May, and we are still having a hard time with the guilt. I’ve learned that losing a pet can be as hard as losing a person.

    • Anne  October 16, 2021 at 11:27 am Reply

      Hello Morgan, I had to let my dog of 17 years go this week. Like you, I feel tremendous loss/loneliness, emptiness, and guilt. I call this survivor syndrome. We are still here, while our loved ones are gone. We did what was in their best interest. Although it was the only right decision for them, it is still the most difficult action to take at the time. You are very brave to have made that decision to not let our loved ones suffer. You’re a hero. But, it still hurts. I have been looking at pics from younger/happier days. It has helped me. While we will always miss them, overtime – it will feel different. The enormous love for them will triumph over the grief. All my best, Anne.

  32. Sophia  September 3, 2021 at 9:18 pm Reply

    I gave someone COVID and they died. I can’t stop thinking about how much it’s my fault. I feel so disgusting inside. I can’t sleep.

    4
    • Litsa  September 14, 2021 at 9:44 am Reply

      Sophia, I am so sorry that you are feeling the weight of this guilt. Guilt can be one of the most complex grief emotions to cope with. If you haven’t spoken to a therapist yet, it might be incredibly helpful to process this with someone.

      1
  33. Jane Doe  August 30, 2021 at 2:06 am Reply

    How can you say people feel guilty because they did something wrong?
    People are people. Everyone makes mistakes. You deal with things the best you think. That’s not to say don’t appreciate the time you have with someone. You should realize you don’t know the amount of time you have left. But, every situation is different. Don’t dwell. Don’t feel bad. If you love your late loved ones, they know. You did what you thought was best. Life is hard. Be better with your current and future relationships is all you can do. They know you love them.

    7
  34. Lucinda McGuire  August 22, 2021 at 1:24 pm Reply

    “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) more than 6 years ago. The tremors started affecting my left hand at first, 3 years later it affected my left leg causing me to walk funny( jerking movements) every time.  I was taking levodopa/ cabridopa. In April 2017, I had deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure done. DBS helps me tremendously but I still have to take levodopa/cabridopa 3 times a day, maximum dose: 25 mg/100mg x2 . I try amantadine but no help. I was approved by my neurologist to try feasible alternatives to my current prescribed medication in the hope of improving my quality of life. and I have to say this natural treatment is a 100% game changer for anyone with PD. It has been a complete turnaround with my balance, mobility,double vision, swollen feet, speech and tremors this is the best that I’ve felt in years. VISIT www. kycuyuhealthclinic. com Thank You Kycuyu.I have stop taking levodopa completely for several months, at least 7 months now, and still feel great.”

    1
  35. Lys  August 6, 2021 at 10:16 pm Reply

    My best friend passed away of an overdose six months ago and I can’t stop feeling like it’s my fault. Like I didn’t do enough to help her and I wasn’t there when she needed me. I’ve been to lunch with her mom a few times since her death and everytime I see her I can’t understand why she doesn’t hate me because I didn’t do enough to help her daughter when I was the one closest to her. Im trying to get over the irrational guilt.

    1
    • Beth  August 30, 2021 at 7:52 pm Reply

      Lys,
      I’m sorry for your loss. I’m reaching out to share my experience in life is no one can stop another person, another soul, from their choice. As much as I’d like to think I could , I couldn’t ever. In the end all we can do is love as best we can – including ourself.

      Loving her mom is a gift too.

      Be gentle with yourself Lys.

      Beth

    • Victoria Frye  September 3, 2021 at 11:34 pm Reply

      I lost my 23 yr old daughter 3 months ago and her best friend tried to help me cope but she is also. Su CNN h a short amount of time and the guilt is overwhelming. I speak out very little because I don’t want to bring her and her mother down. They were her second family and it was unexpected.

      1
  36. Meghan  July 29, 2021 at 9:50 pm Reply

    I am and always have been an animal lover. I’ve rescued, volunteered, donated, studied, you name it. I don’t have children, I have pets.
    Today I accidentally killed my parents cat and I cannot stop blaming myself for her suffering, terror, and death. I feel as if I have killed a vital part of myself along with her. The grief is fresh and the guilt is unrelenting. I know it was an accident but the guilt keeps saying “what if…”
    This article helped me and I will be saving it for future reference as I navigate my horror and heartbreak.

    4
  37. Kirsty H  July 27, 2021 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for this, I really needed to come across an article/page like it. My dad passed away last year and I’m still feeling a lot of guilt, it randomly just hits me on days and I just cry. I went 3/4 years without speaking to him due to personal issues with him against my mum, I’ve taught myself that there’s nothing I can do now but in future what to do in a situation like I was. Appreciate your loved ones! Thank you again xx

    4
  38. Debbie  July 16, 2021 at 2:20 am Reply

    -3- I am absolutely numb. I don’t know how to come out of this feeling. I feel so guilty because I believed the rehab center was helping him and treating him and took their word over his and I’m trying to figure out how to live with this now. I can’t cry I can’t sleep I can’t focus I am actually literally no and empty and I don’t know what to do

  39. Debbie  July 16, 2021 at 2:17 am Reply

    -2- And I believed with the rehab said that they were helping him every day he called me or he begged me to get him out of there that no person should deserve to live like this. Three days ago the ambulance called so they were taking him to the hospital with a low blood pressure. He was now in septic shock because he has not treated him for over 10 days needless to say he died two days later in hospice care. My brother wanted to keep in mind just say anabiotic‘s and the BiPAP and I thought like a crazy woman to get him on hospice so he was no longer in pain which I did.

  40. Debbie  July 16, 2021 at 2:14 am Reply

    Bad year and a half from Covid, lost my job and everything else including insurance and was sick but put off. In the last 9 months I have lost my mother twice in hospital twice in rehab with no visitors allowed. Lost my mother-in-law two weeks quarantine prior to behind plexiglass visit for one hour. Three days ago I lost my dad who is 96 who has the fax who had surgery successfully and a case worker wanted to send him to a rehab. He begged me and begged me

    1
  41. W  July 13, 2021 at 10:04 pm Reply

    My chronic alcoholic husband died of unknown cause last month. He drank each bottle of vodka everyday for 6 consecutive days without eating anything. On 7th day morning, he seizure and died on the spot. I cannnot forgive myself as I suspect his cause of death may be severe hypoglycemic seizure. I was so mad at him at that time as he relapse after a month of stay sober after 2nd time rehab center visit., and so I neglect him and not forced him to eat. Usually he drank for about 2 weeks continually, and then he stay sober for 2weeks and than he repeat the cycle. So I was not much worried about him at that day and so I neglected him, and I call for hospital for third time visit for withdrawl. While I was waiting for ferry car to take him to hodpital, he started seizure and died. I think his death was due to my unkind performance:my neglegence. Because of me, he died. He gave me unconditioned love, however I cannot support him well at the time of need. Now guilt and regret consume me everyday. When I saw my 3 kids and knowing they cannot play with their daddy, I want to die. I want to meet him again.

    6
    • Bonnie  October 15, 2021 at 4:07 pm Reply

      I’m sorry for your loss and I completely understand how you feel. It is awful. The same thing happened to me. I left my husband because I was unhappy and didn’t want to live with an alcoholic. He was living in a room at his Mom’s house. One day he texted me and said he could not get up. I found him in a room knee deep with beer cans. We called an ambulance. When they came to get him, he had a seizure and they had to use an epi pen to revive him. The doctor said his sodium level was so low from not eating that it caused the seizure when the paramedics moved him. He spent 3 weeks in ICU but his organs could not bounce back and the doctors gave up. He died in hospice a few days later. I hate myself for not being there for him, for not trying to help him get more help. Every time I look at my son I feel guilty that he doesn’t have his father because of my selfishness. Everything reminds me of him. It’s been 3 years and I feel like I deserve nothing good in life. I try to cope only for my son. I don’t know how I could have been so mean to someone I loved and the father of my child. I wish so badly that I could go back and do things differently. I feel like all his family and friends blame me, too. I hate myself most days.

      2
  42. Jasper  July 9, 2021 at 12:33 pm Reply

    I loved my wife a lot and we were astonished to know that we are going to be parents and she carries an angel for more than 13 weeks without knowing it. We were very careful and all the positive things happened around the time when the world and everyone was struggling with the grave pandemic – COVID19. It was the time when India and our state Tamilnadu was witnessing a dip in the corona cases and the spineless government boasted about their accomplishment of defeating the COVID in the world stage. Immature and Incapable politicians did not listen the words of the patriotic scientists and doctors of the nation that there can be a second wave because the whole world is witnessing multiple waves and viruses can mutate which can evolve and become deadlier. Mute government relaxed the COVID restrictions and norms which allowed all the best possible chances to increase the virus capability by arranging the State elections and many other religious functions. They did not realize the importance of vaccination and exported it just to create an image among their peers in the world. They haven’t had a minute thought of including the weakest of the society i.e., pregnant people to be allowed for the vaccination. Their list of stupid decisions and actions led to a world’s deadliest virus variant THE DELTA to evolve and spread across the nook and corner of the chaotic nation. Poor people were suffering and the whole world was witnessing how bad the virus can ravage the country but still the government was shut and people had left to arrange their needs on their own for their survival. Finally, we were a victim to the deadly virus. The initial RT PCR test on my wife turned to be negative as we all know we have not stepped out of the house because of the situation happening around us. But in the next couple of days she started getting initial set of symptoms like could, cough and later fever. MY biggest guilt was that I should have taken her to the hospital the day I witnessed cold and cough on my wife. But I failed to do it, still it was not intentional. The moment I got to know that she was experiencing fever, I was worried and the next immediate PCR test turned out positive. By all the possible help, we were somehow able to admit her in one of the decent hospital in my locality for her maternity and covid illness. Unfortunately the doctor decided to terminate her pregnancy in couple of days as she experienced her fever which they decided to reschedule her delivery thru C section because of her PIH. Eventually of all the delays made her to carry the storm of the deadly virus within her and she had to bear the pain and effect of the virus until they performed the surgery. The night immediately after the surgery she was shifted to ICU for further management as her health deteriorated. She had ended up in sever depression as her dream of the lifetime “The MOTHERHOOD” is at stake. No known person was with her in the ICU she had to fight the virus all alone without any immunity in her body with the support of supplemental oxygen. She struggled with consciousness for the next five days as day by day her needs for the oxygen increased. Finally they decided to put her on ventilator to avoid getting agitated. Doctors initially reported positive news for the first few days and later started posting that her situation has not improved as she got an super infection on top of corona. After all the best attempts by the doctors her heart decided to stop functioning and they declared her dead after a week of treatment in ventilator. My guilt, I should have taken her the day she had her first symptom but missed it. Secondly we should have forced the doctor to perform the surgery the day we admitted her on the hospital. Amongst all, as a husband I should have protected her when she was weak. I failed to do all the best possible things that I could have done which was just a common sense. She had to face the brutal exit of the world at very young age of 28 missing her the long awaited(six years) dream of being blessed with the girl child. She stayed in this inhuman world for 28 years for just to deliver a baby by sacrificing her entire life, dream and desires. Finally everything went on vain and I’m all alone left with a new born baby facing the dark future… Is this life worth struggling and losing my partner who trusted me that I would save her at all odds. Is this what destined to be…………..?

    Sorry for making a vague and dull explantion of events. When you are struck with grief and English not being your first language this is how your expressions would be.

    10
    • lynne  August 3, 2021 at 11:04 pm Reply

      Dear Man,

      My heart is breaking for you. I wish there were words of comfort but there is not. Please know that when we are faced with trauma such as the illness of a loved one we do not act as we think we would, sort of like having a mack truck heading for you as you cross the street, you may think that you would jump out of the way, but you may, in reality, just stand there in shock. We do not think clearly when under duress. We go into a denial state. it is perfectly normal. Later we ask ourselves why. But understand that when we do so it is because our brains are more able to think logically afterward. Please don’t blame yourself. You loved her and she, I believe, knows that! I am sending all my wishes that you are able to find some kind of peace. I don’t know you but I hope you feel my compassion. I too have lost too many. My twin, my husband, and my only child. I don’t know your pain, but I know this agony is unbearable. I hope for you PEACE!

      6
  43. S1234  July 9, 2021 at 9:24 am Reply

    My fiancé passed a week ago, we’re both only 27 I knew he took something but didn’t know what it was, I tried to wake him in the morning he didn’t wake up i started to call 911 then I put the phone down, I just thought he’s out of it he’ll wake up soon, I went all day checking on him every few hours thinking that since he’s breathing he’s just in a deep sleep he’ll sleep it off and wake up (like he has before) the last time I went in he wasn’t breathing, I then called 911 they did 4 rounds of cpr got a pulse and breathing but too much carbon dioxide went to his brain, I knew nothing of brain death, and didn’t think it was possible to lose him, now every morning I wake up with so much guilt, if I woulda called the first time like I started to he might be here with us, I was always there for him and the time he needed me most I feel I let him down we have 3 kids and every day it breaks my heart knowing maybe I could’ve gave him a chance to fight and I let that chance go

    6
  44. Cheryl  July 3, 2021 at 7:43 pm Reply

    My partner of 43 years passed June 11, 2021. He had been in home hospice since February. And in a hospital bed -(bed-bound) since March.
    December 26, 2029, which was a weekend day, I called his primary care group because I was afraid that he had aspiration pneumonia again. ( He had it in August). The on call Dr. asked me what medication they had prescribed in August and I couldn’t remember. So he said “I am going to call in a prescription for Amoxicillin” . In my head, I thought “that is really hard on the stomach” and “that is not what he had before” but I said nothing. Gene was 82 with Vascular Parkinsonism and Vascular Dementia but we were doing reasonably well at home. Just the two of us and I was Covid cautious in the extreme.
    As a result of the Amoxicillin, he had C-Difficle and had to be hospitalized for a week and then rehabilitation hospital for another 11 days. He just got weaker and weaker.
    My guilt:
    1) That I filled that prescription instead of objecting and insisting that the in-game dr. look up the original prescription.
    2) Prior to realizing that he had C-Difficile, I lost my patience with him. He had taken off his underwear and there was feces on him, multiple layers of bedding and the area rug. This happened multiple times. I berated him

    2
    • Cheryl  July 3, 2021 at 7:59 pm Reply

      Sorry, I wasn’t finished when I hit the wrong button.
      2) continued – I berated him. Humiliated him. But him with the shower wand after multiple clean-up that day. It wasn’t his fault. It was the drs. fault. He should have known not to prescribe Amoxicillin for an 82 year old with health issues. And it was my fault too for not listening to the warnings from my instincts.
      3) I should have brought him home immediately from the hospital instead of the rehab hospital. They didn’t make any progress at the rehab.
      4) Once home, we had home health Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists. He had so much anxiety about falling that he couldn’t comply with OT or PT. But he could still walk with me a bit when I would walk backwards holding his hands as we had done for a couple of years. That declined after he fell out of bed and fell trying to walk independently several times when I would leave him alone. I never should have left him alone, even for minutes.
      5) Home health recommended hospice and I accepted. I should not have accepted. His decline accelerated after hospice, hospital bed, anti-aging medications prescribed by hospice and all that goes along with that.
      I would give anything to take back unkind words, frustrations, etc.
      I have lived that man since 1978 and now he is gone and I can’t take any of it back. I feel so guilty.
      I just want to be with him.

      6
  45. C  June 26, 2021 at 11:49 pm Reply

    VENT: I feel guilt for not calling 911 in time. My mother had been lethargic for a day or two before her death. I simply thought she was tired or dehydrated after mowing the lawn and I let her nap. The next time I checked up on her she was dead. I genuinely thought she was going to wake back up, drink a glass of water and be okay. I feel like I should have asked my mom if she was okay, and that I should have stopped her from going outside and mowing the lawn. I know these feelings are normal, but they still feel awful. I’m on the verge of crying everyday and can’t sleep at night. I use social media to cope but its not healthy because I stay up until 2, 3, 4am looking up articles like these to validate my feelings. I know my mom is in Heaven, but my heart aches and misses so her much…im 17 and she died before my birthday.. There were so many things she was supposed to see.. I wonder when I will stop focusing on the pain and the guilt, and come into the acceptance stage and move on with my life. I know my mom would like me to do that as soon as possible.

    9
    • Lisa  June 30, 2021 at 7:17 am Reply

      I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can accept that their is no way you would have known to call 911. She must have had a medical issue that even she was not aware of. Please be gentle with yourself. You sound like a very caring person, and would have NEVER intentionally let anything happen to your mom. I will pray for you to be able to gradually let go of your guilt. Hugs to you.

      3
      • C  July 1, 2021 at 9:31 pm

        Thank you for these kind words and prayer, Lisa. Hugs to you too

        3
    • Lost my mom yesterday  July 3, 2021 at 10:10 am Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss 🙏🏼

      4
    • Didi  October 2, 2021 at 12:48 pm Reply

      Hi C, Reading your story really moved me. I came to this site looking to feel better about the guilt that I’m feeling surrounding my mother’s passing and I stumbled across your post. You seem to be so sweet and loving and so much of what you said spoke to me. Your mom loves you and now that she is on the other side she can see you so much more fully. Please try to be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace. You’re not supposed to lose your mom at 17. Eventually things will feel better and you will get better. I am praying for peace for you. I know you will get through this <3

  46. Jyoti  June 10, 2021 at 8:33 am Reply

    My little brother aged 15 was a cancer patient diagnosed at the age of 4 and was also dealing with hypothyroidism. He was cancer free for the past 11 years and we were all finally getting a feeling that he will be fine now. My guilt was not knowing enough about what covid can do to people like my brother and not knowing the symptoms to look out for. He got covid and passed away on 10 may because we failed to recognize he needed to get admitted to the hospital immediately.

    4
    • Sam  June 25, 2021 at 7:23 am Reply

      I’m so sorry. I just lost my friend, wife and a big part of me. We still have not heard what happened, but she died during COVID isolation and I feel we didn’t get her medical treatment before it was too late. I hurt so badly.

      1
  47. Terri  May 27, 2021 at 1:18 pm Reply

    My dad passed in January 2021. He was in an assisted living facility and was on hospice for 2 months. On January 1st he was diagnosed with Covid.
    A week later I was diagnosed with Covid.
    I did not see him the last 4 days of his life because I didn’t feel I should enter the facility since I had Covid and I was afraid to give it to anyone else in the facility.
    My husband went those 4 days for a couple hours but other than that it was just the staff that came in and out and the hospice nurse who came by to check on him. My husband told me that my dad was sleeping and not eating or drinking at that point.
    I feel terrible that I just didn’t go and sit with him and be there with him in his last days. The facility did not know I had Covid so I could have gone in but I was so afraid to give it to someone else.
    I have such guilt and regret that my dad was basically alone.
    When I hear that someone passed away with their loved ones beside them it’s like a knife in my heart because I wasn’t there for my dad.

    7
    • Lisa  June 30, 2021 at 7:27 am Reply

      I am so sorry for your loss. My mom died without me on April 7, 2020 with her caregivers around her and not her family. I totally get your guilt but I have tried to rationalize the logical side of me knowing we could not risk covid or exposing others. My mom was semiconscious for the final 3 days too. I’m sorry for your loss and grief, but I believe your dad would not have wanted you to expose others. You sound like a really good person. I will pray for you to find peace.

      • Michael  July 8, 2021 at 6:07 am

        My grandmother passed away lastnight ,while im away in mozambique for work 4000km away from home , but that isnt whats bothering me ,i didnt talk enough with her sometime dayys even weeks (im almost never on any social medias, but the feeling and guilt of i could’ve talked more just said i loved her more ,its breaking my heart and im stuggling to face my family even talking just makes me want to burst into tears i wish i just knew what to do what to feel ,i loved her beyond anything and i dont know how to cope .

        3
  48. Kathy  May 16, 2021 at 8:52 pm Reply

    My husband was in home hospice for three weeks on the hospital bed in the living room unable to walk. The hospice gave me a bag of medicine in the beginning but never explained to me how or when to use it. My husband couldn’t swallow but they prescribed an antiobiotic as a big pill. I was alone with him late at night, he was having spasms, the nurse on the phone was criticizing me for not giving the other medicine because it didn’t seem to help so I was asking whether there was a different medicine, she just kept saying to give the same one that didn’t work. Then I gave it and I gave the antibiotic pill that came the same day even though I knew it was too big. Then I was in such a condition of being upset, I noticed he was having trouble breathing but I didn’t figure out until a few days later going over it in my mind it was because he aspirated the pill. I hooked up the oxygen which I never did before. Then I called the nurse and she said to give morphine from the bag, but I was walking around with the phone in one hand and the bottle in the other hand and couldn’t find the dropper. She gave up on me and said just to wait for a nurse to come. The nurse didn’t come for an hour. My husband was gasping right in front of me choking to death (which I didn’t realize) for over an hour as I watched and never even got any morphine. He was conscious the whole time looking at me in agony unable to talk. He died half an hour before the nurse arrived.

    6
    • Julie McArtney  May 20, 2021 at 4:18 am Reply

      You poor thing! We are not to know these things, we’re not nurses. I have mistakenly given my partner double doses of morphine and all sorts – due to tiredness and stress. It’s just soooo hard. Sending you light and love xx

      6
      • Natasa  September 12, 2021 at 9:00 am

        Dear Julie,

        I have mistakenly given the double dose of blood thinner to my grandma. She was ill with fever and I didn’t know the dosage… My grandma passed away and I can’t forgive myself. I cry every day. I love her and miss her so much.

        1
      • Litsa  September 14, 2021 at 7:44 am

        Natasa – I am so sorry for the death of your grandmother and for the guilt you are coping with. Though it does not change the pain of this immense loss, it was clearly a mistake made while caring for her – something you were doing from a place of love and care. Try to imagine what you would tell a good friend or relative if they were in your place. The process of self-compassion and self-forgiveness can be incredibly hard, but finding a therapist can be very helpful. If you haven’t talked to a grief professional, we would encourage you to look for someone to speak with.

    • kay  June 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm Reply

      im so sorry for your loss. that must have ben agonising to watch and keep replaying in your head

      1
      • Lisa  June 30, 2021 at 7:34 am

        Heartbreaking. Am so sorry you were not given better directions but they should have come sooner to help you, youbare not a nurse. Your husband knew you were doing the best you could for him. I am so sorry.

        1
  49. Kim  May 10, 2021 at 10:41 am Reply

    Kim

    My mom passed away 3-25. Im so sick. She went in to have surgery aerto bifemal bypass on 3-11. The surgery they said was a little difficult but went well. She stayed in icu for about a week. She was having stomach issues from when she woke up. I spoke to dr he said she looked good. They eventually put her in a regular hospital room. I spoke to her everyday and face-timed because of covid no visitors. Every time i called she sound better. She started to get a fever They said normal sometimes and gave Tylenol. My mom said they gave her antibiotic . She couldn’t hold down food. They gave her yogurt and she vomited it up. They ran test always never finding anything. Said vitals were good. On 3-24. I called her she didn’t answer. She called me back 15 min later. She told me they had her all over taking more test. She said she was out of bed standing and sitting Then she said she ate. They gave her yogurt and icecream. We spoke about 10 min. I told her rest ill call you later. That was the last I spoke to her. I called her at 8:30 no answer i figured maybe shes sleeping. She always calls me back. At 9:59 i got a call from the hospital that she coded. I am a mess. I was up all night i got to see her the next day. I knew inside she was gone. I asked what happened they said she aspirated on her vomit. Im so sick. They new she couldn’t hold down food. I have so much guilt i told her to go to this hospital. Maybe i should of got a second opinion. I had my worries but doctors and everyone was saying she going to be ok. I feel its my fault if she didn’t go to this hospital she would be here. She was 68. My best friend. If she didn’t have the surgery if i just stayed on the phone with her. If she was at a better hospital. Why was she left alone. I cry everyday. Its been a month now. I had the power to stop this surgery and maybe research better hospitals. I told her she was going to be fine she wasn’t going to die. I thought she was coming home soon. So did she. The guilt and pain i have.

    6
    • kay  June 22, 2021 at 5:58 pm Reply

      mee too. the same thing happened to mt nan , aspirated on vomit…how can you die from throwing up, i ask myself eeryday

      1
  50. Anne Power  May 6, 2021 at 3:30 pm Reply

    I tragically lost my identical twin sister on 13th March and have been often crippled with guilt and remorse
    She had suffered mental health issues most her adult life, she had gone through a traumatic divorce 6 years ago that made mer spiral out of control a few times, taking sleeping pills that she purchased off the internet and not wanting to be around to feel the pain
    But we worked through it together, she was on a lot of antidepressants and painkillers and recently returned to work after 15 years of being a stay at home mum, unfortunately this stressed her out and she started self medicating again
    Due to Covid and her new job I hadn’t been able to see her as much as usual
    But I went to see her and got a shock at the condition she was in, she was really spaced out on drugs slurring her words and falling asleep while talking, she has a 15 year old daughter to take care of.
    Her house was in such a messy dirty state too, just stuff everywhere she’d let everything go.
    I confronted her and begged her to tell me what she was taking snd she swore to me she’d taken a couple more of her strong antidepressant that’s meant to be taken only at night because it has a sedative effect, she swore she hadn’t been purchasing drugs off the internet (which she had done in the past)
    She said she was in a bit of debt and she was stressed with work and she just wanted to numb the stress.
    I wanted to call the crisis team which meant calling an ambulance, she blankly refused saying her daughter would be taken off her and she might loose her job
    So instead I decided to stay with her that night.
    I checked on her in the morning she was sleeping deeply she always snored really badly and I tried to wake her up but she was really in a deep sleep, but breathing fine, I just thought she needed to sleep off the sedative so I made sure she was propped up and on her side and went down to start cleaning her house because I knew when she got up and seen the house cleaned she’d feel better.
    So a couple of hours went by, then her daughter got up and helped me finish cleaning, I said go and see if your mum will wake up now for breakfast
    And I’ll regret this till the day I die because my niece found her mum passed away, stone cold and blue.
    She was hysterical so was I I called an ambulance and began CPR despite knowing it was too late I prayed there might be a glimmer of a chance
    I felt horrific for not knowing or recognising that she was in danger, I should have known when I couldn’t wake her, but I knew she’d be angry if I went against her wishes and jeopardized her custody of her daughter.
    I also found out a few days after her death when we were looking for paper work she had bought pills off the internet again diazepam and codeine but she’d sworn to me that night she hadn’t taken anything but two extra of her prescription meds
    There were so many things If id known that night she’d been taking other drugs or I’d called someone else in to help me (I had tried to let my sister call her best friend but she was adamant she didn’t want her involved)
    I feel so responsible for her death because when I couldn’t wake her I should have just phoned for help, and I know I keep justifying my decisions based on what my sister wanted and the lack of knowledge about the extra drugs, and I know the decisions I made at the time felt right, but that guilt and remorse still kills me.
    Her daughter has ptsd because of this experience
    The only comfort I can get is that I was there when it happened so my sister and niece weren’t alone, because it was going to happen her body had too much of the drugs and I actually think if I hadn’t been there she might have taken more, but that’s also a curse because I could have got help and maybe saved her.
    So I’ve lost my souls mate, the other half of me my best friend the bond between us was indescribable we were there for each other no matter what, but I let her down in the worst possible way, when she needed me the most I made the worst decisions of my life that resulted in a tragic death.
    My niece doesn’t blame me in-fact no one does, but I blame me and I’m not sure if I can ever forgive myself.
    To live with grief pain and loss is bad enough but to have the guilt of feeling you could have prevented it but didn’t is just unbearable.
    I have three daughters who I’m trying to be strong for and also be there for my niece but every time I see her I have this overwhelming sense of shame and guilt
    I get so angry with myself for making the choices I did that day, and some times I feel I don’t want to be here to face this pain, but I know that solves nothing.
    I take a day at a time, I have love and support around me.
    This page has helped to hear others experiences of guilt and blame to know I’m not alone and some of the advice is incredible
    I’m glad I stumbled across this.
    If you managed to read to the end thank you so much for listening to my story,
    Love, health and healing thoughts with you all and all you’ve lost ❤️

    7
    • lynne  August 3, 2021 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Hi Anne,

      I too lost my twin. I grieved for 10 years of agony when I finally realized that he would not want me to suffer. I turned it around and thought what would it feel like if he were the one left behind and I had to see him suffering and crying non-stop, writing poetry, and consulting psychic mediums. I would be so unhappy in the afterworld to know that he was suffering. Twins are special, you are still connected. The best gift you could give your sister is to be happy. Sending hope that you find peace.

      1
  51. Rick Robertson  May 5, 2021 at 12:18 am Reply

    My wife died 4/25/21 when we did a terminal wean off a ventilator. We would have been married 46 years this summer. Why was she on a ventilator? For months she was having difficulty eating. Either she ate very little or complained of being nauseous. We had scheduled an endoscopy to see what was going on. I let her cancel several appointment but when we actually went they wouldn’t do it because she couldn’t transfer by herself and they wouldn’t let me help (wife has Primary Progressive MS since 1991 and I was her caregiver) we then we to the ER for “failure to thrive “ so we could get the endoscopy. Day of procedure her heart raced and they canceled it. Later that night she BEGGED ME not to leave, spend the night at the hospital with her. I told her I have to go home. Later that night the hospital calls me and said she was unresponsive and was put on a ventilator. So the two big guilts are 1) I wish I had brought her into the hospital earlier and she could still be alive and 2) if I had stayed that night maybe she would still be breathing on her own. Was on the ventilator for 2 weeks and then had a tracheostomy but still needed a ventilator. She kept getting worse and her Quality of Life was going to be poor as she just kept getting weaker. All this time she would beg me to “HELP ME”. Although the decision to terminal wean was the right one I cannot get the images of her begging to “help me” or her begging for me to stay. We had a great life considering her MS but I cannot get those images out of my mind. I feel like I have failed her. At times my grief and guilt are overwhelming and comments like “ you were wonderful to her” or “you did the best you could do” do not console me and often make it worse. It’s after midnight and I can’t sleep. Help me is burned into my memory.

    9
    • Sam  June 25, 2021 at 7:40 am Reply

      Just lost my wife this week- I woke up 4 AM and her funeral is today.
      My son’s beating himself up because his last words were “mom don’t you die on me” just about two hours prior to finding out how serious condition she was. We hurt so badly.

    • Nancy  August 16, 2021 at 1:29 pm Reply

      Hi Rick….My husband has been in the hospital since July 2, first intubated then later on an trach. Multiple doctors have told me he has no lung capacity left due to COPD. He also has constant intractable pain from multiple back issues, so is mostly unaware. At the doctors urging I agreed to take him offi the vent. He did not have a living will and somehow thought he could beat any illness. This is the 5th day of him off the vent wih relatively good vitals. They say I should be patient. I feel guilty as if I’m waiting for him to die, when even though intellectually I know his quality of life would be horrible an perhaps short. feel in limbo and feel like somewhere inside he is think why is she putting me to death?

    • Lynn  April 10, 2022 at 8:24 am Reply

      Rick, your story is mine. Same illness my lovely Mom had – PPMS. Similar horrifyi g cry at the end, only my Mom kept saying “Get me out!” which was confusing and horrifying. Get out of what? Her paralyzed body? Probably! Who could blame her?
      I think of it this way — my Mom, without YEARS of care and medical intervention would have died LONG before she did.
      If you could see 100 end of life declines, you would probably know that it is ALWAYS messy. Things break.. people break. We are not prepared because we don’t know and don’t want to think of it.
      You need to radically rebuild yourself after caregiving in an impossible situation for years. I am so proud of you, your life was a lucky person.

  52. Lisa Watts  May 4, 2021 at 3:18 am Reply

    My mum passed away on Sunday 2nd May. I had been with her, at her home for 4 days prior to her passing.
    On the Saturday, we called the district nurse out a few times, the last being around midnight on the Saturday.
    The nurse indicated mum was close to dying, possibly 24/36 hrs..I was so tired, they suggested I got some sleep.
    I checked in on mum at 12.30, dropped off to sleep, woke at 1.30, checked in on her, then dropped off again, till 2.30, checked in again…each time sitting with her for a little while and holding her hand. But then I dropped off again but for 4 hrs…..when I woke, I went to check on her, and she was gone 😥
    She was on her own 😥. She had kicked of her quilt and her pillows were all on the floor…..I can’t help feeling, she needed me during those hours and I wasn’t there for her….I wasn’t there to help her, to comfort her….😥

    4
    • Julie McArtney  May 20, 2021 at 4:23 am Reply

      They often wait until we’re not there to leave us. I have been told this by terminal care nurses and similar happened with me and my mother. Our presence holds them here when they really want (and need) to go xx

      4
  53. John  April 25, 2021 at 6:23 am Reply

    Hello,
    My dad just died today, he died gasping for air as I stood 4 feet away unable to do anything except wait for an ambulance. I can’t get the look on his face out of my mind or the last words he said to me asking me to help him get a breath of air. I’m now sitting here thinking I should have just taken him to the hospital instead of waiting on an ambulance, the ambulance showed less than 1 minute of his passing. I was spending time with Erika upstairs instead of taking him to the hospital and cant help but feel I caused his death. I’m at a loss of what I should do I’m feeling guilty that the kids will never get another day with him or I will never have another conversation with him when I’m lost like I am now. This is just how I feel can’t sleep so I thought I’d share

    4
  54. Brooke Douthit  April 22, 2021 at 12:02 am Reply

    I lost my best friend’s mom who was a second mom to me. She died on April 3rd of this year due to heart failure at only 42. I have not gotten over the shock yet. Not far after, on April 20th, my grandpa was taken due to Covid. He was in the hospital for almost two weeks. My dad had told me to call him but I figured it was just another in and out type of sick. I tried to call him and he didn’t answer. I had said “Welp I tried, not my fault he didn’t answer.” I can’t get those words out of my head. The very next day he actually called me back and I didn’t want to answer because I was tired and said I could call him another time. Less than three days later he passed away. The amount of guilt I feel because I was “too tired” to call him is piling up every day. The quilt and loss of two very close people is so overbearing. Call those who you love because you never know how much time you or they have left.

    6
  55. Katie loft  April 20, 2021 at 12:17 pm Reply

    I am grieving the same man now for the 2nd time. Again I feel the pain that comes with the loss of my partner of 35 yrs but this time there is no chance of him coming back. We had separated for 2 yrs before his death due to him having addiction alcohol problems, I tried to help him for 10 years, his problem was getting slowly worse and I would delay coming home, life was unbearable, he would change he could be cruel, he was not the man I met but then I could be cruel also the arguments the horrible things said in anger, the frustration of broken promises. During the separation we still loved each other dearly, all I wanted was for him to get help and come home, come home as the man I met. Then I gave up, I was frustrated with his addiction, I stopped speaking to him, stopped answering his text messages, he was so lonely and sad, but I turned my back on him. He had a terrible accident, a fall and severe head injury, in a coma for 3 weeks, I phoned the hospital and spoke and sang to him over the phone everyday (I pray he heard me). Due to covid and his familys strong hatred of me being stronger than there love for him, I was not allowed to visit him, I was not allowed to sit and hold his hand. His life support was switched off and he died 5 days later. His funeral was held again I was not welcome. I new he was struggling but had nothing left to give and if I am honest, I was enjoying living for me, a normal life without his addiction and walking on egg shells. Now I am left with this overbearing weight of guilt. I feel I am a terrible person, I deserve the pain I feel. I hate myself, I am lost.

    4
    • nicole  April 21, 2021 at 1:07 pm Reply

      Katie I am in a very similar position. My husband was suffering from mental illness and substance abuse we tried to work together counseling and such but I then decided I couldn’t take it anymore I was miserable. I have 4 year old twins and my main focus had to be them and my own health. So we separated and were separated for 2 years until he recently passed. We did talk almost daily due to the children and I would make sure to keep him involved with their life but the guilt I feel is unbearable I feel guilty for being mean for not “sticking it out” I am at a loss’

      3
      • Clarie WT  June 12, 2021 at 3:55 am

        I have a similar position. He was a good husband for ten years. but in the last two years, he addicted to alcohol seriously and have work problems bcoz of his hang-over, and relationship problems bcoz of domestic violence. I love him so much and it is unbearable to live the life without him. So i try to withstand. Took him to withdrawl hospital twice. But he cant stop drinking. During his last week, we had trouble affair about whole day drinking and so i neglect him. On the day he passed away, i do my housework as usual and found he was drinking and lying in the living room . I thought he was normal. But after 30 minutes i found him having seizure, i tried to call ambulance. When ambulance arrived, he passed away. I feel guity all the time cos i think i can save him if i call for ambulance a little sooner or if i tried to take him to rehab center once more. Life without him, i am totally lonely. I cant forgive myself. When i see happy family, it breaks my heart.

        5
  56. Jennifer  April 15, 2021 at 7:25 pm Reply

    I just found out 2 days ago that a dear, old friend of mine had passed away last year. I reached out to him last May to see how he was doing with everything that was going on in the world, but shortly thereafter I lost touch again and a few months later he was gone. And i’m not 100% sure, but I think it might have been suicide because like myself he always struggled with mental health. I’ve been crying almost nonstop for the last 2 days because I feel like if I hadn’t lost touch with him again he may still he alive. I can’t get over these feelings of guilt.

    1
    • Naomi Lichtner  April 19, 2021 at 3:46 pm Reply

      I am in the same boat 😭

      1
    • Clarie WT  June 12, 2021 at 3:57 am Reply

      I have a similar position. He was a good husband for ten years. but in the last two years, he addicted to alcohol seriously and have work problems bcoz of his hang-over, and relationship problems bcoz of domestic violence. I love him so much and it is unbearable to live the life without him. So i try to withstand. Took him to withdrawl hospital twice. But he cant stop drinking. During his last week, we had trouble affair about whole day drinking and so i neglect him. On the day he passed away, i do my housework as usual and found he was drinking and lying in the living room . I thought he was normal. But after 30 minutes i found him having seizure, i tried to call ambulance. When ambulance arrived, he passed away. I feel guity all the time cos i think i can save him if i call for ambulance a little sooner or if i tried to take him to rehab center once more. Life without him, i am totally lonely. I cant forgive myself. When i see happy family, it breaks my heart.

  57. Lyn  April 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm Reply

    I lost my husband April 5th. I let him down and should have been more firm with his doctors and should have gotten him better care sooner. This site is helpful for me

    5
    • Mamohau Molefe  June 24, 2021 at 9:03 pm Reply

      I’m a professional nurse, my husband passed away in march 10 march 2021 in hospital. He had an accident at work, im always consumed by guilt of i shud have done something, i had put my trust on my colleagues at hospital but i know i should have known better. Maybe i did not fight enough for him, i let him down badly😭😭😭😭😭. He was such a good man, he lived and loved me so much.

      3
  58. Deanie  April 11, 2021 at 9:39 am Reply

    I lost my husband in January to Covid. I am 44 years old with two children ages 18 and 15. My husbands health had been declining for around a year before his passing. I am finding with everything I do I feel guilty. He had a excellent life insurance policy and of course I was the beneficiary. I am so grateful he made sure the kids and I were taken care of. Before he passed we had been discussing that it was time for me to get a new vehicle so that my daughter (15) could have my old one. Yesterday I went and bought myself a new vehicle. I have so much guilt today I feel like I have done something wrong. I can tell myself that if he were still here I would have done the same thing, but since I was able to buy it outright and not have to take make payments I am bad for spending that money. This has been the worse experience in my life. Losing him has changed me in so many ways. I usually do not care what others think of me but for some reason I feel like people will be judging me. I wish my husband was still here so much. I do not know how to cope with all the feelings that go along with his passing. This has been the worst time of my life. Is this type of guilt normal or am I just crazy for feeling this way.

    5
  59. Bob  April 4, 2021 at 2:13 pm Reply

    My guilt, did not recognize the signs of my fiance heart attack early enough and feel if I had called 911 earlier could have saved her

    3
  60. Rose Jay  April 3, 2021 at 8:10 pm Reply

    I’ve always loved and cared for my mom, though our personalities are very different and at times we’ve clashed. I’d say that of all her many children I, by far, have been the most concerned and responsive to her many needs. So when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness I made it my mission to give her the most beautiful end of life experiences I could muster, even as she was tethered to oxygen 24/7, even as she required hospice and so many medications, even as dementia began to set in. I put her and my sister up in a home I renovated and trekked every month from another state to do my part to assist with her care in every way imaginable, including trying to muster joy. Toward the end, her care became extremely difficult. She was battling not only a debilitating disease but also depression and bitterness. At times she was antagonistic and manipulative. She would bang on doors all night and not allow us to sleep. We began to encounter ever evolving circumstances that would challenge us to make home care sustainable so we would not have to put her in a nursing home, as she begged us not to. During the last several difficult months I became short with her and rather cold. Never neglectful, though. Always dutiful. However, when she couldn’t hear me on the 5th repeat, I would yell, sometimes angrily. When she intentionally damaged my favorite chair, I yelled for her to leave. Occasionally, I I would pretend not to hear her constant requests for inconsequential things. Our last 3 days together were ok. I made her beautiful meals and took her on walks in her wheel chair. I promised to transport her to my home out of state for a bit of a vacation. Unfortunately, her health declined suddenly before I could fulfill that promise. Within two days she was suffering excruciating pain and discomfort, tearing at her clothes, crying out for my dead father into the night. I tried so hard to comfort her before she took her last breath. I know she loved me. I loved her. But the guilt I feel for not being gentler and kinder instead of being frustrated exhausted annoyed resentful and losing self-control in the final months (not always, but too often), is overwhelming.

    8
    • Mary Senini  April 8, 2021 at 3:47 am Reply

      Rose Jay.
      When you described the way you acted, spicy as someone referred to it. Your behavior sounded just like me and I’ve felt terrible. My situation was he was running me into the ground I’m practically crippled from trying to keep up with never ending demands and I wept for sleep. Thank you for risking what you said. I’m going to let myself off it now.

      4
  61. Susan Pratt  April 3, 2021 at 5:41 pm Reply

    My mother finally moved to assisted care last month after resisting for several years.

    She is 96 and has been diagnosed with dementia. My brother and I are relieved she is in a safe place getting the care she needs.

    After my first visit a few weeks ago, I realized I can’t handle seeing her like that (confused and unsure who I was) and made the decision not to visit her again.

    BACKGROUND: My mother was domineering, controlling and critical of me my entire childhood. I lived with undiagnosed depression until I was diagnosed and began therapy in my 20s. I am living a much healthier life now, thanks to continuing specialized therapy for ptsd from childhood trauma.

    I am conflicted about my decision not to visit my mother again, but I feel I need to make self-care my priority at this point. I am 72 and divorced btw.

    6
  62. Jackeice Cashay Chambers  March 30, 2021 at 2:51 pm Reply

    I lost my mom February 1, 2021. The guilt I have takes over my mind, body, and soul. I feel that I should’ve gotten her to the hospital sooner. She was having what I though was a relapse of her illness so I was trying to control it at home. I had no clue she has a ruptured appendix that was causing her to be septic. If I had just gotten her to the hospital earlier, just maybe she would still be alive. She was my best friend and I failed her. I am in constant pain 24/7 and it’s too much to bear. I keep asking God and my mom in Heaven to please ease my pain and tell me it’s not my fault. They have been silent which leads me to believe it’s my fault. I don’t know how much more of this pain I can take. It’s unbearable. She was only 57. Too young. I apologize every day for not taking action sooner. Still silence. I’m so lost and alone. I ask Jesus to come get me as I no longer want to be here. The pain is too much. I miss her too much. I am just waiting for my time to be with her again. I just want happiness and I feel I can only get that when its my time to go to Heaven.

    14
    • LaverneNewton  April 3, 2021 at 2:11 am Reply

      Jackeice, I am very sorry that your mother who is your best friend has passed away. This is so recent and what you are feeling will change up each day. I wish I could say the pain will leave soon with time but that would not entirely be true. But please hang in there. With time you will be able to cope a little better. I understand the dark place of silence feeling of hopelessness. But God is there, but right now your pain is loud not allowing you to hear God or your mother. Continue to reach out and talk about everything, cry, scream whatever you need to do. Grief is very personal, try to be your best friend right now. My heart goes out to you, I just lost a dear friend this week so I understand pain, guilt and a sense of numbness….for me to begin healing I had to reach out to try to help someone else and draw closer to God. May the peace of God surround you with what you need. What a blessing to share a deep love with your mother.

      7
    • Elizabeth  April 4, 2021 at 6:56 am Reply

      Please don’t blame yourself. Everything occurs as it should but we are not always privy to the reasons. It was your mum’s time to go on a new journey. She loves you and is watching over you. Take care.

      4
    • Anupama  May 10, 2021 at 6:29 am Reply

      I am in exactly the same situation going through the same pain waiting for God to lift me too .
      I could not judge the severity of my dad’s illness. I delayed shifting him to a better facility. I did not act in a timely manner . I am responsible for his passing away.
      Every day is a burden
      I donot wish to be with him.

      3
  63. Melissa  March 29, 2021 at 8:13 pm Reply

    My mom passed away 3/4/2021. I was at work and she texted messaged me saying she had a massive anxiety attack while driving, tight chest and all. I texted her back 11 minutes later…she never replied. She was found in her car with her glasses on the dash and her phone placed on the speedometer. I should have called her the night before, I had a weird feeling and ignored it. The next morning after she texted me she was gone. I have guilt about my snappy attitude lately, towards her. She was my best friend and it was an unexpected heart attack. I miss her so much and she wouldn’t never want me to feel guilty. I was the last person she reached out to and I feel like I wasn’t fast enough to reply. They told me all 4 of her arteries were 100% clogged and even if paramedics could have been called they couldn’t have helped. I love her so much and miss her every moment.

    7
    • Laloni  March 30, 2021 at 8:14 pm Reply

      Hi Melissa first I’m so sorry for your loss any loss of life to me is a shame!!!! But what I want to say to you is that your mom loved you and that’s really all that’s important… Only God’s will shall be done… I lost my step dad march 13 four days after his 77th Birthday he was surrounded by his family and Loved as much as possible… He died standing and fell to the floor I took so many pictures just to document what was going on…
      What I truly want to say to you THE LOVE NEVER DIES AS LONG AS THEY REMAIN IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS… MY DAD HAD A PACEMAKER AND I FEEL IT FAILED HIM… That’s another story it hurts like hell to not have someone so important and close but I promise you if you quite your self you will feel her presence all around you!! She’s your personal ANGEL NOW SO RESPECT THAT AND ALWAYS TALK TO HER ITS NOT CRAZY.. THE SPIRIT AND SOUL DO NOT DIE THEY LIVE ON THRU US MAY GOD GRANT YOU ALL THE TIME AND SPACE YOU NEED TO GRIEVE… AND IN DUE TIME IT WILL BE WELL WITHIN YOUR SOUL…. MAKE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF YOU SHE WOULD WANT THAT BLESSINGS ALWAYS LALONI A🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💯♥️💜♥️💜💯🙏🙏🙏🙏💯♥️💜♥️💜💯

      1
      • Laloni  March 30, 2021 at 8:20 pm

        Oh and as far as the snappy attitude I had that too with my Pop because of this pandemic everyone is a little short patients and the word I like to use is spicy!!!!!

        1
  64. Linda  March 25, 2021 at 12:24 pm Reply

    My son passed away while living on the street three weeks ago.
    I’m overwhelmed by guilt. My heart is breaking and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over this.
    It’s helping to read your posts.
    I’ll write more when I can process my words.
    Lots so hard. I’m immobilized with grief and guilt.

    13
  65. Ivy  March 21, 2021 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I lost my best friend, my dog Peanut. He died with me holding him in my arms at home the day after a 2 day stay in an emergency pet hospital that unfortunately turned out to be an unethical, corporate, horrible place that instead of helping and caring for him actually traumatized him with unnecessary procedures for money, injured him further and never treated him for the actual problem. After paying $6,000 (required payment up front) the vet wanted him to stay another day which would mean another
    $4, 000 bringing the total to
    $10, 000. Once I said no his care..or lack of completely stopped and he was taken off life saving medication before I was allowed to pick him up. I have since talked with a lawyer and researched the thousands of complaints about this place only to learn that veterinarians are untouchable even in the event of complete and blatant malpractice as pets are seen as property. I am struggling with guilt and feeling the constant pain of regret. If I had known, why didn’t I help him, he depended on me to keep him safe and I let him die. I can’t see anything in my head when I lay down to sleep at night except how he looked as he was dying. Only sad, horrible thoughts play over and over even though I try to replace them with happy thoughts it just doesn’t work and I find myself trying to avoid thinking about this lil dog who was the love of my life for 9 years.
    My guilt is a combination of the way things happened and feeling like I failed him and he didn’t deserve fire his life to end..I was responsible and he trusted me and I let him down when he needed me the most. However irrational, that’s what I feel and I am struggling to move forward.
    Thank you for listening. Thank you for your website.

    8
  66. John  March 16, 2021 at 5:16 pm Reply

    Last Sunday I walked into my Bedroom to see what my girlfriend was doing and before I even got into the Bedroom I saw her legs sticking out from the floor next to the bed. She was lying flat on her back with her eyes half open and not breathing. I frantically called 911 and the operator instructed me how to perform CPR. I tried to revive her but had no success. When the EMT’s arrived she had already passed and there was nothing they could do to bring her back.

    I have been crying my eye’s out for the last two days and although we’ve had our share of arguments we always made up the next day. I have High Blood Pressure and have been on medication for it the last ten years. My girlfriend said she also had it but I never once saw her take any medication for it. last week she also told me she had AFib but again was not taking any Blood thinners for it. Now I truly believe she either had a Heart Attack or a blood clot which caused her death. Now I have all these guilty feelings about not being more aggressive in making sure she was on the medication she needed. She has not been to a doctor in the four years we dated and her Sister informed me that she had a fear of going to a doctor all her life. I am have a terrible time dealing with her death and just feel so guilty. John

    8
  67. dan  March 11, 2021 at 5:38 pm Reply

    My sister died by suicide. I have tremendous guilt about it. She died alone and did not call me, she lived about 2 hours away from me. She said she was having trouble with her phone, I am regretful that i didn’t give her a flip phone that i had recently bought, but she declined it – she didn’t want to be a burden. I thought she was doing ok, but she wasn’t.

    6
  68. Michelle Hollar  February 28, 2021 at 5:27 am Reply

    lost my Dad Jan 28 2019 ,,,,,,,Still cant believe he is gone they said nhr was getting better i sat with him 5 days in ICU we talked laughed planned things he had copd and im sure covid was around then because the drs had no idea they told me he would be getting out well things turned for the worse he told me he was going to die he was telling me goodbye i didnt believe him they had to keep him on alot of morphine and a breathing machine i wanted him to be home we got hospice and we got him home with his dogs and family ,He was dying,the nurse let us know it was time ……Time stopped i yelled outside so loud,,,,,,,,,,,,,my Dad is gone/./////////////////////

    4
  69. Sherry Anderson  February 26, 2021 at 2:44 am Reply

    My dad died over 7 years ago, in October 2013, from bladder cancer. I’ve not been the same since. He was my biggest cheerleader. I’m still so lost without him. I carry so much guilt. Partly because my brother made sure to serve up a healthy serving of blame on me for our dads death as well as many choices my dad made when we were younger, and at the end. Partly because there are things I wish I’d done differently.

    I was there when he took his last breath, and despite telling him it was ok to go, I desperately begged him to come back. Everyone else, and I mean everyone – had gone to lunch at taco bell down the road. I was completely alone with him, as I had been for weeks. I refused to leave him alone even for a short time because I had already left him for too long.

    When my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 micropapillary bladder cancer just 6 months before, I dropped life as I knew it and went to take care of him. I lived in minnesota at the time and my dad lived in southern utah. I had an 18 year old daughter that had just recently moved to her own apartment (a block and a half from my house) and a 24 year old Aspie son who’d just been beaten up a few weeks before. 22 staples in his head from a crow bar. He had never lived on his own. I left him at the house, with my 2 dogs and flew out to take care of my dad.

    I stayed with my dad from May to the last week of July. Then, I paid for my sister to fly out to stay with him for a week so I could go home and get my house cleaned up and out and ready to rent, thinking I was going to be in for a long haul of recovery from surgery and then God knows how much chemo. I didn’t realize it would take so long to get everything done and get back to him. I returned just after labor day.
    Realistically, a month to clean, make repairs, get city inspection, make more repairs to pass inspection to get license to rent out, get a property manager, tell my son he had to find a place to live, sell off everything I couldn’t fit in storage, pack a 5×7 u-haul with a few things, say goodbye to my kids and my life, and drive 1500 miles really isn’t much time.
    The whole time I was gone my dad refused to let anyone tell me how bad things really were because I had so much to take care of. I wish he had because I wouldn’t have done any of it. I’d have come back sooner. I definitely wouldn’t have taken a 2 day break from it all for a little fun for myself before heading out for what I believed was going to be months more of taking care of him through chemo and whatever else came with it. But I didn’t know, didn’t understand, didn’t realize how much of a death sentence it was when the Dr perforated the bladder wall when trying to scrape the tumor from the inside of his bladder and then just made him up and sent him on home. I didn’t get that the cancer was spilling out into the rest of his body through that hole. And I didn’t think there was anything I could even try to do to hold that Dr responsible until 2 years later, when it was too late because the statute of limitations passed.
    He’s gone! But he wanted to live. And I couldn’t make that happen And the day he died, it wasn’t just him I lost I lost half my family. They didn’t like that I was chosen to be the executor and they didn’t like how I was doing things. They didn’t like that I’d left for a month to take care of my own stuff.

    I feel like I failed him, in so many ways. I wasn’t there, when I should have been. I didn’t answer every time he called before he was sick. I got annoyed by how often he would call and now I’d give anything to hear his voice on the other end of the phone I didn’t keep the family together. Would he still think I’m as great a daughter/person as he did before?
    I know this has gotten so long, but there is so much just brewing in me. My health has been deteriorating for years now, and I’m sure all this has a lot to do with it.
    Thank you for letting me share. And if you’ve read this far, thank you for caring enough to take the time.

    19
    • David  March 3, 2021 at 11:13 am Reply

      Thank you for sharing your storey, I’m sorry you’re feeling grief.
      I found your post because I’m reading about grief. I’ve just lost a good friend and work colleague. Unfortunately he had vasculitis which was damaging his lungs, kidneys, ears and eyesight, this was not spotted for 2 years and had become very poorly, he was then taken to hospital, unfortunately he tested positive for Covid and died a few weeks later.
      This is the first time I’ve experienced grief, apart from the inevitable sadness you would expect to feel when a loved one passed, it’s only until now my friend had gone I realise how much I loved him. I guess I took life for granted but a big lesson learned that life is so precious, we should each day count.
      I’m not one for showing my emotions, so part of my regret is I didn’t tell him enough how much he meant as he told me many times. Practically I did lots of things for him many times over; he often needed help especially with technical things, I would help him sort this out, I think that was my way of showing my emotions so I guess he knew he meant lots to me.
      What has resonated with my last part of your message, about not answering the phone every time. My friend called my lots of times, probably because for a long time he lived on his own and needed company. He had many friends, but for whatever reason they didn’t fill that hole in his life where he just needed some company, He’d have people that would pop round now and again but nothing regular, I expect many of them may be feeling the same way as me today. Luckily with social media he wasn’t really alone, he was always messaging friends and family, but of course that’s never the same as having somebody at your side.
      Having read a website on how to deal with grief, I’ve pretty much gone through the whole list of topics emotionally related to grief, but mostly guilt and regret, the one thing that has helped me is at the end of this article is this…
      1. Consider what your loved one would tell you. Get yourself in a space to truly focus on thinking about your loved one. Imagine telling them how you are feeling – your regrets, your guilt, all of it. If there are things you wish you had said, say them. Then imagine what your loved one would tell you.

      That part has really helped me put things into perspective, I know my friend thought the world of me, and I know he knew I struggled with telling him the same thing. He knows our banter full jokes where just that and are never personal. I’ve imagined him sat in front of me and said all the things I should have said, and all the things I shouldn’t, my friend would have understood completely.
      I hope you can somehow do the same Sherry, just know that you did everything you could with your best intentions, your Dad would understand and agree entirely. You can’t help that others don’t feel the same with how you did things; therefore, you should never feel like you failed anyone. If you haven’t already, try the above suggestion, it may help as it did with me. I pray your health improves and thank you for sharing your story, in doing that you have helped me come to terms with my own grief.
      Take care.

      7
  70. Renee  February 25, 2021 at 4:39 pm Reply

    I lost my mom a month ago. Guilt is a very powerful thing. We were not as close as I would have liked, my sister on the other hand was very close with my mother, and lived with her. I had not seen my mother for a year because of COVID. She went into cardiac arrest, and had brain damage because of it. My sister and a relative meet with the neurologist and he recommended to take her off life support. I was not there that day. I have guilt because I did not talk to the neurologist before agreeing with my sister to do so (in the emotional upset of what was about to happen, I forgot to make sure the neurologist came in to explain to me why he thought my mom was going to be in a vegetative state) I did not know at the time, it is recommended to wait three days after doing Therapeutic hypothermia to do any kind of eeg or brain scans, they did them only 2 hours after my mom was fully warmed up. My mom also had a low temperature and the nurse told me that was due to brain damage, I later found out most patients have a temp a few days after rewarming. My mother was also kept sedated, which could have prevented her from waking up as well. She had jerks, which I was told was from brain damage, but found out later Profel (not sure of spelling) a sedative could also cause these. I am filled with guilt that I did not do more research and agreed to take her off life support not 5 days after the arrest.

    5
  71. Judy Philibert  February 23, 2021 at 5:23 pm Reply

    I am the oldest (57) of 3 daughters (57, 55, 49). We lost our mother to lung cancer a year and a half ago. I did my best to provide compassionate care for her the last 5 months of her life – she was in a facility with health care workers who looked to her health needs, I was only there for support, I spend around 6 hours a day with her. It was painful to be there the last few days of her life – she was down to 65 lbs, just skin & bone. On the last day of her life, I could not stay as late as I usually did – I simply could not watch her take her last breathe. Even now, typing this out, tears are falling. My mother was the most frugal person I knew. She never had a lot of money, but what she had, she saved, and went without, so that she could leave it to her girls. As Executrix of her estate, I got everything settled, and all 3 of us girls received her estate. I was employed as a legal assistant for 30 years, have recently retired, thanks to the funds my mother left me. My employment has always caused me great stress, which I am told is par for the course in this profession – everything you do had to be done yesterday, constant deadlines. Although I am grateful beyond belief that my inheritance has allowed me to retire 7 years early, I also feel an overwhelming sense if guilt. Why am I spending my mother’s hard-earned and hard-saved money on simply living, when I should still be working and saving my inheritance from my mother, saving it for something that’s really important? I’ve been retired for almost 6 months, and have spent most of my days feeling guilty that I’m not working. I am now considering going back to this stressful job in an attempt to overcome the guilt I feel in regards to the funds my mother left me.

    My younger sister (49), did not see eye to eye with my mother. They had a very unhealthy relationship throughout their lives. When my mother died, this sister had virtually no feelings of remorse, and was unhappy regarding the share of my mother’s estate that was left to her (was less than me and my other sister). I tried, in the last 5 years of my mother’s life, to get my younger sister to put the past behind and to call a truce with our mother, so that our mother could die in peace. I was sick for 8 days during the last 5 months of our mother’s life, and my younger sister agreed to sit in for me, so they did have that time together (my younger sister is an LPN, for 25 years), but I’m not sure how well it went – she’d had enough after 8 days, and I truly don’t believe it brought them any closer.
    My younger sister has made some bad decisions during her life, which brought heavy consequences for her, and has turned to alcohol in an attempt to deal with the problems caused by these decisions. I have always had a soft spot for my younger sister – our mother left our father when my younger sister was 5, me and my younger sister went with my Mom, my other sister stayed with my Dad. Our family went through some very trying times during the family break-up, and I felt very protective of my younger sister, and that “protectiveness” still exists to this day. I always thought she would experience a “light bulb” moment and become more understand with people, but that has not happened. I am now feeling an overwhelming feeling of guilt for not reprimanding her when she needed to be (my mother tried, but it always ended in an argument), maybe her life would have turned out differently had I been the big sister that she really needed, instead of being the big sister who protected her all the time and just wanted to be her friend. If I’d done differently, maybe her and my mother would have been able to call a truce at some point before my mother died. I just don’t know.

    Anyway, that’s my story. I’m hoping that with the passage of more time, these feelings of guilt will diminish. I lost my Dad in 2006, dealt with similar issues then, so hopefully things will get better. Thanks for listening 💜

    4
  72. Lyn  February 14, 2021 at 7:21 pm Reply

    I was unable to be with my mother when she died (because of practicalities as I live in another country). I was always close to my mother and I loved her dearly. I saw her about a month before she died (we knew she was dying of a terminal illness) and I have been over the details of those two weeks a lot. I knew it was a goodbye visit but there are still things I wish I had done differently. I guess we very rarely get to have the perfect goodbye — and it would be too painful to address it 100%. I know all of this. I know it was OK and she understood and that she loved me… but still the feelings of guilt remain. Be kind to yourselves!

    2
    • Isabelle Siegel  February 17, 2021 at 12:30 pm Reply

      Lyn, I’m very sorry for your loss. I imagine it was very difficult not being with your mother when she passed… But you’re right: We rarely get to have the perfect goodbye. That said, it’s totally normal and okay to feel guilty. I recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-vs-regret-in-grief/ I hope you will learn to forgive yourself and to take your own advice: Be kind to yourself. All the best to you.

      3
  73. jack cropp  February 11, 2021 at 4:05 pm Reply

    just lost my wife. this site looks really helpful.

    3
    • Sandy  February 20, 2021 at 11:05 am Reply

      I lost my only son on January 20th
      I knew he had an argument with his sister and left,they lived together. The pain and guilt are unbearable. I should have immediately called him.

      3
    • Jacquelyn Whitted  March 10, 2021 at 9:41 am Reply

      I just lost my husband 03/1/2021 and I feel so guilty.

      2
  74. Anushri R P  February 8, 2021 at 1:24 pm Reply

    I just lost my uncle just 3 days back to tuberculosis which he could have survived if it wasn’t for multi-organ failure from his alcohol addiction. My brother and I grew with my mother as my parents didn’t have a successful marriage. My uncle who I lost is my father’s younger brother and we as kids got caught in between the fights our parents had and soon had chnaged our religion to Christianity which didn’t go well with my paternal side of our family and hence a lot of conflicts. And we wouldn’t have any kind of communication for atleast 1 year or so until next time. My uncle thought of us as his own kids and longed for us his whole life and I never realized how much that means and instead lost my self to an invisible being. We had visited him thrice in a whole year and he wished to see us badly during his last days but we never showed up because of work and in the weekends we were too lazy. And in the end we could never go see him when he was alive.

    There are a million things that I’m guilty of:
    1. For not treating his own daughter well while I was a kid.
    2. Whenever we would visit them during our summer holidays we would go straight to our aunt’s place and not my dad’s place. We would only go there to take a shower or to eat.
    3. If I hadnt gone to church I would have visited my uncle and my dad more often which I didn’t because of the difference in faith.
    4. If I hadnt let my grandma and my mom poison my mind against them as a kid I wouldn’t have failed to value them as my people.
    5. Because my mom would often blame us for being like my father we unconsciously tried so hard not to be like him that we didn’t realize we had become an exact replica of my mother in being insensitive, detached from my people, had no value to what my dad had to say.
    6. I was so biased towards my mom that anything my dad said felt wrong.
    7. If only my mum had an open mind and showed an active involvement in their activities and functions my uncle would have been better because he always valued my mother more than his own mother.
    I’m guilty of causing a fight that lasted for about a year and none of us went to visit them and even when my dad came home I asked him to never come back again which was instigated by my mother but I blindly followed her footsteps.
    I feel like we caused his death. We made him wait for us his whole life and didn’t go see him even in the end.
    I’m a horrible horrible person who doesn’t deserve to live.

    2
    • Isabelle Siegel  February 9, 2021 at 9:07 am Reply

      Anushri, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m also very sorry to hear that you are feeling such immense guilt. As you have read, guilt is all-too-common during grief. I can’t tell you not to feel guilty, but I do hope you will learn to forgive yourself. I want you to hear this: You are worthy of life. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ All the best to you.

      2
    • Jane Ramon  February 17, 2021 at 9:06 pm Reply

      My brother who was 60 and downs syndrome got covid12 and died from the complications of covid . I was very close to my brother but when the time came when he was dying I couldn’t stand to watch him take his last breathe he had my daughter there and three others that were close to him . I kissed him and told him goodbye but I couldn’t sit there his last three hours . I feel bad he keeps wanting his mama and I know he’s in her arms now I told mom I’d take care of him when she passed 8 years ago and I have but I wasn’t there when he needed me most

      5
      • Isabelle Siegel  February 18, 2021 at 10:33 am

        Jane, I’m so so sorry for your loss. I want you to know that it is so normal and okay that you weren’t able to be there at the moment of his death. Witnessing the passing of a loved one is immensely difficult… You did what was best for you, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That said, I understand that you feel guilty. I hope you will learn to forgive yourself. You did the best you could. It sounds like you were an excellent sister. All the best to you.

        4
  75. Maria  February 6, 2021 at 8:52 pm Reply

    Our adult daughter died less than 2 weeks ago from cancer. We miss her so much and I’m finding it hard thinking of all the things I feel we should have done, and things I thought during the time . Thank you for your website which I have found helpful.

    2
    • Isabelle Siegel  February 9, 2021 at 9:52 am Reply

      Maria, I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope this article has shown you how normal it is for guilt and grief to go hand-in-hand. It’s easy to become consumed by “what if’s,” but please know that you did everything you could. I am glad to hear that this website has brought you even an ounce of comfort. All the best to you.

      1
  76. Maisie  January 28, 2021 at 10:19 am Reply

    I lost my grandmother last year around this time. She had a big role in raising me as my mom is a single mother. I’m also her only grandchild as she grew up an orphan and only had my mom, so she was a big part of my life and I hers

    After I went to college I only saw her a handful of days a year as I focused on my own life in a distant country. I feel so selfish to have prioritized traveling or working over seeing her or calling more often. She dealt with some depression and anxiety leftover from an unstable life and unhappy marriage. My mother also has her own battles with mental health and cancer so oftentimes was lacking as a caregiver and daughter especially in the last few years

    I just wish I was there for her, appreciated her more, and given her more support at least emotionally if not physically so she would have maybe left the world with more contentment over her life rather than sadness. We owe her so much. She was so strong and a pillar for our small family. I’m sorry grandma, I love you always

    7
  77. Maria Quattrocchi  January 26, 2021 at 6:31 pm Reply

    My mom passed away on September 29th 2020. She was in the hospital for two months with Vasculitis. They gave her a treatment that was kind of similar to chemo to help fight against the vasculitis that was hurting her organs, especially her kidney. The treatment helped, but it diminished her immune system. She caught C-diff from the hospital the day she was supposed to be discharged. She couldn’t fight the new infection because her immune system was so weak from the medication. Ten days later she went into sepsis and went into shock. She coded, and they put her on a ventilator and other life supports. The hospital told me that she was actively dying and that the loving thing would be to allow her to die off of the life support and surrounded by her family. I thought this was the loving thing to do, because that is what they kept on telling me. I allowed them to take her off of the ventilator and she died with the family around her within hours. I now feel so much guilt. I feel that I allowed her to die and what if they could have done something else to help her. I felt like I was rushed to make the decision and that I was in shock and didn’t ask all the right questions. I allowed the person who I loved the most, die, and I can’t make peace with it. How do I move forward now? I am haunted that I may have made a mistake.

    4
    • Isabelle Siegel  January 27, 2021 at 1:48 pm Reply

      Maria, I’m very sorry for your loss. The guilt you’re feeling is completely normal and valid. I can’t tell you not to feel guilty, but I can tell you this: I hope you can learn to forgive yourself. You did what you thought was best, with loving intentions. Try not to let your mind ruminate on the “what if’s…” This can become a never-ending and all-consuming cycle. There is no going back, only going forward. All the best to you.

      1
  78. Vashtie  January 21, 2021 at 5:59 am Reply

    Reading the stories of others kind of help me to feel at ease but I still feel guilty and I need help. Kinda words and advice.
    My mom died on July 4,2014. I was 20. I feel so horrible because during her last days I feel like such a careless lazy person. I remember there being times where I would give her a back massage and she would tell her hospice nurse I’m her daughter who gives her nice massages. But there was also me who was too interested in hanging out with my bf that I would not go visit her often even though she was right there. I worked and figure the hospice nurse was taking care of her. I was so lazy she asked me to make her a sandwich and I made it so bad. My younger brother told her and she didn’t want it. I didn’t even think to remake another one or anything cause I was just careless at that age. I cared for my
    Mom so much. I loved her so much. During the last couple of days when her condition got more critical, I remember I would tell her I love her and kiss her on the cheek and she liked that, but I also remember not going to spend time with her either. I remember sneaking off in the night to hang out with my bf at the time. I just wish I was a better person after so much my mom has done for me and I wish she knows how much I appreciate her. I haven’t slept since 2am and I have to get up For work @6 😔 this is consuming me.

    5
    • Isabelle Siegel  January 22, 2021 at 10:36 am Reply

      Vashtie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I completely understand your feelings of guilt… They are so normal and okay. But I also hope you will ultimately be able to forgive yourself: You did the best you could. Your mother likely knew how much you appreciated her. All the best to you.

      1
  79. Mani  January 16, 2021 at 6:04 pm Reply

    My big brother passed away 2 weeks ago from covid. I was the only one going to work and commuting and I fell ill with covid first. I’m convinced he caught it from me. That’s the first branch of my overwhelming guilt. I then looked after him for a week when his symptoms worsened. He got better on the Saturday so I stopped worrying and didn’t set the usual 3.30am alarm to check on him. He was coughing in the night. I woke up at 5am to check on him and my memory is blurry but I feel I ignored clear signs he wasn’t breathing normally. My brain actually didn’t think it was serious because he was better the previous day. I gave him water and checked his temp and went back to bed. An hour later I had to call an ambulance as he had deteriorated and his heart stopped. He died later on Sunday in hospital. It’s all my fault. I didn’t kill him but I didn’t do enough to save him. I don’t know how to live with this.

    5
    • Isabelle Siegel  January 18, 2021 at 10:33 am Reply

      Mani, I’m so sorry for your loss and for the guilt you’re experiencing. I can’t tell you not to feel guilty, but I do hope you will forgive yourself. You did your best to support your brother. It might be helpful to reach out to a therapist trained in grief and bereavement who can help you process your difficult emotions… You can find one here: https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/for-the-public/find-a-therapist/. All the best.

      4
    • Kourosh  January 23, 2021 at 5:21 pm Reply

      I lost my dad to COVID on Jan 21, 2021. He was 80. I too go from guilt to no guilt and back several times a day. I found that if I were to place myself in his shoes and view myself, there would only be love and appreciation. My dad was that kind of a person. He loved me and I him. The fact is that I miss him terribly and I am going through my grief. I made myself go through the exercise of switching places and looking at everything several times. And I can tell you that I feel better now.
      Sometimes we are too harsh on ourselves. Remember that “you” are the hardest person that you can forgive. I’m sure that our loved ones, wouldn’t use judgment but instead view us with love. Try to recall the good times. I pray for you and for us all.

      3
      • Isabelle Siegel  January 25, 2021 at 10:04 am

        Kourosh, I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope this article has shown you how normal it is to experience feelings of guilt after a loss. Thank you for taking the time to comment and to share your insight… I’m sure others will find it valuable. All the best to you.

        2
    • Matthew Ressler  January 25, 2021 at 4:05 pm Reply

      Mani, my heart goes out to you. It isn’t your fault, I know it feels like it is, but it isn’t. I left my husband of 15 years lying on the floor after a heart attack. He has to die alone in the bedroom because I was too consumed with my video games to go see what it is that I heard. I heard a loud thud sound when he fell, but I didn’t go check on him, I just called out to see if he was okay, and when he didn’t respond I kept playing. I was a lifeguard for many years, and know how crucial it is to start CPR immediately in order to save someone’s life until the ambulance arrived. When I found him 10 minutes later, I knew that I was too late, the pain and guilt hit me like a wave of horror, At times it felt like the guilt would consume me, it was an experience of absolute horror, I’ve never felt such raw pain in my heart, it was almost traumatizing. I know that nothing I tell you right now will be of much comfort. But please try to believe me when I tell you that time will heal what you’re going through. Time and time alone. And unfortunately, there will most likely be a long period where you feel very alone with your grief and you feel like everyone else is expecting you to be over it. No one will truly understand what you’re experiencing. During the first 2 years, there are will be moments of sadness and and guilt and dread. It’ll be 3 years since he died in March. I can finally accept that it was just his time, and that he had a major heart attack and died. I can finally realize that I didn’t LET HIM die, and that I simply did not know. There was a time where I felt the horrible guilt would never ever go away, and from time to time, I still experience the guilt. Trying to explain it to others was pointless, no one truly understands the agony. I’m so sorry that Covid took your brother, just hang in there, I promise you, you WILL be okay. Only time can heal you, unfortunately. One day at a time. Please don’t ruminate on the guilt. You sound like a loving and wonderful sister, you deserve love and happiness. I will pray for you.

      Matt

      6
      • Mani  January 27, 2021 at 1:19 pm

        Matt,

        Thank you so much for that…I know very few people will be able to relate but your words really help to make me feel I’m not alone and that the intense feelings will pass eventually. It really eats me up inside some days, like today. I’m so sorry for your loss and thank you for being brave enough to relay your experience here, in order to help me. I will keep you in my prayers too xxx

        3
      • Renee  February 25, 2021 at 5:09 pm

        I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story, your words of encouragement were very helpful.

        1
      • Clarie WT  June 12, 2021 at 4:27 am

        Thanks Matt for your words. I feel like you right now. My good husband of ten years had alcoholic seizure in the bed room after his usual drinking, and i was in the kitchen doing housework, not knowing what happened to him. It was a month ago and guilt consumes me alot. When i face to my very young kids, i feel so so guilty

        1
  80. Rosie  January 13, 2021 at 1:47 pm Reply

    I am responsible for my mother’s death. It wasn’t intentional but I am responsible. I live with my parents and we had been so good about keep away from Covid even though I was still leaving home to go to work. In October my boyfriend lost his job and by the end of the month he was homeless. I let him stay with us. Either him or me brought Covid home and my mom was infected. She died on December 21 after 11 days in the hospital, alone and scared. My heart hurts so much.

    6
    • IsabelleS  January 15, 2021 at 11:58 am Reply

      Rosie, I’m truly so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing. The guilt you’re feeling is so normal and okay. That being said, I hope you can forgive yourself.

      4
    • John  January 24, 2021 at 3:36 pm Reply

      I can assure you thousands of people all around the world feel the same way right now. That goddam virus made things so confusing and so hard for so many of us… But remember you weren’t trying to do her any harm and you can’t really just carry the blame for what happened – there is a virus out there and unfortunately it affected many people in ways that we couldn’t really avoid. The pain will stick around for some time now, but I can assure you, you deserve to be forgiven, which includes to forgive yourself. I’m sending you a gigantic virtual hug right now. Take care.

      2
    • Anna  January 29, 2021 at 9:41 am Reply

      Hi Rosie,
      Im so sorry for your loss. We are on the same situation, my dad died on Christmas eve. I am dealing with guilt, shame and anxiety. I hope i can connect with you. Nobody else can understand what we are going through but us.

      2
      • Rosie  February 6, 2021 at 12:25 pm

        Hi Anna,

        These situations are so terrible. I am sorry for your loss. I’m also sorry for how you are feeling. I know how heavy those emotions can be and how hard it is to navigate through them. I’d love to connect for support, because yes, like you said. It’s hard to understand our situation if you have not lived it. I am sending you virtual hugs and I know how difficult it can be, but I hope you are finding ways (even small ones) to care for yourself.

        1
  81. Maggie  December 24, 2020 at 6:25 am Reply

    I cared for my dad for the last 5 years….. he passed away in march this year from a combination of dementia, heart failure, renal failure etc etc……. we did his palliative care at home, lived with him for the last 5 years and even though he was so sick, had a health directive that asked us not to use any measures to prolong his life other than make him comfortable…. I still question whether I made the right decisions, feel guilty that maybe if I’d made different decisions we may have had a few.more weeks with him!! The logical side of me knows that his death was imminent without doubt but even now I have feelings of guilt and I miss him so much ….. I ache everyday….. he adopted me sight unseen and have me the most wonderful life….. I just hope I did that justice in caring for him!!

    4
  82. LouAnn  December 19, 2020 at 12:38 pm Reply

    My childhood best friend died unexpectedly 2 days ago. The last time we talked he got a little snippy with me, or at least that’s how I took it. He called me twice after that. Once was early in the morning, around 6AM. I didn’t see it. The second time was a couple days before and I just shrugged it off and said Ill call him back cause I was in the middle of something. Now I can never call him back and I feel so guilty. I have talked to him as if he was sitting next to me and told him how sorry I am but I just cant get rid of the guilt. I feel like such a horrible person. He had lots of health issues and had been in a nursing home for over a year and with Covid not allowed to have any visitors. One of the last things i said to him was when he was allowed to have company I would bring him anything he wanted for lunch. Ill never get that chance and now Ill never get to say Im sorry either.

    5
    • IsabelleS  December 21, 2020 at 11:27 am Reply

      LouAnn, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope this article has communicated to you how normal and okay it is to feel guilty after the death of a loved one. That being said, please know that you did nothing wrong. I am certain that your best friend forgives you. All the best.

      1
      • Cynthia Slatton  January 1, 2021 at 5:07 pm

        My dad is dying. I went and saw him this week to say my goodbye to him, I know he’s not going to make it through this month. He’s 90 years old and I lost my mother in 2013 and I am feeling terrible guilt from not going and seeing them more often, they only live 2 hours away, I have excepted the fact that he needs to let go and be with my momma. But the guilt is killing me, I should have visited him more. I told myself after my momma died that I would visit daddy more often, but I didn’t. My sister is a nurse and lives in the same town as my parents do, and she has been with my parents everyday taking care of them. I have always thanked her for taking good care of momma and daddy. But the guilt of me not visiting more is killing me inside.

        4
      • IsabelleS  January 4, 2021 at 1:37 pm

        Cynthia, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I hope that this article has shown you how normal and okay it is to feel guilty after (or before!) a loss. I can’t tell you not to be guilty, but please be gentle with yourself. You did the best you could.

        1
  83. Marissa  December 15, 2020 at 9:35 pm Reply

    I went out of town during the Coronavirus pandemic even though I live with my parents and they both told me over and over not to go. They were afraid I would bring the virus back with me and infect them. When I returned from my out of state trip I quarantined in my room for the 2 weeks just in case. Buy the 3rd day of quarantine I was having symptoms of the virus. It was only another week until both my parents were also infected. I believe the virus traveled through the vents in the house / the air. We all tested positive for the virus. My dad got extremely sick and was sent to the hospital. He was in the hospital for one month, all alone 24/7 (besides medical staff) struggling to get better with no company or distraction. We had a couple of video chats with him where he was suffering and crying in pain and also because he missed me and the rest of the family. He was alone, full of anxiety, and very worried about making it out of the hospital and coming back home to us. He never got his wish. He passed away exactly one month later from being admitted into the hospital. It was a huge shock to all of us that he didn’t survive, because he had already been getting better and was supposed to be discharged from the hospital. I am the one who brought him the virus after he had strongly urged me not to go out of town for fear I would bring the virus back. I deeply regret what I did and continue to feel guilty day after day for robbing my father and the rest of my family from our beloved dad. I could have prevented it but I was too selfish and inconsiderate. I don’t know how to cope with his death and the fact that it was my fault. My father’s death alone is too overwhelming and to top it off I caused it.

    6
    • IsabelleS  December 17, 2020 at 10:03 am Reply

      Marissa, I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. I hope this article has shown you how normal and okay it is to feel guilty after the death of a loved one. Because of the nature of your father’s death, you may want to seek out the support of a therapist trained in grief and bereavement, which you can find here: https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/for-the-public/find-a-therapist/. I can’t tell you not to feel guilty, but I hope you will one day be able to let go of this feeling and to honor your father’s memory. I do not believe that he would want you to spend the rest of your life feeling responsible for his death. Please be gentle with yourself. All the best.

      1
  84. Casey  December 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm Reply

    On Nov 10 this year, my 2yo budgie, Trinket, died in the morning, and I am so so overwhelmed with regret and remorse.

    Starting in November last year, he had undigested seed in his droppings and was lethargic. He was diagnosed with avian gastric yeast, and it was a long period of treatment through February or March this year before we got it completely under control. After that time of two different avian medications on & off, the last run of treatment then was a month of apple cider doses daily in his water.

    He showed no symptoms through the summer, then in late September he was showing relatedly unusual droppings but no lethargy so I put him back on the apple cider vinegar through October without consulting my vet, and the symptoms mostly went away.

    Early November they came back again though and on the 7th I put him back on the apple cider vinegar, and he had fluffed posture and some lethargy then, but so did his bonded pair mate, Yoshi. They were both molting, and Trinket has always gotten a little fluffed and lethargic while molting. On the 10th, he regurgitated some seed when I uncovered him in the morning, did a clumsy lap around the room, and collapsed for a moment on one of his play-mats. I was distraught, gathered him up gently and he was able to sit back up on my finger. He sat there while I called the vet, I set him back on a perch in his cage to go out and get the travel carrier, and he was already gone when I got back inside. I buried him out front with one of his favorite bells; next to my previous budgie, Junior, who made it to the honorable old age of 10 before being euthanized for painful age-related health complications.

    I knew he had a rough history with the gastric yeast, I knew it was hard to get rid of. But when he got sick again in October and then into November, I didn’t take him to the vet, I didn’t think it was as serious as it was. I didn’t get an additional second opinion on the droppings, I thought I knew what I was dealing with, but I’ve looked them up since and they’re consistent with liver problems & eating less which is consistent with gastric yeast complications, and the suggestion is immediate vet care and I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for not looking it up again or not going to the vet sooner.

    For almost two weeks I was consistently nauseous with grief and guilt. I kept looking around for him while going about my daily routine. I felt like, if I was sad enough, and sorry enough, he would come back; I couldn’t get to missing him because I felt Worried about him, and then would get upset at feeling worried because I missed that opportunity by far and it cost Trinket his rest of his little life.

    It’s easier for me now to, logically, accept that he’s gone. I miss him viciously, and I am still grieving, but the instinct to look for him in the house is gone, as much as I want him to still be here.

    I fluctuate between accepting that I at no point made decisions with the deliberate intention to do harm to Trinket, and just absolutely drowning with the knowledge that my indecision and inaction ended in his death. I can look back now and see other warning signs I should have caught and that should have worried me at the time.

    I loved him so, so, so much. I had raised him from a baby; he was so smart, he could say his name, and Yoshi’s name, and a host of other short phrases, “little baby bird,” “what’chu doin’?” “Come here” ; he would sing little songs to himself and to my sister. He had so much love stored in his tiny little body, and loved unconditionally.

    I’m so overwhelmed with remorse, and it still slips into guilt sometimes. I miss him like nothing else but I find it hard to let myself experience pure grief because I’m so caught up in the things I should have done, the warning signs I should have seen or taken more seriously or interpreted correctly. I feel like I neglected him, like I ignored the signs. Do I have a right to that grief? I’m sorrier for him than I am for myself, my little bitty baby bird, Trinket. I feel like I let him down.

    I feel like if I stop feeling bad for him, or start feeling bad for myself instead, that I would be betraying him. Like my remorse and guilt are penance, though I know he’s gone and punishing myself won’t bring him back. But in my good moments when I have let go on my guilt and accepted my remorse, I feel guilty for not thinking about him all the time. I feel like forgiving myself is almost a betrayal to Trinket.

    4
    • IsabelleS  December 14, 2020 at 12:04 pm Reply

      Casey, I am so sorry for your loss and for the grief you are feeling. I completely understand how conflicted you feel, but please understand that forgiving yourself does not diminish your love for him. You did the best you could and took excellent care of him. Be gentle with yourself.

      3
    • Renee  February 25, 2021 at 5:27 pm Reply

      Casey, I know it has been a few months, but i hope you are doing better. Do not beat yourself up. My cat also passed away the same week I buried my mom. He had been sneezing alot, and was pushing his head back, while laying down. He was also having trouble seeing the food we gave him sometimes, we thought that was a sign of his old age, and the sneezing was dust in the house, and I did not look up the pushing of the head back. Turns out he likely had a brain tumor, and i had put him on short acting steroids, and he made some improvements, then the vet recommended a long acting steroid that would last a few weeks, and I said yes. There was some stuff posted that people believe the long acting steroid killed their pet, and I did not look into it, before agreeing to it. He started having seizures almost exactly 12 hours after he got the shot, and we had to put him down.

      We are not perfect, nor without flaws. We are not medical professionals. We do the best we can with what we have. We make decisions out of love, not an intent to harm, and I try to remind myself of that when I start to feel guilty about my mom, or my sweet cat that I have had since he was around 8 weeks old.

      Don’t let your guilt become bigger than the love you have for them.

      3
  85. Audrey  December 8, 2020 at 10:54 am Reply

    Hi Everyone,
    I read through all your comments and especially Sofia found resident in my heart. I lost my brother on his birthday 21 October 2020. He was 9 years older than me. He struggled with alcohol abuse, and I tried to help him, but it feels that I could have really shown more empathy and be there for him emotionally. I always scolded him about his drinking, but I realise that it is hard for someone if they have a substance addiction and he was lonely which did not help. He took care of our mom who stayed with him, but she passed away 4 years ago which made him lonelier. He was ill, I would take him to the hospital now and again and sit with him for his medicine and he lost his job a year ago. I helped him financially, but emotionally I was also like a robot, having to maneuver work, kids and my own household. I so wish I could have been more compassionate. They also messed his medication up at the public hospital in South Africa and he was misdiagnosed as a diabetic. That coupled with his alcohol just spiralled his health downwards. He never married, he had a girl which he was very serious about in his 30s, but he never found that soul mate. I constantly think of my actions, where I could have done better, supported him more and where I failed. When I think back I now recognised those times that he reached out to me where I was just oblivious to his needs. He just needed love and affection. I was there, financially and to a degree supported him, but I could have done it better. I so miss him and to God I pray that He now takes care of my brother and that he is rid of this awful world and that he is happy and content. I just need to put effort into getting in control and to get past the guilt as it is so consuming. I feel so helpless and depressions sets in. I pray every day for my brother and I have to cling on that one day I will see him again. Life is just cruel, it is so final and there is nothing I can do to change things.

    3
    • IsabelleS  December 9, 2020 at 11:15 am Reply

      Audrey, I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope this article and these comments have shown you how normal it is to feel guilty after the death of a loved one. You are not alone.

      1
    • Katie loft  April 20, 2021 at 1:08 pm Reply

      Reading your story gave me memories and feelings all so similar which I had towards my partner who also had an alcohol problem. Although the love was always there the stress was to much to bare, unkind words, no trust, frustration. Finally in the end after 33 years together we separated, I turned my back on him, told him to leave. I was enjoying the peace without the pain of addiction.He couldn’t cope without me, he was drinking more, this lead to a terrible accident a fall which took his life. This was only 4 months ago.I feel so angry with myself …why couldn’t I have done more. I feel responsible I am to blame. I am so sorry for your pain and your guilt, I truly feel your pain x

      1
    • Clarie WT  June 12, 2021 at 4:38 am Reply

      My husband passed away last month by alcohol abuse. Though I took him to rehab hospital many times, he relapses again and again. So there was horrible frustrating words and affairs between us. When he was gone, i feel guilty of all those manners i had done. I am not sure if gave him enough moral support during his sober time.

  86. Joanne  December 7, 2020 at 9:31 pm Reply

    I just lost my brother. We grew up in a dysfunctional family. He was abused. I feel horrible as later on in life I wasn’t there for him or even supportive as much as I should have been. I realize I have had to deal with my own issues but I could have been kinder and more supportive of him. I feel terrible.

    2
    • IsabelleS  December 9, 2020 at 11:25 am Reply

      Joanne, I’m truly so sorry for your loss. I hope this article has shown you how normal guilt is during the grieving process. I completely understand feeling as though you could have done more for or been more supportive of him… But please know you did the best you could. You are only human. Be gentle with yourself.

      1
    • Linda Smith  December 24, 2020 at 9:25 pm Reply

      I just lost my brother to covid December 19th after being on that stupid ventilator for 25 days!! We were always close talked 5-6 times a day live down the road from each other. He was here or us at his house. There were so many mistakes made when he went from hospital to hospital he was in 3. We found out the next day after they put him on ventilator it was premature he didn’t need it at that point. They lied told us he couldn’t be transported on high flow oxygen which was not true he also could have traveled with cpap machine. I think they stuck him on ventilator before transfer was for the money hospital gets. The next hospital help out medication for another 24 hours because they said had to have positive test first the medication would not of hurt him if negative. Other hospital already said 99 % sure covid.Even when it was plain what they saw in his chest xray was how it looks only with covid. I asked for the hydroxychloroquine all I could hear was my brother saying hey if I ever get this virus get me that hydroxychloroquine don’t put ventilator on me either or I won’t make it he also told his wife. It wasn’t my decision it was his wife’s she said it was ok to do what they had been Remdesivir. Of course they push that because of politics even when has been shown not so effective. Dr. Fauci , CDC , FDA should all go to jail for killing thousands including my brother

      3
      • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

        Linda, I’m very sorry for your loss. It must have been extremely frustrating to not have control over your brother’s treatment. You sound very angry over how he died, which is completely normal and warranted given the situation. I recommend you check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/all-about-anger/ All the best to you.

        1
  87. kate hounsom  November 24, 2020 at 11:41 am Reply

    My dad was admitted to hospital in February after not being able to stand up one evening. He then had delirium, chest infection and water infection. He was shouting out and running in his bed. He thought he was at home. After three weeks he was moved to a rehab hospital as wards were closing for Covid beds and from there same again he was moved to a care home. He was coughing in care home and they dismissed me. Wished I d rung doctor myself. Dunno why I didn’t ?!He was also slurring and they ignored me later on. Again don’t know why I did t ignore them and sort it myself? Turns out that’s a sign of infection. He was under a different gp by then and they won’t go In. He was so miserable there and now there is an inquiry as to death which makes me think it was preventable?! Ruled it as a pneumonia. I stalled in August getting him home over silly things like waiting to Covid policy for 3 weeks, ( they did t get back to me and after two emails and a text I did t keep trying) I didn’t have downstairs room ready and a dentist appointment although there was no hospital bed that week anyway. I had originally emailed, texted and rung to try and get him home lots but lost momentum. This actually caused 6 weeks in delays that he should have been home. I dont know why I did that?! He was my world and I behaved slowly and bizarrely. Baby brain, insomnia, anxiety, I dunno why I let things drag?! Mum was worried about him coming home I live 34 miles away and kept crying as she wasn’t sure how she would cope. He could t stand/ walk/ or do anything himself and was deemed 24 care in April. You always think you have more time I guess. He came home for 24 hours in September before he then had to go hospital and there he stayed until he died 12 days later. Pneumonia set in. He had a chest infection they think. They wouldn’t let me visit Because of Covid then they rung to ask if I d visited as he was dying!?! We were then allowed an hour for two days but because he was classed as high risk not end of life. the nurse won’t let us stay longer even the consultant said weekend was critical and first consultant who didn’t speak till after said she knew he wouldn’t make weekend but we didn’t hear that till after. he died the following morning at 5.45 am. I am truly broken. Looking at baby George knowing I could have done more makes me feel sick. George has missed out on his grandfather because I was a rubbish daughter and I feel like I’ve murdered him. 🙁 poor dad. What have I done.

    1
    • IsabelleS  November 30, 2020 at 11:21 am Reply

      Kate, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hear that you feel incredibly guilty, and I want you to know how normal and valid that is after a loss like this. Nonetheless, please know that you could not have prevented your father’s passing. Be gentle with yourself.

      1
  88. Ewelina  November 20, 2020 at 8:07 am Reply

    My mom had a hernia and doctors kept saying it was nothing and that it would get better. My mom would be bed ridden for days in serious pain but every time eventually she pushed through it. After 3 months of being pain-free her pain came back, she was bed-ridden and vomiting, I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital and she said no, probably because she thought there was no point. I left to go to my boyfriend’s house for the night and when I came back in the morning she was sitting on the couch with shallow breathing and sweat and vomit on her shirt and I asked if she wanted to go to the hospital and she said no. I was getting mad and picked up the phone and she still said no, she was clearly not in the right frame of mind and I yelled at her and said when I come back I probably will find you dead! I was so mad, I left to get a coffee and I found her. I cant live with myself for my terrible behaviour towards my dying mother, i didnt think that she would die but she did not look well and I should have never left her that night. She was the sweetest, nicest person who would have done anything for anyone and she deserved so much more. Especially from me. The hernia was pinching her bowels and cut off circulation to the rest of her body.

    4
    • Mary  November 23, 2020 at 6:48 pm Reply

      I am so sorry for your loss. And your guilt. I know it’s hard. Seeking help and telling your story hopefully brings you some relief. If it makes you feel any better, I too have a lot of guilt over the way I treated my father at times during the 3 years that I was his primary caregiver. It was too much for me to do by myself but I never truly realized that and didn’t get enough help. Thus I was sometimes tired, resentful, impatient etc. towards him. I feel horrible about it. It’s like my brain goes to those times instead of the countless times I showed him love. Know you are not alone. And that guilt is something everyone feels, at different levels, when they lose someone they love.

      1
      • Vashtie  January 21, 2021 at 5:15 am

        Mary, I’m currently having a really hard time dealing with my moms death because of the guilt I feel from the way I treated her. I thought I forgave myself years ago but here I am 5am can’t sleep. Been up since 2am. I’d like to know your experience I feel it’ll help. Please 🙏🏽

        2
  89. Meena  November 18, 2020 at 11:28 pm Reply

    My mom expired three months back. She was suffering from edema from past six months. I visited the doctor only once and then after I just ignored her symptoms. After 3 months I took her to govt hospital. Her edema could have cured with medicine but on doctors advice i admitted her which my mom was again n again requesting me not to, but i didnt listen her n then after things got worse due to delayed treatment n she was ended with dylisis which wasn’t require. She couldnt bear that n she died after two weeks. I m dying with guilt feeling because after requesting so much i admitted her at that place where she never wanted. I cannot reverse my mistake n i cannot live without her

    4
    • IsabelleS  November 19, 2020 at 11:20 am Reply

      Meena, I am so sorry for your loss. I understand that you are feeling guilty… This is so normal during the grieving process. You are not alone. I want you to know that, despite your feelings, you are NOT responsible for your mother’s death. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

      1
    • Ewelina Lepietuszko  November 20, 2020 at 7:31 pm Reply

      If you need someone to talk to I can relate to what you are doing through. Having a hard time living with myself and it is hard without my mother as well. She was my best friend.

      2
  90. Sally  November 10, 2020 at 7:54 am Reply

    I lost my mum in July she had dementia she was in a home for a year before she passed . Myself and my sister cared for her as best we could and have no guilt about how we cared for her towards the end we cared for her well and showed her we loved her and was proud of her . We were there at the end with her and I told her to go home (which she had been saying for the past 2 years but we didn’t know where that was ) now we believe it was back to her mum and dad in the spirit world. As I said it she slipped away and ‘went home. ‘Any way my guilt and grief is coming from years back when I was younger typical mother daughter relationship doors slammed , telling her I hated her . Not spending time with her and making up excuses’ I was busy’ And strangely at my wedding party ‘ I should have asked my mum to dance ‘ and I didn’t !! I’m just struggling with things I wish I had done years ago !! And I feel like a bad person and daughter and I know it’s completely irrational as I know my mum loved me ! Thanks for any advice sally.

    2
    • IsabelleS  November 10, 2020 at 10:21 am Reply

      Sally, I am so very sorry for your loss and for this pain you are experiencing. I want to emphasize that the guilt you are feeling is normal… It is okay and valid to feel guilty after a loss. That being said, I am glad you can acknowledge that your guilt is irrational. You did the best you could to be a good daughter to your mother and I am certain she appreciated and loved you very much. I know it is so difficult, but try to work towards forgiving yourself. Think of what your mother would say to you if she knew you were feeling guilty. All the best to you.

      2
  91. June Hutson  November 6, 2020 at 2:33 pm Reply

    I am 75 years old and our story is too long to tell, My husband died a sudden shocking death Nov.10th 2017, our daughter Lindsey and me were both torn apart by his death, I froze my emotions, did not could not comfort our daughter, I isolated myself and slept. Lindsey suffered severe depression and other mental illness that kept her from maturing emotionally, she lived at home with us and was totally dependent on us, I also suffer mental illness but lesser degree. Lindsey had no one else. She began to be physical not hitting but holding me down,holding my arms to my side putting her hand over my mouth (trying to stop my mean words?) It got pretty bad and I was terribly abused as a child and teen to the point that I became Catatonic and was hospitalized.Lindsey would hold me down and say “What’s wrong June it’s me Tommy,I came back,’ and other things she would grab my bird and run in the other room and scream Oh no Chloe! I didn’t mean to really hurt you,I would be beating on the door trying to get to her, Lindsey loved that bird, Why she thought I loved the bird more than her.She did not hurt Chloe only made me think she was.
    Then she would stop all of it and walk up to me saying I love you Momma in a normal sweet voice and try to hug me kiss my cheek? I would jerk away tell her don’t touch me! She would act so hurt, but I love you? Well I don’t love you! Then I would say no Lindsey I do love you but not this horrible things you are doing but she only heard the I don’t love you, my actions taking care of her, fixing her food, taking her to her doctors and councilors appointments meant nothing, she stuck on that I hated her, I never ever said I hated her but that is what she heard, her doctor did nothing, increased her Cymbalta, her councilor did not even seem to hear us. Lindsey had made suicide threats since she was 16, I would run after her find her beg her not to hurt herself, she would calm down and promise she did not mean it. We would take her places to a concert anything to try to make her happy, this time she was 37 and she said it I’m going to hang myself, she had backed me into a kitchen corner, I thought she was being physical again, in anger I said go ahead she said really, i said yes! NEVER EVER believing it could be real, all the other times I ran after her, this time I answered the front doorbell knowing it was a repairman we had both met the day before to fix her power outage in her little playhouse in our backyard, I let him in, wrote a check for the breaker and sent him up there saying” My daughter Lindsey is up there now,she will show you the breaker box” So sure I was, he found her, she had hung herself, this guilt is not the usual Oh it’s not your fault,you did everything you could, this is real, I said go ahead, she already thought I hated her, I love her more than I HAVE EVER LOVED another human being. So I want to die, go where she is tell her Momma loves you baby I love you ,how could you not know that? Every time I wake up I hate that I breath no this is not a suicide threat, if I could do that I would be gone now.

    6
    • IsabelleS  November 10, 2020 at 10:55 am Reply

      June, I am so sorry for this pain you are experiencing. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are feeling. My heart truly goes out to you. I know you said you are not suicidal, but it may be helpful to talk to someone. Perhaps you could seek out the support of a therapist trained in grief, which you can find here: https://grief.com/grief-counselor-directory/. You can also always call the National Suicide Helpline just to chat at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

      • Rosetta Cipponeri  December 28, 2020 at 7:02 am

        I am no stranger to grief. I’ve lost 15 family members over the past 10 years. Although I am working through my grief and tend to accept things as they are, there are moments guilt creeps in.
        On October 2, 2016, my children’s father died of an accidental overdose in my home and our 9 year old son found him. My ex had been in recovery and I let him stay with us those final 6 months. Although his death was the hardest for me to date, given that it hurt my kids so much and the shock of a sudden death, I carry very little guilt over it simply because I know I had no control over his choices and opened my home to help him. In hindsight, that was the best decision I could have made because my children got to spend those last few months with a sober father and all of us were together as a family. I even took him with us on our family vacation that summer and that gave my kids wonderful memories of us as a family.
        But what brought me to this article is the guilt I am feeling over my mother’s death this past January. My mother had no will but we knew she didn’t want to be on life support. My siblings and I had to make the decision to take her off of the ventilator. That was so difficult but the doctors said her cancer was so advanced that all they could do is give her chemo in her weak state but it would be excruciating. I trust and accept that we made the right choice so she didn’t suffer. But my guilt comes from little things. Today, I am working through the guilt of not taking my mom out for her birthday dinner 2 years ago. I had bought a few gift cards to a restaurant she worked at when I was very young. I can’t recall why we never went but yesterday I was reminded when I was reading my emails and a reminder of those gift cards popped up. And now that restaurant is permanently closed due to Covid. If I could I would take my family to that restaurant on my mom’s birthday, in honor of her, because I also believe in creating new rituals to honor our deceased loved ones. When I shared this with my husband last night, he asked me what do I think I need to do and the answer I gave him was “work through the guilt and shame.” I googled “guilt and grief” this morning. I really appreciate this article because it reminds me that I know these feelings will come and go throughout my life but I know I will heal when I feel how I feel, don’t beat myself up and accept things as they are.

        1
      • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 11:22 am

        Hi Rosetta, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been forced to experience so many losses in such a short period of time. As a side note, I recommend you check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/cumulative-grief-aka-grief-overload/ You’re right: Feelings of guilt will come and go… and that’s so normal and okay. I love how you said, “I know I will heal when I feel how I feel, don’t beat myself up, and accept things as they are.” You seem to have really great insight into yourself and your needs. As far as creating new rituals is concerned, I’m sorry that the restaurant permanently closed. That being said, are there other ways you can continue your bonds with deceased loved ones? These articles may be helpful: https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-concept-care-continuing-bonds/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/creating-new-tradition-after-a-death/ All the best to you.

        1
  92. kate hounsom  October 17, 2020 at 8:40 am Reply

    Hi lost my dad and best friend who died on the 5th October. He couldn’t get up in feb so went into hospital, then a rehab hospital and then a care home in April. Due to Covid it was what we were told to do by the health professionals. He was unable to walk, and stopped doing things for himself. My mum is also in now the greatest of health. I visited virtually everyday and had to leave my baby who was about 8 weeks then with my mother or mother in law as they had Covid in hospital. Once he went to care home it was through the window only. So could take his grandson again.
    He had heart failure and very bad delirium that made him see strange things like monkeys, bats and big black holes this went on for months. Eventually this ceased but He say would strange things as he got urine infections often. I was living 32 miles from my mum but kept going up each day to help with her shopping and the farm. She doesn’t drive. He also had left her in a lot of financial debt as we have discovered he had vascular dementia. So have been sorting that as best I can and paying for her food. In the mean time several accidents with her horses have caused more issues. She is also debating selling their home and been trying to get agents in and dealing with pushy people for that. The reasons I feel so guilty is 1. He wanted to come home but he needed 24 hour care and was shouting out a lot at night. So my mum was concerned she would t cope even with 4 carers. She was also worried he would come he and then have to go back again. But I should ha e pushed harder. 2. He was desperate to cuddle my baby again but we were worried about carers in her house bringing in Covid ( she has had a stroke and massive heart surgery 2 years ago) he did t cuddle him again till he came home for 24 hour s In September 3. I will always regret that he missed out. It took months to get him home with mental capacity tests and social workers going on mat leave, holidays etc. I should have chased them up more. 4. I had the special hospital furniture ordered but I cancelled it as they had Covid in care home and it took me three weeks to get an answer as to whether it was safe to bring him home. I also had t prepared a downstairs room for him. He was being hoisted in and out of chairs so he could t get upstairs. I should have chased it!! 5. I had a dentist appointment the day he was due back and so I postponed his return so I d be there for mum which then fell over a weekend and there wasn’t a bed for another day. So this added 6 days. Could have been crucial to fighting the infection. When he finally came home (all this contributed to a delay of 6 weeks, ) he was so ill we had to call an ambulance 24 hours later. He had been coughing and I had reported to care home but they didn’t call doctor ( why didn’t I call them?!) he was slurring and they said he was fine. Why did t I call act more than just speaking to carers?! when he was home he was coughing up muck and it turns out he has massive infection of some sort. The hospital wouldn’t let me visit until they decided he was critical and even then I was only allowed an hour and not allowed to take my baby. One nurse was particularly difficult and nearly did t let my mum and I in at all. He died on the Monday quite unexpected as the infection had started to improve. I wasn’t there as was in his sleep and they didn’t call. The care home are being looked into as he was in a state and this makes me even more guilty that they weren’t looking after him. I feel like I was trying to relieve my mum by delaying his return at the end because she kept crying and saying she didn’t know how to cope and how she d never leave the place and was scared of him crying out at night and her being on her own. I stay two nights a week so help as well as everyday. But now I ve lost dad because of their incompetence and me not chasing up his return quickly enough. I have failed him miserably and now I can’t even afford his funeral. I miss him and wished I could undo my stupid mistakes. My son has to grow up without his grandfather because my actions have led to his death.

    1
    • IsabelleS  October 19, 2020 at 11:22 am Reply

      Kate, I am so very sorry for your loss and for this pain you are experiencing. I want you to know that the guilt you are feeling is normal and valid, but not reflective of reality. I want you to hear these words: This was not your fault. All the best to you.

      2
    • Wendy  November 26, 2020 at 12:09 am Reply

      HI Kate- I am so sorry for your loss- I can relate, as my father was in a nursing home during Covid and I debated for awhile about bringing him to our house. He couldn’t get up stairs and we don’t have a bathroom on our first level so he would have needed a commode and bed in the living room- we were also worried about having extra people in the house to care for him and the risk of Covid. But I knew he would deteriorate in the nursing home without me able to visit- just when we decided to bring him to our house- he fell and ended up in the hospital with broken bones and then pneumonia and then passed away. I have so much guilt over not bringing him home to our house right away

      2
  93. Sofia Kourtesis  September 21, 2020 at 6:31 am Reply

    Hello everybody, I can’t believe I am actually writing this down, but I feel a lot of pain and guilt for the terrible things I have done to my dad.
    I lost him 10 days ago, and there is no minute I can’t stop thinking about him.
    I loved him so much and I feel I lost my other half. now I have no dad and no love to give away. He fought with Leucemia for 1 year, I live in Berlin and he lives in Lima-Peru. The last year was a rollercoaster of emotions, the health system in Peru is fucking bullshit and they did a lot of mistakes with his Treatment. every month I sent my full salary for nurses, expensive medicine, and food for him. He had insurance but didn’t cover the most important therapies, since I knew he was very ill, I traveled to Peru to see him for 4 times since he’s diagnosed, I didn’t care to lose my job or be in huge debts. I just wanted to rescue him. What was difficult is that he’s a new family and the new Wife was not very proactive at the beginning and left all the heavy financial weight on my shoulders. that was the start of me becoming an angry person and losing my temper sometimes. The last 2 months of his life I decided to move to Peru tu nurse him and be with him. But it ended in tragedy because I didn’t sleep I was running and talking to doctors and borrowing money from work and friends to pay for his treatment. and showering him,. But instead of being a kind and loving daughter, I was a robot without a soul, cleaning the house, buying the food talking to the doctors, and didn’t take the time to sit next to him and tell him how proud i was of him and how much I loved him. i made him feel like a weight on me, but that was never my intention, my intention was to rescue him and bring him with to Europe, I feel guilt for the terrible things I said to him out of frustration. 1 day I told him because he didn’t want to drink water, that he will bring me more on debt that I am already am for not trying to drink more water and fight to be healthy. I never let him use his computer because i was scared that he will get an infection, I never let him eat his yummy chocolate because i was scared that this might send him to the hospital, and i blame him from stories in the past when he left my mom and told him out of the blue that i wish he was bad father, but i never wanted to say that, God knows i never wanted to say that. I just wished he had organized his life better so all the situation with him being sick and all the finances hadn’t been that horrible. and i feel guilty and never forget what i told him that last day, i am a horrible human being. Because i was so stressed organizing the nurses and the doctors one day before i needed to go back to Berlin, he told me he wanted to see the opinion of a 3 doctor. i lost my control and i told him, DAD you have the best doctor please trust hes routine, and he told me i want you to accept that i want to see another doctor … and me horrible human being told him, well how do you want to pay it if you cant afford it and i am already in pay and are not going to pay it…. i CANT BELIEVE I HAVE TOLD HIM SOMETHING LIKE THIS; NOT ONLY I HAVE to TAKE HES PRIED AWAY I JUST ALSO KILLED HIM WITH THIS WORDS. I AM Sorry dad i am so so sorry. please forgive me i love you

    1
    • Theresa Hannibal  October 7, 2020 at 3:07 pm Reply

      Sofia,
      I just lost my father October 4th. 2020, I shared some of your frustrated feelings. My dad retired early, I think, due to health problems in his late 50s early 60s. He died just before his 80th b day. He ran out of retirement money. He remarried just 6 months after my mother died, in 2007. My dad didn’t communicate much. I didn’t call him much the past few years. I had taken him to Father’s Day dinner June 2019. But I didn’t reach out to him much and partly this was because when I would, he wouldn’t answer or call back. I’d miss his calls and not always return them right away. He had cancer for over 6 months before he told me and my brother. I started answering his calls and calling right back but now that he’s gone I’m suffering my lack of connection and how I could have made it better. I also felt frustrated at his financial decisions, including his early retirement. I resented other things too. Probably so much so that it contributed to my lack of reaching out to him. On his death, I have been beating myself up for not putting the new tires he wanted on my credit card and not maybe helping relieve his financial worries more by giving him money. I would only pick up the tab and give them gas money. I wish I’d forgiven sooner, removed chips from my shoulder etc.

      1
  94. will holmes  September 14, 2020 at 5:04 pm Reply

    (sry for the terrible english)well this is a while ago and i just remembered it and i cant get over it anymore it was in winter and im sure my cat brought in this mouse (i think it was young maybe even blind)it was quite cold in my room and my cat left again leaving the mouse in my bed it must have been searching for warmth because it was in my hair (i have long curly hair)and when i woke up i got scared for no reason and smacked my head only later i realised it was a mouse now im not sure what i did i think i left it there i dont know what happned to it but im scared i feal guilty for the potential death of that mouse and im not sure how i could forgive myself for this i think i hurt it just because of those damn reflexes if only i could have thought for a second then i could be sure the mouse (a shrew btw i think) was still alive i feel so sorry for what ive done the mouse just wanted to get out of the cold and i sorry i cant continue its too much

  95. Elizabeth C  September 13, 2020 at 12:12 am Reply

    This was a very good read, I appreciate the perspective given and there was a lot of good advice/info given. I appreciate this. I have personally dealt with guilt/grief after the death of my 19 year old son. He was murdered. This has left me with so many what if’s and guilt, but this article has definitely shed some light where darkness tried to creep in.????thank you again.

    1
  96. Sofia Kourtesis  September 10, 2020 at 7:14 am Reply

    Hello everybody, I can’t believe I am actually writing this down, but I feel a lot of pain and guilt for the terrible things I have done to my dad.
    I lost him 10 days ago, and there is no minute I can’t stop thinking about him.
    I loved him so much and I feel I lost my other half. now I have no dad and no love to give away. He fought with Leucemia for 1 year, I live in Berlin and he lives in Lima-Peru. The last year was a rollercoaster of emotions, the health system in Peru is fucking bullshit and they did a lot of mistakes with his Treatment. every month I sent my full salary for nurses, expensive medicine, and food for him. He had insurance but didn’t cover the most important therapies, since I knew he was very ill, I traveled to Peru to see him for 4 times since he’s diagnosed, I didn’t care to lose my job or be in huge debts. I just wanted to rescue him. What was difficult is that he’s a new family and the new Wife was not very proactive at the beginning and left all the heavy financial weight on my shoulders. that was the start of me becoming an angry person and losing my temper sometimes. The last 2 months of his life I decided to move to Peru tu nurse him and be with him. But it ended in tragedy because I didn’t sleep I was running and talking to doctors and borrowing money from work and friends to pay for his treatment. and showering him,. But instead of being a kind and loving daughter, I was a robot without a soul, cleaning the house, buying the food talking to the doctors, and didn’t take the time to sit next to him and tell him how proud i was of him and how much I loved him. i made him feel like a weight on me, but that was never my intention, my intention was to rescue him and bring him with to Europe, I feel guilt for the terrible things I said to him out of frustration. 1 day I told him because he didn’t want to drink water, that he will bring me more on debt that I am already am for not trying to drink more water and fight to be healthy. I never let him use his computer because i was scared that he will get an infection, I never let him eat his yummy chocolate because i was scared that this might send him to the hospital, and i blame him from stories in the past when he left my mom and told him out of the blue that i wish he was bad father, but i never wanted to say that, God knows i never wanted to say that. I just wished he had organized his life better so all the situation with him being sick and all the finances hadn’t been that horrible. and i feel guilty and never forget what i told him that last day, i am a horrible human being. Because i was so stressed organizing the nurses and the doctors one day before i needed to go back to Berlin, he told me he wanted to see the opinion of a 3 doctor. i lost my control and i told him, DAD you have the best doctor please trust hes routine, and he told me i want you to accept that i want to see another doctor … and me horrible human being told him, well how do you want to pay it if you cant afford it and i am already in pay and are not going to pay it…. i CANT BELIEVE I HAVE TOLD HIM SOMETHING LIKE THIS; NOT ONLY I HAVE to TAKE HES PRIED AWAY I JUST ALSO KILLED HIM WITH THIS WORDS. I AM Sorry dad i am so so sorry. please forgive me i love you

    1
    • Garry  September 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm Reply

      Hi Sofia,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. You sound like a truly amazing person who cares deeply for her dad and nothing can change that. I can feel the frustration and sense of helplessness you had and how overwhelming that must have been without any support.
      Take care of yourself now
      Kind thoughts
      Garry

      1
  97. Rachel  September 5, 2020 at 6:49 pm Reply

    I am filled with grief and guilt. My father had a long battle with cancer and some other medical issues caused by a poor first surgery to remove his colon cancer. I had two years that I could have told him how much I appreciated him and all he did for me growing up. I’ve always been an overly emotional person so I hated talking about my feelings because I’d always cry and I hated crying. He died only a week after I had my first child. He stayed strong enough to see her via FaceTime. I am also feeling so much guilt that I did not call him since the day she was born. I know I had a newborn and was learning how to be a parent and up all night but I had the chances and I didn’t do it. The night he died I had gotten off the phone with my mother and said I needed to call him, the baby was hungry so I went to nurse her and it totally slipped my mind. 4 hours later my mother was at my door to tell me he passed. He never got to hold his granddaughter and I never got to thank him for all he had done. I truly hate myself for it.

    1
    • Karen  September 10, 2020 at 9:39 am Reply

      Hi Rachel, I totally appreciated that you didn’t want to cry and that telling someone certain things would elicit that, and therefor it’s natural to want to avoid it. I believe the call slipped your mind because your father may have been in the process of dying and it’s okay that you unconsciously gave him that space or that a Higher Power did it (Gd). You had So much going on- it was circumstantial, so try not to blame yourself totally and instead understand it was somewhat out of your control since you now had new and tremendous responsibilities. It sounds like you were in each other’s lives which, by the way, in itself “says” I appreciate you and all you’ve done for me.

      1
      • Rachel  September 14, 2020 at 6:21 pm

        Thank you for your comment. You are right. We were in each other’s lives. I just feel towards the end I became distant. Being pregnant and also working at the hospital I didn’t want to be around him too much due to covid. Also It’s so hard seeing your father in the shape he was. He went to the hospital 2 days before I was scheduled to have my baby girl. From what my brother and mom told me he seemed like he was going to get out and Be back home like he had done so many other times. He died suddenly, Nothing to do with his cancer but more so complications from other surgeries and all the stress his body had taken over the years. I know a lot of people say they never got to say goodbye when it’s a sudden death but even after 2 years I was in denial that one day he was going to die. You don’t realize it until it’s too late. I did get to tell him one more time that I loved him but it was a week before his death. His nurse told us he was totally fine and talking at 630pm. He passed at 8. So he would have been awake if I called him earlier in the day like I planned. I’m forever going to wish I had that one last talk with him. Tell him about his granddaughter and how mom life was going for me.

        1
    • Maria  September 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm Reply

      I feel a lot of guilt for my family dog passing away half a year ago. She was about 13 when she passed away. On that day I took her for a quick walk outside and I was feeling kind of annoyed/tired and wanted to come back home as soon as possible. Now I think how fucking stupid that is. So after coming home I had to wash her paws from the dirt outside and I wasn’t careful enough so while drying her paws with a towel I unporpusefully hurt her leg in the process.. it just suddenly went displaced and I got scared and called for my mom. That had never happened before. After a minute it seemed fine though, and we all went to sleep and she too. Then after hours at night she suddenly had a strong stroke (she had them before but never that bad), and my parents took her to the hospital. I didn’t go because I was so sure they’re gonna return and everything would be fine. She died there. She is a special kind of breed and had some illnesses, but she was a very happy dog in general and she seemed fine and I think that my carelessness, with how I dried her leg and it got displaced, resulted her having that final stroke. I don’t know anything about medicine but I’ve read that a stroke happens from blood vessels getting bursted or something.. so I think my action caused it. This dog was my best friend and a family member and I feel immense guilt for my action. I really can’t stop thinking about it.. I see nightmares and have self-hating thoughts almost everyday. Thank you for this post and a possibility to post myself, it made me feel a bit better

      1
      • Litsa  September 14, 2020 at 7:49 am

        Maria, I am so sorry for the loss of your dog and this guilt you have felt. Though I am also not a doctor or vet, I do know that strokes are a bleed in the brain and not something that is normally caused from a small injury somewhere else in the body. Often our brains want to make sense of a situation and find a cause, so things don’t feel so random. So, it makes sense that you would have linked these two things together, looking for a way to make sense of what happened. But it sounds far more likely that these were totally unrelated, that the stroke was more likely from age or just a random stroke. If you are still having nightmares and intrusive thoughts about this, it would be very helpful to talk with a therapist.

        1
    • Theresa Hannibal  October 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm Reply

      My father died of colon cancer too. It was incredibly hard. I’m a nurse and also didn’t want to give him Covid. I was grateful he went on hospice and I could see him but I feel guilt about not being closer with him in general, the last few years.

      1
  98. Lauren  September 4, 2020 at 1:24 am Reply

    My father passed on September 2, 2020. He contracted Covid. My mother and I were the ones to go out and do grocery shopping and run daily errands. We always sanitize everything and always washed our hands first before we did anything else. We were being so careful to help him not to get it. He had kidney failure and was on at home dialysis. Had several strokes in the past and other complications from not maintaining diabetes. He always seemed to have a breathing problem though no one could ever really diagnose one. The only times he went out of the house was for doctor appointments. He was losing his sight so he was seeing an eye doctor and a podiatrist for ulcers on his feet that had gotten infected and gave him a blood infection twice. We always made sure to have hand sanitizer in the car and wear our masks. He still managed to get it and i feel so guilty. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe i wasn’t as careful, maybe I could have found different offices that actually wiped down their chairs and enforced masks. My parents were married for 43 years and I feel like I somehow managed to take away my moms best friend. I feel so guilty and sad when I see all of his things and pictures and videos of us having fun. They had new routines of sitting outside together in the morning and having coffee. They retired together and moved and found a new place that was to be a new forever home and I feel as though I took that away from them.

    1
    • Litsa  September 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm Reply

      Lauren, I am so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds as though you did absolutely all you could. The reality is that we simply cannot control everything and sometimes it is easier to blame ourselves than accept that scary reality. But the truth is that, even doing all the ‘right’ things, things can go wrong. Your intention was to do everything you could to care for him and you did. We have a free online course on grieving a COVID death you can find here that may be of some support – https://school.whatsyourgrief.com/p/grief-isolation-covid

      1
  99. John Bloom  August 30, 2020 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Why I feel guilty the night my wife passed from a brain aneurysm she told me she had a very bad headache but she had been drinking so that was nothing out of the ordinary she even puked which was nothing out of the ordinary the next morning when I got ready to go to work I want to wake her up she had passed . Talk about guilt-ridden I then I realize that something was wrong?

    4
    • Maryer  December 8, 2020 at 11:27 pm Reply

      I know exactly how you feel. My husband of 44 years passed away on November 2020, of a massive hemorrhagic stroke. The night before his stroke he told me he was scared because he wasn’t able to see well. He have been having eye problems for about a year and didn’t wanted to go to the ophthalmologist due to Covid. Then he said he was nauseous, so I went with him to the bathroom were he throw up clear liquid. Knowing that he have been drinking, I thought it was the beer who had made him sick. He also fell and I help him up, once again I blame it on the beer. The next morning he didn’t wake up. He had suffered the stroke. I have been blaming myself for not recognizing the symptoms of stroke. I never knew that eye problem and balance were signs of stroke. The heart association acronym for signs of stroke is FAST, when it should add BE for balance and eye, BEFAST. Please don’t blame yourself. Even doctors make mistakes.

      2
  100. h_j64@rocketmail.com  August 22, 2020 at 9:17 pm Reply

    I Lost my mom two weeks ago today. I do feel solace because when she was no longer responsive and having a hard time breathing, I told her I loved her and kissed her on the forehead. She become very calm, as if what I said relaxed her. After a few minutes her breathing became labored again and she passed a few hours later. The night before when she was brought home from the hospital for her final care she was still responding, I looked her in the eyes, and told her I loved her, her grand kids loved her and she was the best mom ever. She responded by telling me she loved me to. Then she closed her eyes. My guilt comes from not being there for her when I should have been, or feeling like I could have done more or been a better son through out our lives. She gave me the life tools to succeed, hard work, honesty, caring for others. She adored me, the only son, and I her, but we were so much alike. A lot of her issues came from her having an abusive father and some how that transcended into being an overbearing mother. Something we always fought over. But no matter what the issue was, no matter the argument, we had each others love and I miss her terribly. The hardest thing for me is not hearing her voice again, her phone calls in the middle of the day, just to see how I was doing. We did see each other, I just wish I had seen her more often. It just seemed that she would be there forever.,

    1
  101. Erin  August 13, 2020 at 9:44 am Reply

    Reading everyone’s comments about the guilt they feel.. I don’t feel so alone in this overwhelming grief and guilt that comes along with it. I lost my mum 7 weeks ago, suddenly, I never got the chance to say goodbye. And say all the things one would say had they the chance.
    I can’t believe I am writing the words as
    I still have not come to terms and accepted it. I feel to blame for my mums death. My mum died suddenly of a heart attack. She was 63. My mum had been complaining of chest pain for 6 weeks prior to her death.. when she first complained I said let’s go get this checked out, she said no my mental health is more important and that she couldn’t deal with anything else. She had a serious mental illness.. Since before I was born. She was suffering during the COVID lockdown. Hard enough for people without mental illness let alone someone with serious mental illness and depression. I respected her decision when she said no. Now I absolutely hate myself for not forcing her to go, making her go. She may still be here had i just taken her. She was in hospital for 3 weeks in the mental health facility. There she complained of chest pains and it was put down to indigestion. Health professionals didn’t even pick it up her heart problem. She came out of hospital only to return for a day surgery for something entirely unrelated. Something I pushed her to do as it was important and the urologist said it needed to be done. She died within a few hours after a simple day surgery. Autopsy revealed she had undiagnosed heart disease and had suffered small heart attacks leading up to her death. I loved my mum more than anything, would have done anything for her she was my best friend. I supported her best I could over the years and she was my support too. I feel terrible guilt that I didn’t know what was going on. I feel like I sent her to her death by taking her to her surgery. I can’t believe I didn’t know it was her heart, not even the hospital knew which also enrages me. No one knew. The guilt is unbearable. I’ve been caring for her and looking out for my mum for years. I feel I will never forgive myself and my beautiful mum I feel like I let her down. I’m 35 and feel ripped off, j thought we had years together and my children.. so young have lost their loving and adoring nanna. How could I not have seen this and prevented this? I fear this guilt will eat at me forever. Forgiving yourself is hard.
    Sorry everyone is going through this.
    Worst part of living is losing the ones we love and the more you love them more painful it is. Losing your mum is the worst pain ever. I can’t imagine ever being ok again

    14
    • Vijay Verma  October 7, 2020 at 3:17 pm Reply

      hi,
      My condition is same as you. My mother too was complaining of heart pain and we ignored, and when seen doctor they told you can get checkups some time later. But In one month. It cost her life. It is immense guilt.

      2
  102. Lucy  August 11, 2020 at 4:44 am Reply

    I caused the death of a loved one. In an abusive marriage. My friend was my comfort, always there for me. We were both in an unhappy marriage. We got involved in an affair when I was dealing with my abusive marriage and we both planed to leave our marriages and get married to each other. I already left mine and was in the process of a divorce.
    He died while coming to visit I and my children.
    I feel unexplainable guilt. His wife and children have lost him to death because of me. I think of his children and I’m crushed. They are still so little.< They favoured him more than their mom. How will they survive?
    I realize too late the gravity of my actions. I should not have gotten involved while he was still married. I feel he would have still been alive if he wasn't coming to see me and had an accident.
    This is a pain I take with me every day I breath.
    With everything that has happened, husband wants us to try again and make the marriage work. I can't even try cause I feel guilty at the thought of making it work after the death of my friend.

    4
  103. Greg Courogen  August 8, 2020 at 12:14 pm Reply

    I was in denial (more so unaware) of the symptoms of my bipolar depression since the time I was a teenager. I‘ve struggled with self-loathing and self-esteem for as long as I can remember. Much having to do with body dysmorphia. As a teen I began using cannabis to suppress my mood swings and self-defeating thoughts. I went on to earn a degree and become a teacher. Finally, in my 30s, I was introduced to the most wonderful girl in the world. We got married and had two children. I continued my cannabis use, but living in Oregon it seemed the norm. Unfortunately, at the age of 38 I went to Las Vegas and gambled for the first time in my life. Unaware that this was also a huge indicator of bipolar disorder, I stayed in denial of my problems and let it take over my life. I squandered the money that could have been used for family vacations and the making of so many wonderful memories. I finally went for help at age 50. I lied about my cannabis use and gambling. This led me to being misdiagnosed and given the wrong medication. In the fit of mania which followed, I ruined my relationship with my family and my wife and I are now divorced. Can anyone tell me how I should overcome the debilitating guilt that I feel each day. I worry that, despite the fact that I know it’s what’s best for my kids, I will never be able to forgive myself….
    Thanks for listening….

    2
    • Litsa  August 9, 2020 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Greg, there is no one path to self forgiveness, but I think working with a therapist and going to Gamblers Anonymous or another support group might also help, as many also are struggling with guilt. This article may also be useful- https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-grief-living-amends/

      1
  104. Linda  August 7, 2020 at 5:48 pm Reply

    My husband of almost 51 years died of cancer two weeks ago. We kept him at home with the help oh Hospice but it was so painful to watch him struggle to breathe even with the meds and oxygen. He could hear us all tell him how much we loved him and he tried so hard to respond but we think he had also had another stroke and it was difficult to understand him. I know he knew I loved him but lately I have been so consumed with all the thoughts of how I could have loved him better. I look back and see so many things I wish I had done differently. I look around my home and I see him in everything and would give anything to have him back. I have been Bruce’s wife for so long I know I need to find out who I am without him now along with coping with this overwhelming grief and guilt that feels like it will never end.

    4
  105. Dana  June 23, 2020 at 5:50 pm Reply

    My mother died exactly 10 days ago, and I am filled with grief, guilt, regrets, shame over my relationship with her. She and I live in different countries and I have met her only once every 2-3 years. She had been fighting with stage 4 ovarian cancer for the last 5 years. But she was so strong, physically, and emotionally, that she would endure grueling effects of the chemo with a smile as if nothing is wrong with her. Apart from a short hair cut, you would not think this woman is suffering from terminal cancer. I too started taking her for granted and never did my part for maximizing my time with her. Worst of all, in the midst of all this, I got pregnant and couldn’t see her for 3 years! She had a chance to visit me and stay with me for a couple of months when my baby was a few months old, and I canceled it because I obsessed over the oral chemo she was taking at that time and how it will affect my baby! She loved my baby with all her heart and never complained. It never bothered me until she actually died. Because of lockdown, nobody could visit her for the past 4 months, not even me her own child. During her last days, her care team and their hospital could not be available due to COVID-19 situations. She got substandard treatment and care in a smaller hospital that she actually went to. She just declined from that point on. I kept reminding her that she needs to live to see her grandkid grow up. She would not listen, she actually said: “I just want to die, and you are being selfish!”. She was too weak and it affected her will power. I could not even be present for her last rites because of travel restrictions. I have big regrets about everything I did or did not do for my dear mom. The inability to visit her at her death bed or take part in her last rites is a regret that probably was out of my control. But the regret of not inviting her when she could and she was ready and give her the joy of spending time with her grandbaby – I can never get rid of that guilt. I did make it a point to visit her twice for 3-4 weeks each visit last year, but it’s nothing compared to my lost opportunity to spend time with my best friend my mom when I should have!

    9
  106. Monica W  June 22, 2020 at 11:26 am Reply

    I stumbled across this posting and I am at this moment struggling with my Mother’s death. OMG I can’t believe I am actually typing that. It feels so unbelievable, so unreal. My Mom had been on and off sick for 10 years she had congestive heart failure, COPD and AFIB. I am a nurse. I remember vividly fighting with her to go to the hospital over a 10 year span sometimes she would give in sometimes we would practically drag her. She never wanted to go but she didn’t want to die either. the last few months she was really struggling. I asked and asked her to get help, I called her doctor and he insisted she go to the hospital. She said no not today maybe tomorrow. I let her choose I didn’t push her I have so much regret and guilt. The last 2 weeks before she past I thought she would snap back like she had before. She didn’t instead she suffered. She would call out for her parents and say that she was afraid. I can’t stand myself for not dragging her to get help. Now it’s to late. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive myself.

    8
  107. Cathy  June 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm Reply

    My husband died in October of 2019 from complications of COPD. He had been ill for 4 1/2 years and was in hospice for the last 2 months of that time.

    I took excellent care of him during his illness and have minimal regrets about that time. My guilt comes from looking back on the 52 years of our marriage and experiencing deep regret and sorrow for causing him emotional pain due to what I so clearly see now as my immaturity in the early years and my low self esteem throughout our marriage. I know I can no longer resolve anything with him and am searching for a way to forgive myself so I can truly move on.

    My heart hurts because he deserved better and now he is gone and I can’t make up for it anymore. I know guilt is a wasted emotion until you can manage to turn it into positive action. Nevertheless, right now I feel the burden, some days tremendously.

    12
    • Paula  July 27, 2020 at 8:08 am Reply

      Your post has brought me some comfort as it’s the same for me except that I actually left him and remarried into a loveless marriage as I thought it seemed right at the time. Every single day I’ve regretted leaving my first husband and causing him to hideous pain that I did by constantly betraying him throughout the marriage. He has been diagnosed with something that will very possible take him from us and my silly and unrealistic dreams of ending up getting old with him and leaving my current situation may be taken away – although logic tells me he would not want me back but it is the chance to right all the wrongs while I tell myself it’s a possibility. My mind keeps remembering the awful things I did to him and how unlucky he was to have met me, a damaged human being. I will never be able to forgive myself and I will never be able to accept life without him.

      4
    • Claire Gray  August 7, 2020 at 6:49 am Reply

      Dear Cathy,

      I have read your post several times over the past few weeks, since I first came across it. I feel I need to let you know how much it resonated with me and in a strange way it gave me comfort to know that there is someone out there who seems to be feeling exactly as I have since my husband died last year. Your words could have been written by me! I hope it will give you some comfort to know that someone feels the same way as you do. Hopefully we will both come through this very difficult time and eventually find some peace.. With very best wishes.

      1
  108. C. Payton  June 7, 2020 at 8:16 pm Reply

    My brother passed away in March of COVID 19, he was on a kidney transplant list and I guess after two weeks it was too much for his body. He fought a hard battle. My mother followed him into the hospital and spent over six weeks in with the hospital with the virus before coming home. They gave me special permission to come to the hospital when she became a little stronger to inform her that my brother died, she did not remember he was there before her. During the time they were both in the hospital my sister and I had to make a lot of hard decisions, it was always phone calls for both at all times of the day and night, we could not see them at the hospital. The day my brother passed was difficult, they were doing everything they could but his organs were all starting to shut down, they took a phone in to him and we said our goodbyes. We hope he heard us. My guilt stems from the fact that a couple of years earlier I was a match and did not donate my kidney. I tell myself that I discussed it with my team and it was a good decision at the time, but since his death I feel so horrible. Our family has a history of becoming ill at a later age. My parents and brother developed diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some other things in their forties, my sister who was 45 at the time of testing for kidney compatibility but was excluded because she had just developed high cholesterol. I was afraid for my health and my team could not tell me for certain if I would become ill with age. I’ve always felt guilty. I’m 45 now and I was diagnosed with high cholesterol last year. I never shared with anyone that I was a match, only my husband and children, and they supported my decision. As we take care of my mom, she keeps telling me if only he had gotten that kidney he’d be alive today, and the guilt I feel is so overwhelming.
    I feel as though I helped my brother die.
    I don’t know how to deal with any of this and I feel so lost.

    6
  109. sarah  June 7, 2020 at 12:43 am Reply

    My mum went into hospital during the lockdown, 4 weeks ago, and we were not allowed to go up and see her. she died alone and she was scared. I spoke with her 2 days before she died over the phone and what she said to me I just cannot get out of my head. she told me ‘sarah I’m dying’ – I said to her she would be fine and to keep the oxygen mask on. That’s what the doctor kept telling my dad over the phone. If she keeps the oxygen mask on when they tell her to she has a 50/50 chance of surviving.

    I barely held it together during that last phone call with my mum but I did and kept telling her she would be fine and that I loved her and I would see her later.

    They let my dad go up and see her for 15 minutes only the day before she died but we found out they had put her in a covid ward. she had tested negative and the doctor in A&E told us my mum had heart failure and that she would be put in an acute ward so I feel we were misled. Why would a vulnerable 74 year old just having been diagnosed with heart failure & having tested negative for coronavirus be placed in a covid ward?

    I cannot imagine her fear and I feel immense guilt that I did not fight her corner and that she died all alone. I wake up at around 4 or 5 every morning thinking about it. I cannot help but think if I had been there to question the medical staff the outcome would have been different.

    9
    • Vicki  July 19, 2020 at 11:52 am Reply

      My mom had several serious problems when she was in her 80s. Parkinson’s, skin cancer, cellulitis, colon cancer, several falls. Each took more out of her. But she seemed to become sweeter and kinder and she never complained about fear or pain. Never.
      She had gone from an assisted living center where she didn’t do well, to a nursing home. The home was okay. The caregivers were kind.
      I visited often and towards the end stayed overnight sometimes on a mattress next to her bed.
      One day a nurse came back from vacation and saw my mom’s pressure wound and was horrified. She contacted me and said from the way it looked, I should tell the family if they want to come say good bye, this would be the time. This nurse later told me she didn’t realize they had taken Mom off anticoagulants, so that’s why the wound oozed.
      I phoned my brothers and children. Those who could come, did.
      Steps were put in place to move her to hospice. This is where I made mistakes and feel I caused her death. I think she had slept a lot that morning, though she of course was sleeping more and more. My daughter had arrived form out of state. The nursing home gave me papers to sign and had me hand-carry her medications. I rode in the ambulance with Mom and my daughter drove along behind us.
      At the hospice, I was asked lots of questions upon intake. One was, “Is she responsive?”
      I said, “No,” because she had not spoken that day. But she did show signs of alarm in the ambulance and I did speak to her and tell her everything would be okay, we were just moving her to the hospice.
      I looked to my daughter for confirmation but of course as she had only just arrived, she didn’t know anything.
      I should have said, “Yesterday, she was responsive. I haven’t spoken with her today, but she has slept a lot. She was conscious in the ambulance. She likes to watch football and look at pictures of her great grandchildren, and talk with family members.” Oh, God, why didn’t I say that? Why, God,why?
      So Mom was medicated with morphine so the hospice workers could look at her pressure wound, which was very deep and horrifying. Then they kept medicating her every few hours. So of course Mom didn’t eat at all or drink any water or wake up. The past few weeks and months, she ate very little and drank very little water, with reminders and encouragement, but she did eat some! She did drink some!
      I guess I was just sure this was the end. And the nurse at the nursing home had said how awful it would be if she died of sepsis. I was terrified of my mom dying a horrible,
      painful death.
      So over the next two days, I allowed my mom to be drugged up, not conscious. Family members came in. We set up a birdhouse outside the window. Why didn’t I say, “She was conscious and speaking yesterday, maybe even this morning? She had never once complained of pain. Should we reconsider giving her morphine every few hours, isn’t this killing her?” I don’t know why I thought she might last several days or weeks. I guess I saw this happen to a friend’s mom, linger on and on. I don’t know why I never tried to insist they stop the morphine so she could watch some football, which she loved, or Brady Bunch, which she loved, or talk to family members. I guess I thought it would be too sad and scary for her. What is wrong with me? Why didn’t I ask to talk to a nurse alone about this? Why?
      When I try to sleep at night and when I wake up, I torment myself over and over. Why didn’t I tell them, yes, she was responsive? I could have at least asked for clarification and talked with them about it. I had two days in which I could have asked to talk with a nurse about the responsiveness but never did! I killed my mother. I took away her final days, her chance to smile and talk with family, her chance to look at pictures of her great grandson, to watch tv and relax. Why, God, why?
      Okay, I didn’t know she was going to die that soon. But I could have stopped the morphine. I could have. She might have lived many days, even many more weeks.
      I feel I killed my dear mother through negligence, foolishness, fear, lack of talking and asking questions, and I can’t forgive myself and don’t deserve forgiveness.
      I know I need to move forward with my life, but I dread seeing her in the afterlife, begging forgiveness, living for eternity with this guilt and shame and terrible secret,

      8
      • Lee  November 26, 2020 at 12:28 am

        Hi Vicki- I can relate to your feelings so much- maybe it helps to know others have had similar experiences. I put my 88 year old dad on comfort care after he had a fall and ended up in the ICU with pneumonia and sepsis. We decided to take him off the ventilator as the Dr’s didn’t think he would do well long term- but it was really unknown how he would do and after taking him off the ventilator he seemed so strong- they thought he would pass quickly but he lasted 9 days on comfort care- drugged on morphine without food or fluid and basically suffocated on his own secretions. Never would I have chosen that for my Dad, but after a day or two- it was too late to go back as he might have had brain damage from lack of oxygen. It was awful to watch him that week- I just pray he did not suffer. I am so sad we didn’t get to talk with him or have him try to eat or interact with us before he passed.

        1
  110. Kristin  June 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm Reply

    Ugh where to start. My grandmother died 2/21 and my mom 3/15. Both entirely unexpected, although my G’ma was 99. They lived together for 20 years. My mom was just 71, had been working out w/ a personal trainer for a year and a half, was getting in good shape. She called on Feb. 4 (they are in TN, I’m in TX…) from the hospital saying the stomach pains she had been having may be cancer. NO cancer like this in our family. They thought ovarian at first and scheduled surgery for Feb. 11th. I flew up to be with my G’ma while my mom was in the hospital and my aunt stayed w/ her. I did see her a lot, but then my G’ma just deteriorated. She hadn’t had dementia signs until this past year or two (like age 97!!). My mom and aunt have wrestled with getting her into a home b/c she was becoming too much for my mom to deal with at times. Never happened. I work w/ the elderly so they’d call me over the past year to talk about how to do it, as my G’ma was NOT leaving her house, refusing to acknowledge she needed more care. etc. My mom was WORN out. My mom is SUPER strong and never gets upset over things, but this past year she’s called me crying a few times saying “G’ma is going to kill me, all I want is for her to go away and for me to have a few good years alone, doing what I want to do, but I don’t think I’ll ever get that”. And of course she had plans to move to TX to be w/ us once G’ma passed away. So I am staying w/ G’ma, my mom is having a huge surgery – total hysterectomy and they found out it wasn’t ovarian, it was Stage 4 Uterine cancer, also not in the family at all, etc….it was a tumor about the size of a basketball and had spread to her liver, her colon (they had to remove it and give her a colostomy bag which was her worst nightmare in all of this!), some stomach lining and was pressing on her bladder (and possible spread there, they couldn’t get clear pic of that….). So they said she had to start chemo right away and it was the most aggressive cancer they treated. My G’ma just got worse, crying every night about my mom dying and no one telling her what was going on, etc….I took her to see my mom a few times in the hospital and she would freak out and scream all the way to the car that I was mean and “didn’t let her say goodbye” – every single time. The last time she did it, I took her down to the ER. THey admitted her, pumped her full of Haldol/Ativan/Seroquel – she would NOT calm down. Then she died 4 days later. My mom was still in the ICU, couldn’t attend the funeral and/or see her before it happened. She was really ok w/ all of it and had been waiting for this to happen basically…..and at that time, she was still doing ‘ok’, just recovering from surgery, starting chemo and trying to get stronger……So I’m feeling huge guilt that I ‘killed’ G’ma (her 100th b’day would’ve been tomorrow!). I know she would’ve still been fine if I never took her to the ER. However, my mom’s situation got worse after the first chemo – heart rate skyrocketed and had to be on heart meds for Afib, had to have dialysis (was diabetic but never needed it before but it totally screwed up her kidneys), she was super weak and lost her voice so it was very hard for her to talk/whisper. After five weeks in the hospital, they told her she was too weak for another round of chemo and she would just go home for hospice and pass away in about 5 days after stopping dialysis and everything else they were doing for her. WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT ANY OF IT! We were close, I talked to my mom daily on the phone about EVERYTHING. She would not acknowledge any of this to my or my brother, or her sister. Just said ‘ok’ to the docs, said she was ‘done’ and she ‘tried her best’. Oh, and “it is what it is”. I feel horrible b/c I never forced her to talk about it. We are FUNNY people, always joking (cussing, inappropriate humor, etc….), and I’m upset I just didn’t say “WTF Mom, how is this happening??” or “this f’ing sucks” or anything to just make her talk. So there were no warm fuzzies, no ‘I’ll be ok, ya’ll will be ok’, no ‘you were the best Mom ever’, nothing. We took her home on a Friday and she died Sunday morning. I just feel horrible how it ended, that nothing was acknowledged, we didn’t have the hugging/love you talks. My brother and my daughter were in the room w/ her, holding her hand. I was getting out of the shower when it happened. Again, more guilt! Although I slept next to her all night that night before she passed, I HAD to take a shower! So yea, she died three weeks after my G’ma and it’s been a whirlwind…and that was all at the beginning of quarantine crap, 3/15….I was like “covid, what is that?” and wasn’t able to pay attention to any of that BS either!!

    SO….guilty of not spending more dedicated time w/ my Mom the first week or two b/c I was staying with and taking care of G’ma….and my mom had actually said “I feel like you’re going to end up spending more time w/ her than me” but yea, I was IT – no one could take care of G’ma. My aunt and her did NOT get along, so she would go stay for awhile if I asked, but I never just said “hey can you go and let me stay w/ Mom” b/c my aunt had been doing it for a month or so before I had gotten there, coming to stay at the house b/c my mom hadn’t felt well and didn’t know yet what was wrong…..then, guilt of not making my Mom talk about what was happening……guilt of just not saying things I wanted to say, regardless of if she would ‘talk’ about any of it, but I could’ve said all the stuff I wanted to anyway…….guilt of not coming in town like 2 years ago when G’ma first started getting worse and figuring out how to get her in a home or somewhere, then my Mom would’ve had at least these two years to do what she wanted….I did go there last summer to stay w/ G’ma for 10 days so my Mom could take her first beach vacay w/ her sister in like 40 years! And the summer before last, my brother and I took my mom to the beach for her 70th and we hadn’t been to the beach together since we were kids, over 30 yrs….guilt of taking G’ma to the ER and her dying 5 days later…….and I know all the ‘right’ things, read all about guilt, know it’s not my fault. It’s just hard that I keep rehashing it all. Peace to all of us dealing with grief 🙁

    7
  111. Jana Kisner  May 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm Reply

    My grandfather died this morning. I live 1000 miles away and of course feel guilty that I wasn’t there with my cousins to say goodbye. But it’s deeper than that. Before I moved away, I lived 15 minutes from him and still didn’t see him more than once every few months. Now that I live so far away, it’s gotten worse. I haven’t seen him for two years. Last time I visited home, I didn’t even go see him. I didn’t call or write because I just didn’t feel that I had much to say. I was his first grandchild and everybody is telling me that this is why I’m grieving so badly. But it’s mostly my guilt that I didn’t treasure this man who cared so much about me and my family. I will have a hard time forgiving myself because I could’ve done so much more.

    2
    • Autumn  August 16, 2020 at 9:46 pm Reply

      Jana, I understand this guilt. My grandmother recently passed away, and I had not reached out to her in over a year, partly due to being upset that she didn’t attend my father’s service, and partly because I was protecting myself from opening grief wounds from missing my father. You are not alone and I believe our loved ones have already forgiven us, because they love us so much. But the guilt is so unbearable. Praying for you ??

      2
  112. Mariah  May 24, 2020 at 8:50 am Reply

    My guilt will keep me awake at night. I never met the man whose death I mourn, but I’m very familiar with the guilt I carry over his death.

    I was driving with a friend, when we turned a corner to see a car on fire upside down in a ditch. There was a woman hanging in the passenger side still strapped to her seatbelt. She was awake, and she kept saying “dead”. Four of us couldn’t pry the belt off, we had to cut the strap. An older couple brought over a survival knife, and a young man I knew personally was also there. He had a case of water with him for the fire, but at that point the fire was already huge. I looked inside the vehicle and all I could make out were laundry baskets and scattered clothes. I could feel my hair being blown by the intense heatwaves that permeated the vehicle. I didn’t see her boyfriend, and that’s when the tires began to pop.

    They were a couple moving into town, starting their new journey with each other. They didn’t know the road we were on was notorious for having sudden sharp turns on steep inclines, and they were hauling a trailer.
    The woman was still conscious, asking us where her boyfriend was. She sounded so out of breath trying to speak to us. We kept asking her for her name, and she kept saying his name instead.

    We couldn’t get him out, not without somebody else getting seriously hurt or killed. We were just passing by, on the way to a concert. We didn’t have the equipment, or the skills. We did the best we could do given our circumstances.

    But the guilt persists.
    Perry, I’m so sorry.

    5
  113. Margie  May 22, 2020 at 9:17 am Reply

    Hi I’m regretting and feel GUILTY. My friend had cancer and I didn’t know how bad it was I recently found out it was terminal cancer. Back in 2018 I got back in touch with him and with stress from the job and home it was unbearable. I sent him a Birthday card with Birthday scratches from the lottery. I called him to see if he received the cards no response. I finally spoke to him but he sounded like I woke him up so I told him to go back to sleep not realizing it was the cancer. I told him I would like to come and visit him and I never did. I found out in January 2020 that he passed away in November 2019. I was in shock because I didn’t have the chance to go visit him. I lost my car to an auto accident and had no car. I was going to rent a car but didn’t have the money on my credit card. So now I regret not going to visit him. I cared about him but I don’t think he knew it. I cry every night because I didn’t get the chance to see him again. All I have are pictures of him and I wanted so much to visit with him. I feel I was stopped from going to visit him. Like God didn’t want me to go see him. I’m very upset about all this. Thank You for letting me tell my grief.

    2
  114. Kim Maxey  May 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm Reply

    I have been consumed with guilt since my husband’s passing on February 9, 2020. My husband had pneumonia about 10 years ago and was in a coma for about 2 months. His lungs still had scar tissue so he would always get sick easily. Even a tiny cold would turn into so much more. I teased him constantly when he would get sick saying “Oh no, it’s pneumonia again. Better watch out.” It was all in fun and he knew that, but I feel horrible. Well, in January 2020 we both got very sick. We thought maybe the flu because we had been around our three grandsons and each had the flu at different times and when home from school stayed with us. We thought we were careful with the sanitizing hoping to not get sick, but we both got it. I got better enough to return to work only to be sent home the next day. That day was Friday, January 17, 2020. My husband, Kevin, was acting strangely. His balance was not good, he was slurring his words, seeming to forget simple things. This was in a span of just a couple of hours. While I dressed him, my daughter and her girlfriend called 911. At first it was thought to be stroke symptoms. When the paramedics arrived they did their assessment and by that time he seemed mostly normal. But I asked that they take him to er anyway just to be safe. I followed in my car with my daughter and her girlfriend. It was over an hour before I could see him. By that time he had deteriorated to the point he was on a breathing tube, iv’s, and knocked out with medication and about to be transferred to another hospital because of a supposed brain bleed. They transferred him. Tests were done, twice sometimes three times. No brain bleed was found. Still on the breathing tube he was admitted to the ICU with sepsis brought on by pneumonia, odium levels through the floor causing the stroke like symptoms, type A flu, blood pressure issues, and a mild heart attack. Over the next three weeks the flu was gone, sodium levels good, blood pressure issues good, only the pneumonia remained. For some reason this would not get any better. He was on and off breathing tube, seeming to get better only to get worse again. On February 8 the doctors said there was nothing more they could do. We had two choices….1.) insert trachea tube, insert feeding tube, and put him in a long term care facility but they did not expect him to recover. 2.) Remove the breathing tube and let nature take its course. That he would not make it more than an hour or so. Kevin was alert during these conversations with the doctors. He made it clear he did not want the trachea tube, feeding tube, and long term care. Honestly I wouldn’t want it for him. That is not any kind of life at all. But he was in on all the decision making. So on February 9, 2020 the breathing tube was pulled, he was given morphine to make him comfortable and at 2:45 p.m. he went to his heavenly home. I watched as he faded away, his breathing slowed, his heart rate dropped, and a single tear fell from his eye as to say “I don’t want to go but I have to.” He was 57. This is where the guilt comes in. Even though he was in on all the decision making, did I do the right thing by letting him go? Should I have stopped everything and had them do the trachea tube? Or is that just the selfish part of me that still wants him here? My mind is so full of thoughts like this. How do I learn to live with this? It literally making me physically ill. Then this virus, then I get laid off work. 2020 has not been kind to me so far. And with all this virus stuff I am almost convinced that the virus is the reason they could not get rid of the pneumonia. Maybe it wasn’t pneumonia, maybe it was the virus. I don’t know. My head is swimming with all these thoughts.

    4
  115. David  May 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm Reply

    I still can’t believe I missed all the red flags. My Great Aunt, 97, in a care home, during this quarantine, and I never wrote to her or called her. I wrote to her every month or so for the past two years, but because I’ve “not been doing much”, I haven’t written to her since before the lockdown. And now she’s dead.

    I wrote my gran a letter when we knew she was doing, telling her what an impact she’d made on my life and how much I loved her. I always told myself when it was aunties turn id do the same. Now it’s too late, and I didn’t write because I didn’t think about her. I’ve been stressed out with work, and have been trying to take my mind off of COVID. Well, now I will never be able to forget. 10 minutes is all it would have taken to write to her, and I have wasted so much time in the past two months, watching movies I didn’t enjoy, just goofing off.

    Now auntie has died, but also my sense of identity. Who am I now? How can I ever tell anyone my opinion on how to do something again, after making an error like this? My poor wife is being so helpful, but I really feel like I’ve irrevocably damaged my mental state by doing this. It’s been two weeks and I’ve cried every day.

    I’m so sorry for not writing you Auntie.

    2
    • Angel  November 5, 2020 at 9:27 am Reply

      David,
      You can still write a letter to your Auntie. I’ve written many letters to my loved one in the past several months. I took several to the gravesite and read each out loud. It has helped me. However, I keep writing and journaling because it keeps overwhelming my thoughts and mind. One day I know that I will get it all out. I do keep writing my guilt over and over but it has helped each time I get it down on paper. I’m also going to talk to a counselor about this today too. We can make amends even after death.

      1
  116. Anya kumar  May 7, 2020 at 1:11 am Reply

    My grandma died of diabetes, sugar level went too low. I feel guilty that if I had checked her level sooner than I did, maybe I could have saved her. I feel like I was negligent and should have understood sooner that she was not feeling well. I feel like I’m responsible for her death. I don’t know what to do. I can’t stop calling myself as a murderer. We tried everything, but her body was rejecting the treatment. But I still feel like, if only I had checked her earlier, we could’ve saved her. My brain knows, there is no guarantee her body would’ve accepted the treatment earlier as she was suffering and generally in weak health for more than a year, but my heart is not ready to forgive myself and I don’t know if this gets too much, how will I cope with my guilt.

    3
    • Meltem  May 7, 2020 at 6:32 am Reply

      Dear Anya, I believe it is important to remember that we are just human, which means our ability to control all the variables is highly limited. We do our best with the best intentions but sometimes other variables are more effective. The key point is the intention I guess, free yourself, you did your best.

      3
    • Anne  July 26, 2020 at 12:55 am Reply

      My mom was sick for about 3 weeks and I live in different country having a time lag of 10 hours bewtween us.She complained of weakness and had low hb . We thought the weakness was due to low hemoglobin but it was chf and impending heart attack. She was very reluctant to go to hospital and thought that she would improve her hemoglobin by eating medicines and resting like she always did in pastm If I had told her it was serious she would have gone to doctor and not postponed it. She felt extremely weak a day before she passed away and I came to know of it at night.It was extremely cold and it was cold that had triggered her illness this time so I convinced her to go to doctor the next day and arranged an appointment for her. She did survive the night but suffered a heart attack and died the next morning before she could be taken to hospital. My biggest regret is not pushing her to go at night. Had I been more pro active and pushed her to go at night itself overlooking the cold she would have survived. I wholeheartedly and totally blame myself for her death. I feel I have failed the person who conditionally loved me and always supported me.This regret and pain is killing me and I have not been able to sleep even a single day since she passed away. Her helpless face and the trust she put in me to save her and my failing that trust haunts me in my dreams. I feel this act of negligence from me cost her life.

      3
  117. Meltem  May 3, 2020 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Hello, it is about my cat, missing for a month now, really April is the cruellest month. It is already spring now and she must be in the garden, but where is she?
    I discovered the site and I liked the idea. I dont know if anyone will read but I just want to share it. By the way, I read really sad stories here and I couldnt decide at fırst to write about an animal but you know everyone has his own story and this is mine.
    There was once a stray mother cat who visited me everyday. I fed and loved her. When she suddenly went missing, she left me kitties, two sisters except the ones I lost to death. One 6 months older, she became a mom for the younger. First we built a shelter in the front garden with my husband then I insisted on taking them indoors for it was cold. And so we did. We didnt have kids then and my husband loved them more in the meantime. It was the autumn of 2010. We bought baskets, toys for them, we finished our phds, I even thanked them for the peace they brought into home in the acknowledgments part of my dissertation. They were part time in the house, came and went as they wished. I tried to always keep an eye on them. When we were on holiday my parents stayed in our house just for them. Then we had first baby in 2013. I moved them to the attic, busy with my studies, work and baby. My son grew up with their love. They still came and went, ate and drank. They were a little wild by the way. Hard to take them to the vet. So I called the vet in always when needed. We even had the chance to buy the house next door, it was their luck I believe, because we didnt want to move them out of the neighbourhood. Here it is in the middle of a not very big city in Turkey but people here mostly love, feed and care for the cats. It is a safe enviroment with many strays fed around. Then we moved into the new house, they still using the attic. When my son was around 3, one day I realized how little time I had for them and even apologized for it, which they accepted happily. For the last few years, my father is diagnosed with alzheimers which made it hard for him to change places. So I wanted my neighbours to feed my cats when we were away during these years, which they did really well. And fortunately, they were safe and sound each time we turned back home. Last year 2019 February my little son joined us and that made things complicated in the house. It was not easy with two kids and two cats. They were getting older and jealous a bit, protesting me by dirtying the carpets. We have a closed entrance room and a cupboard for the coats and shoes. There I prepared a place with pillows inside the cupboard. Not so hot as inside the house but comfy and safe and warmer than the garden. They spent some very cold nights there, but didnt like it too much. Although they insisted in getting in I couldnt allow for I was already spending hard nights with the baby. I couldnt play at midnight or let them out when they wanted even couldnt hear them sometimes because of sleep deprivation. Still we fed them, took them inside the entrance part of the house, and if they were lucky a nice touch on the head.
    My life has been very busy for the last year with kids, work, housework, academic studies, my parents, my elder son having his first school year and all. And finally I was at home for weeks because of the coronavirus and everything happened in front of me and I couldnt prevent. My younger kitty came home one evening, was unwilling to come in. I was busy as usual, my baby was alone in the living room so didnt insist and let her to sit in the garden. Then never saw her. The painful part is we didnt understand for two or three days depending on each other to feed it with my husband. We thought the other fed her. Then I did everything suggested, posting on facebook, wandering around, asking neighbours, putting the litter out. I was happy that they survived another winter and now it is spring they would wander. And she was the one who loved home and garden but now her depressed elder sister is a home cat. What is more, now the environment seems quiter and safer than before because of the pandemic. People are at home as a result of the lockdown, less cars around, I searched and searched for nothing.
    The thing is, I have a Muslim upbringing. Yet I have always believed in Mother Earth who gives and takes back, so no problem with death. I respect all the souls equally no matter human or animal, that is what makes her so valuable for me. But the question is: did I let her down, was she unhappy or if only I could give her a proper burial. If she died, where did she put her beautiful blond head last? It turns in my head. No bodies. I called the city shelter. Nothing. Everything from the earth, turns back to earth. I pray everynight, hope she hears me, I love her, hope she will sit on my lap through eternity.
    The lesson is: we are closer with my family around this pain, husband and kids. Kinder, and always reminding myself now to stop and take care, never be so busy, if only I could hug her for one more moment. I do millions of things in the house to keep busy, suddenly start silently crying, my elder son hugs me. Today is my birthday and she is my only wish: either to turn back safe or feel my heart where she is. During this ten year old period, I have saved both from many different situations, but if she has lost all her 9 lives, I understand I can not control everything. Eventually, Kitty, I will always love you, please forgive me.

    3
    • Meltem  November 30, 2020 at 10:28 am Reply

      Dear Derrick Thomas, I am writing here to say that I have indeed read your reply to me months ago and also sent you a reply, which I am not sure whether you read or not. Now we can see neither of the messages for they are accidentally lost during the website renewal. By the way they did everything to save them. I know for we exchanged a few emails.
      Whatever, I searched for your name in my computer’s history because I wanted to thank you. My point is that you sent me hope from beyond the ocean and that is great. Maybe you are still reading the page. This is the only way to find you. Please I want you to know that your reply was helpful to me, I felt relief really because you understand me. My cat is still missing and probably dead. We are being friends with her sister, with whom I am now trying to share more. This was a painful lesson for me. I send her my love and apologies in my prayers, hoping that she hears. Thank you again for your kindness and I hope you are ok, wish you good health in these hard days, bye.

      1
  118. Carlton Hanson  March 30, 2020 at 9:57 am Reply

    I am writing for a friend of mine, Carlton. I am very worried about both him and his wife, Charlotte. Carlton resently left Charlotte, recently meaning the last 3 months or so for another woman. We live in a small town and I fear that once it becomes public about his affair he will face terrible shame. It is a surprise to the few of us who know of the affair. His wife, Charlotte adored her husband, Carlton. It is my understanding divorce papers have been filed. I do not know which of them filed for divorce. I feel this couple, my friends got off track and need to realize what all they have together. I worry about my friend, Carlton. The shame, humiliation and shunning he will face from cheating on Charlotte will be astronomical. I would like for him to rethink what he has done by bringing this affair between him and Charlotte. Carlton could not possibly love anyone more than he loves Charlotte. I fear he got wrapped up in the affair and lost sight of what he has in Charlotte. He will face terrible embarrassment, I wish to save my friend from this embarrassment. How can I help him to see what he has done is wrong? How can I help my friends? This woman who came between Carlton and Charlotte needs to go on about her business and leave Carlton alone. Carlton needs to remember the love and care he has for Charlotte. I hate, I mean hate to see Carlton and Charlotte to divorce. Please help them, help me to help them. Please help me to know how to bring my friends back together, to save Carlton from the shame and the hurt he will bring his family. Concerned friend.

    1
    • Beata Zegarowski  April 12, 2020 at 1:31 am Reply

      Guys,
      As I am reading it I see we all need time to let go…
      We need to Surrender to the flow of the stream of life. This is what I am working on. It’s hard.
      I face a similar guilt as you all have described. Mine is that I did not sleep close to the room to which I brought my mom from my dad to take care of her for a while.
      She had a heart condition and was really going down. Nothing would make it better anymore. I helped her to wash up that evening. I cut her hair. I had a meal together with her. I tucked her up in bed and gave her a kiss for good night. It did not cross my mind to stay nearby in case she would fall. She fell and passed away.
      I carry the guilt as well. It comes and goes.
      Why did it not cross my mind to sleep closer to her.
      Did it supposed to be like that? Fast?
      I will not know…

      2
    • Crystal S  April 14, 2020 at 5:31 am Reply

      I just like everyone else here have a tremendous amount of guilt over my exes death. We had been broken up for a little over two years, but I always thought we would get back together since we always had before. I guess though he was finally tired of me arguing with him over him finding a job, stop smoking, and that he needed to move in with me already. So for two years he ignored me until I finally got a text back from his dad saying he had died of a heart attack! He had heart disease apparently. I blame his high blood pressure and the cigarette company! Anyway, I couldn’t believe this. Dead at 38 and I didn’t even get to tell him that I still loved him?! It’s just not fair. I feel as if I can’t move on right now and I wouldn’t want to. I want to wake from nightmare and just have him back. It’s not fair that my friends are in happy relationships and my ex is dead at 38. I think he died alone, his daughter told me he didn’t have a new girlfriend, but I’ll never know for sure. Now I’m just stuck with this guilt. Instead of sending him mean texts those two years I don’t know why I didn’t call him or stop by to try and talk to him. I had nothing to lose, but try and see what he would have said. Now ill never know how he really felt about me in the end…..

      2
  119. Michael Carter  March 24, 2020 at 4:37 pm Reply

    My partner of over 38 years passed away 3 months ago today. Christmas Eve. I was his caregiver for the last few years. All I feel is guilt. Why was I short with him? Why didn’t I do more things he would have liked? Why didn’t I insist Hospice get him IV fluids the day before he passed. Why didn’t I know he was passing? Those are just a few. There are so many more. I know he wouldn’t want me to feel this way. I know I took good care of him. I was his advocate at the hospital. I asked questions all the time. I looked for any treatment that was out there. I was with him at every hospital visit. I spent every minute at the hospital I could. When he was home, I watched over him. When he could still go up and down stairs, I would walk in front of him coming down or behind him going up. I have multiple cards from him about being his soul mate and how he couldn’t have gotten through any of his illness without me, but none of that matters. I just feel I should have been better. I should have done more. His loss is breaking me.

    3
    • Mary  November 24, 2020 at 12:34 am Reply

      Michael – I’m sorry for your pain. I can so relate to your situation. I was my father’s caregiver for 3 years. Everything you wrote about I have felt too. And like you, I know I showed so much love so many times. It’s just the times when we weren’t our best that stick in our minds the most and hurt the most. I hope you are doing better.

      1
  120. Keli Johnston  February 26, 2020 at 5:54 pm Reply

    This was really helpful for me to read today. My partner passed away 2.5 yrs ago leaving me a widow with three kids (2 of his, 1 of mine) before I was 40. While some time has certainly passed, I have found myself in a whole new kind of hell since before Christmas. I actually feel guilty for STILL grieving!! Like ‘enough already!” How crazy is that?? To anyone else I would say, “there’s no time limit for grief”, and “what we resist persists” and the harder it feels…but I struggle to find that same reason and compassion for myself. Some days are good. Some days are really #@&%ing dark. I am blessed to have a HUGE and magnificent village of support, and I don’t always remember to reach out when I need to lean in. There is a good chance I will forever contemplate all the ways I think I could have been better for him…maybe changed the outcome…at least kept him a little longer…”As long as we hold on to guilt we have hope that we could have controlled the outcome. “…this makes a lot of sense to me now, and helps me find a willingness to see it differently. Thank you for that.

    2
  121. Jessica  February 15, 2020 at 7:21 am Reply

    I lost my mother 5 years ago to suicide and since then I have been having feelings of extreme guilt.

    I was 18 at the time and we didn’t have the best relationship (she had been struggling with drug addiction since before I was even born) so throughout my life we had a lot of crappy moments due to this (arguments, days and nights where she would black out and be unable to be woken up, mood swings, leaving me and my younger siblings with my grandparents for months while she attempted to get clean but always failed) but that is not to say we didn’t also have a lot of good ones.

    Two months prior to her suicide, we had a huge fight over my younger sister who was 14 at the time. She had cut her foot on a piece of glass pretty bad but my mother did not want to take her to the doctors, since my mum wasn’t always fit to take care of ya I had taken on the overprotective big sister role from a young age as so this made me very angry and I yelled at her and told her she was a terrible mother and didn’t want anything to do with her, obviously she yelled back at me and more words were said but it’s all a blur now although the ones I mentioned above is what I’ll remember forever.

    After this I went to stay with my grandparents who lived 10 minutes away and her and I being stubborn did not try to reconcile. A few days before she committed suicide she called my grandparents (her parents) and asked if my younger siblings could stay with us for a couple of weeks while she went to stay with a friend and attempt to get clean which they agreed too.

    Well, unfortunately this did not happen. On a Monday morning we got a call from that friend to say she woke up and my mum was gone, she had committed suicide during the night.

    I replay that argument over and over again, I wish I wasn’t stubborn, I wish I had told her despite everything that I loved her so much. I don’t know how to stop this feeling, if anyone had any suggestions that would help them it would be appreciated.

    2
  122. Lisa F.  January 12, 2020 at 9:21 pm Reply

    My Dad died one month ago. At this time, we were hoping his blood would clot and he would make it out of surgery. i know that I did everything right, though I never felt right when he went in for the surgery. He and I had all the facts, what he went in for surgery for was 95% successful. He ended out with a tear around his heart that would not clot. If I had encouraged him not to have the surgery he might have made it to 90, but probably would have died alone. I never felt comfortable as he was 89 and had multiple medical problems. He was prepared no matter what happened. I made sure he had a great 89th birthday party and we invited lots more people. I could feel it, but could not prevent it. I was so praying that the surgery would be successful. He made the final decision. I know that I would have done the same if I had been him, and I know that I couldn’t save him but still feel awful. My brothers have said, “Yeah, Dad made the decision, but you are a nurse, you should have known.” I know I did what he wanted but now 30 days later, the guilt is killing me and no one understands.

    2
    • Meredith  January 19, 2020 at 11:11 pm Reply

      My dad just passed away in November.
      The night before he wasn’t feeling well and told me so. I insisted he didn’t act like he was having a heart attack. I even called him back to check up on him an hour later. He had cardiac arrest in the early morning and was considered brain dead the following days later. I should have been smarter and told him to go to the hospital. I should have been there. I feel terrible. I feel like I disappointed him. I feel like I wasnt there for him. This guilt is eating me alive.

      4
  123. Luann Kline  January 9, 2020 at 11:41 pm Reply

    2 weeks ago, my husband of 45 yearsa nd friend for 50 choked to death at christmas dinner. No one should die of mashed potatoes. he aspirated into hiis lung, his heart stopped and he was gone. I am devastated. I oved him so much for so long and iwe had plans to grow old together. He was only 65! retired for 1 year! the pain and the guilt are overwhelming. I know there was nothing I could have done. You cant get mashed potatoes out of a lung. this was a trajic accident, but he’s gone and I am still here and alone. He was such a good man a nd he loved me and took care of me and our kids, and his parents and my parents and anyone else who neeeded him. I feel like he can’t be gone, but the house is so quiet and I know he is not coming bacxk and I can’t quit crying. I dont know w hat to do with myself. We married when I was 18 years old. I have never slept alone. Never traveled alone, never been apart for 45 years. I feel like everything is so pointless. Why do I have to keep up this pretext of being ok. I just want to stay in my house and cry and remember. I loved him and it is so unfair for him to leave me. I eveen yelled at him in the ER after the said he was gone and asked how dare he leave me!! and I kissed him and told him I loved him and then I hAD TO LET GO. Life will never be normal again.

    1
    • Pam  March 1, 2020 at 10:47 am Reply

      I am crying reading this. I lost my sister Valentine’s Day 2020 and while I am suffering w guilt- I can not imagine losing my husband in the way you lost yours. My heart goes to you. Regardless of your religion or lack thereof, we can only hope and pray our loved ones are whole and happy now and that they are still w us somehow. I really hope so. And I hope you find a way to remember him w only happiness for you.

      1
  124. M  January 3, 2020 at 5:36 am Reply

    My father died a week ago and the guilt I feel is overwhelming. He has spent Christmas at our house and my husband and I were driving him to his hotel for the night. A few minutes into the trip dad seemed a little off. We even pulled over and decided we should take him to the hospital but then, within minutes he was back to normal- insisting he was fine and even cracking jokes. He said he didn’t need/want the hospital and just wanted to go to bed. It had been a long day and he said he was tired and had not slept well the night before. So we didn’t take him to the hospital, we took him to his hotel and he passed away there overnight. I feel completely responsible. What was I thinking not taking him to the hospital? I keep replaying that car ride in my mind and can’t remember why I suddenly thought that was ok, but in the moment it seemed like it was. My husband assures next that we both observed him acting just fine for the rest of the drive and when we helped him get settled in his room and that he was basically shooing us out so he could go to bed. I promise I would t have left him there if i’d thought anything bad would happen- I even remember going back to my house and telling my sister what had happened but saying something like, “I was worried for a minute in the car but I’m so glad it turned out to be nothing”. My mother passed away unexpectedly 7 months ago so this year has been awful. And I feel like I failed my dad. I keep going over that car ride in my head. I feel so guilty, like I don’t deserve anyone’s sympathy. At the wake all his friends kept saying they had just seen him and he was fine, and asking what had happened and I just felt so guilty- like if they knew about the car ride they’d blame me for taking dad away from them. I am jealous of the rest of my family who just get to mourn him while I am drowning in guilt. Dad was fine all day at our house that day! His recent lab results and physicals were fine- heck better than mine. I just keep thinking what a terrible mistake I made by not insisting we go to the hospital. I don’t know how I am ever going to live with this.

    2
    • Mary  November 24, 2020 at 12:45 am Reply

      M – I am sorry for the pain and guilt you are experiencing. I hope time has helped ease some of it. You sound like you were a very loving and devoted daughter. We are human and can not control all outcomes. Love to you. Be easy on yourself. 🌺

      1
    • kate hounsom  November 24, 2020 at 11:17 am Reply

      I think you sound a lovely daughter and he was only strange for a few minutes. I think we d all behave the same. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you acted perfectly Normally. If you had the time again, not knowing what you know now you would do the same thing again we all would. He wouldn’t want you to lose precious days and weeks feeling even more sad with guilt on top of grief.

      1
  125. Tab  December 10, 2019 at 2:29 am Reply

    Grandma has been in the hospital off and on over the past year. Last time I went to visit her in there, she low key brought up great grand children. At the time I didn’t want to talk about the subject, I think I sensed that she was curious if me and my husband were going to have kids. Since then I realized that I wanted her to know that we had been talking about it. During thanksgiving, she was doing much worse than the previous time I saw her. She had almost no mobility and couldn’t leave her chair. I couldn’t seem to get her alone so I decided to wait until Christmas to talk about it. A few days later she collapsed and her health took a turn. A week and a day after I saw her, she passed away.

    I should have called her. But was also terrified to talk to her and tell her about great grandkids she knew she would probably never see. My guilt is telling me I’m selfish for going to school and working on my career and putting off having a family that I now feel so so desperate to have her a part of. What I wouldn’t give to go back this year and spend a few more nights with her in the hospital.

    2
  126. CHANDAN KUMAR  November 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm Reply

    (PARDON my ENGLISH PLSSS)
    Hi, I m 26 YEAR old Male ,, Presently I have the biggest guilt of my life .
    I lost my mother few days back.
    STORY- My family consist of 3 members I.e. Me and my Parents . My mother had cholesterol test and the levels were high but no significant symptoms but some time after she experienced some discomfort and pain in chest area , So I decided to take her to a famous Hospital of our city and dr. Did some tests like TREDMILL TEST and ANGIOGRAPHY. I wanted to be sure about her health.
    Then the dr. Told us there are two points where blockages are and showed some visuals on screen.
    Then I asked him what should be the next step and he said we have to plant a stent at the point of blockages in Arteries.
    He asked for my consent and for the best future of my mother I said yes.
    Dr. Was very experienced, gold medalist and had done hundreds of successfull procedures,
    He performed his procedure of Angioplasty and everything went very good and within 6 months my mother was able to come back to her normal routine.
    But suddenly one day a blood clot formed in one of the stent and caused a heart attack, Dr. Also was not able to understand why this happened and hence looking at the condition he said Bypass surgery was necessary.
    As I had no option so I said yes and this procedure was also done successfully and everything went normal for 1 year and when we were started to come over all of what happened with us during Hospitalization period, Suddenly she had an heart attack and died.
    My mother was the love of my life and I was ready to loose anything but not Her.
    Today I feel like a murderer of my mother as I was the one who took the decision for her to go for Angioplasty and the End result was I lost her.
    I wish I was more wise in taking decision …. Really I dont know whether she will ever forgive me.
    Every parent wish there children to be their support and I became the opposite for my mother.
    Can’t forget the pain she went because of me.

    2
    • Michele  December 13, 2019 at 1:19 am Reply

      Hello, first let me tell you how sorry I am about your mom. I do understand completely because I feel the same exact way. In June my mom was taken to the ER because she couldn’t breathe. She ended up needing a cardiac bypass, which she asked me for my opinion on what to do. Of course I said she should get the surgery because I wanted her to live! I spoke to her doctor, and he basically said she would be able to get back to a normal life in approximately 2-3 weeks. She came home after the surgery and was back in the ER within 5 days. She spent basically the entire summer in and out of the hospital because fluid kept building up. She ended up on dialysis because the heart surgery damaged her kidneys. This was in September & We thought that would be temporary. Although she was doing her dialysis, her health deteriorated and she passed away yesterday morning. To make things worse, she was mad at me at the time because I had Argued with her for smoking again. (She has quit in June). I wish we would have gotten a second opinion about the heart surgery. I should have recognized the symptoms of her worsening kidney function. My mom counted on me for advice and I feel like I killed her. I completely let her down. No matter what anyone says , I feel it was my fault and it hurts terribly. It makes me angry. If only we could turn back time…..I just wanted you to know that you are not alone with how you feel. My daughter told me that I feel this way because I have a good heart. Keep that in mind! It’s true. Your mom knows you loved her and cared. She would not want you to be sad! You are a good person who loved your mom! I am sure she knows that!!!

      2
    • anonymous  March 26, 2020 at 2:40 am Reply

      Hi Chandan

      A couple of my uncles nearly died and had the same heart problems as your mother and had the same surgeries as well.
      Just like your mother, they needed All the surgeries they had. My family members work in the hospital as doctors and nurses and were in some of the surgeries helping out.

      When a Surgeon or Doctor recommends a procedure/operation Or treatment, it ALWAYS means it’s the BEST DECISION ever for that person.
      If you had not done all the surgeries that your doctor recommended, she would have died a lot earlier and not made it through that year.

      IT was the extra surgeries she had, that made her live that long.
      God made you choose the Correct decisions and gave you an Extra Year with her, that you would of not had, if you had not made the correct decision to have all the surgeries that were recommended to you

      Trust me! you made ALL the correct decisions from a medical pointy of view, just like my family. Every doctor would have made the decisions you made for your mum, just like my uncles.
      She needed ALL those surgeries to get 1 more year of life, or she would of died much earlier. LUCKY SHE HAD YOU to make all the perfect decisions to get the best surgeries and treatment, so she could live happy one more year..

      Plus, its definitely not over, you will get to see her again one day, just like the rest of us,with those that we have lost.

      2
    • kate hounsom  November 24, 2020 at 11:23 am Reply

      So sorry about your mum. I would say you were a wonderful son trying to get her better by putting her forward for surgery. If you hadn’t and she died you would say she should have had the surgery. You never know she may have died sooner. You can never know what alternative actions would have done.

  127. sadikxc  November 13, 2019 at 5:39 pm Reply

    It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our discussion made
    at this place.

    1
  128. Mary Jones  October 28, 2019 at 12:44 am Reply

    Wow! With some grief and guilt close to me today..I was reflecting on my life that has had a lot of loss and I wrote a little thought…then I came across this website and found a beautiful narrative that someone put together. If you are someone feeling loss and guilt…. I encourage you to read the introduction notes on this site several times. I do believe they are true and I think they could be helpful if you let yourself think about what it says. Here was my little reflection today: Guilt and grief go hand in hand.  Grief is real,  guilt is an illusion.  When we love someone,  they know it. If we are truly compassionate,  we do our best to show our care. If we loose that someone, we will grieve,  and always reflect on the “what ifs”  and “if only”… considering the loss of the loved one from our perspective,  as if it could have been different and they would not be gone  if I did something different.  Life has a way of happening around us on many levels with things we can not control, even though in hindsight  it may look like you could have.  It is a challenge to convince yourself that you were a great friend,  a wonderful caregiver, or person…and it is easy to blame yourself and feel otherwise.  The high challenge is to continue the natural grieving process without guilt,  but rather with love and honor of the glorious thing that was:  To reign into your heart the sadness of the loss and true love,  and clearly overcome the unfounded guilt that serves no purpose and is based on events that were unforeseeable and out of your control.  Think of it: if you could truly have seen and known,  you would have controlled the events. There are micro details that you can’t even picture,  but ultimately,  there was no way to imagine the events as they unfolded–  there was no way of knowing.  All you did was give love and care in a world where shit happens. Grief and guilt are real feelings.  Grief has a purpose and strong foundation for healing, whereas guilt does the opposite.  Allow grief to be your reality in your loss and know guilt is useless, unfounded,  and only gets in the way of the basic truth: life is full of wonder and love. We will loose what we love, again and again. We will also have new love come to us and we need to be ready to care.

    10
    • Hmz  September 6, 2020 at 7:48 pm Reply

      Hi,
      All I can say, you did an excellent service with your comments. I read them almost every day to relieve my pain with respect to guilt and grief. But I am finally beginning to learn how to find a way to move forward. Thank you.

      3
  129. Masho  October 3, 2019 at 4:59 am Reply

    I really need your help.
    please please please……help me
    My english is bad but hope you will understand it… i am a widow..30 years old…he died at 35 three months ago.
    I am dying of feeling guilty. Our story in short…..My fiance and i started living together three years ago. Since we didnt have job by that time, his families cover our expences to start our life. I was sure he would start a good job soon. But that didnt happened. I found him not willing to start a job. He just spent most of his time at home browsing internet and drinking alchol during the nights. He promise that he would start a job, but he couldnt keep his promises. He used to give me many excuses. I started a job and started to cover our expenses by myself. His habit continues. I nagged him to stop his habit and start a job. Nagged him to go to the gym or to engage himself with some other activities…. He didnt want to meet his friends. We visit families only in holidays. He lie to his families that he is working somewhere. Two years has passed. I was patiently waiting him to change. I was witnessing some changes; he started spenting few nights without taking alchol. That was a great hope for me. I was happy…….. Suddenly he started coughing. He lost appetite. I thought it was the withdrwal effect. But it continues. I asked him to go to the clinic or hospital but he shout at me. He even didnt want to hear about going to hospital. He is a physician. He tell me to buy some anibiotics. I bought for him. Still no change. I was very angry at him. He was doing nothing for two years, got sick and refused to go to hospital. Finally i call his families. He still refused. After few weeks his families forced him and took him to hospital. The results show he has TB. I was shocked. He was hospitalized for two weeks. He started the medication. He went to his families place for a better treatment and follow up. I was still angry at him. He should have agreed to get medicaton early. I stayed for two weeks at his families place. Then i get back to my place and started my job on and off. I spent 2/3 night during the week days and the weekend with him. After two months i start visiting and giving care on the weekend only. Even after he finished the medication his health condition was not significantly good enough. He again checked in the hospital. The TB is still there. He start the medication again. His condition get worsen. From the symptoms i see, I always google and read and read….what his condition would be. I was sick of speculating…cancer, COPD. I cried alone. I cried thinking he might left only few years. Few friends suspected it might be HIV. Me couldnt imagin him having HIV. From what he told me, my spouse didnt have much sex life or experiance. And in any case, if it did happened since he is a physician, he would have checked after he got TB or before… i was sure he couldnt get HIV!!! even if he had HIV, i thought, it is better than cancer and COPD. I planned to ask him to get checked for HIV. I fear to ask him to get checked. I dont event knew how i have to start the issue. I was waiting the perfect time..
    …one day i was at work he told me he went to hospital with his sister…and i asked him to check for HIV, he said he did. And he was posetive. I couldn’t belive. I really couldnt belive. I told him it is okay. I really mean it. I was some how happy it is only HIV. Because he can live longer with the medications…i met him in the hospital after few days he told me he knew he has HIV and feared to tell me. And we have lived for more than two years together. He told me he protected me since he was using withdrawal method to avoid pregnancy. He died (hate to use this word) after one month he started ART. The docs said it is in the 4th stage. Now it is 3 months. I couldnt belive he is died of HIV, which currently one can live a healthy life with the medication. I have tried to fix his problem. But never thought of him having AIDS. Never thought our story ends like this. I was sure we would live a changed life. I have many questions an answered. Why he didnt told me? Why he didnt want to get medication? We could have lived a happy life. I really couldnt get what was in his mind during the times we lived together. I love him. I was trying to please him the whole time. I was waiting him to change with a great patient. I dont know why he choose to die… and i regret..for being patient….should have make him work /stop taking alchol forcefully (though i dont know how). If i could have acted differently, he might open up or something will happen that will save his life. I feel like i helped him to die. I feel i sMahould have saved his/our life. I 100% blame myself. I didnt checked for HIV yet. I really dont care if i have it or not. I couldnt stop thinking about the cenarios i could have saved my love.

    1
    • susan  November 8, 2019 at 6:43 pm Reply

      Hi Masho,
      Reaching out to you, I am 31 and just lost my partner he was only 40. Totally understand what you are going through and feeling like there is more you could have done to stop him from drinking and get him to take medications and all of this, wondering if it was something that you did that caused his behaviours. I was in a constant dilemma when my partner was sick because I loved him and wanted to be there to look after him but then I also wondered if it was too stressful for him to have me there all the time as we shared a one room studio and i wondered if I drove him to go and drink the bottle of whiskey that seemed to have lead to the decline in his condition, because I was working a lot and he felt confused and didn’t understand that I was putting in extra hours temporarily because I had to sort some matters out that would allow me to continue living in Europe after Brexit and therefore allow me to stay with him and look after him and work here. He felt quite abandoned and didn’t understand I was doing all this in order not to abandon him. I had to register at his address because he didn’t want me to hire a room anywhere else because if I did that he was anxious that I was planning to leave him, but then registering at his address caused him to have his benefits cut by 300 euros and so therefore I had to work extra to pay him back the money but even so this caused him stress and he felt out of control of his situation. I sometimes wondered if he was just doing this as a favour to me and I felt so terrible for causing the stress I never imagined it would have been so stressful for him and I am worried this lead to his condition worsening as well and lead to him drinking the bottle of whiskey.
      All these kind of things.
      Could write so so much but I don’t think you want to hear everything but really the point of this message is to say that we cannot know everything or have control over everything in this life and people are ultimately responsible for the way they react to situations. You could have done something to annoy or upset your partner indeed but it is impossible not to do that at some point, we are in the words of Nietsche, like porcupines trying to live alongside each other without pricking each other with our prickles. It is up to each individual to take responsibility for the way they choose to react to situations, communicate, deal with stress, handle their medical issues and there is only so much you can do as a partner beyond offering love and care and company without interfering or treating them like an infant. I still maintain I could have done more because there was a point when he was seemingly willing to go to the hospital while recovering from what we thought was a virus but it was taking some time, my partner had missed a doctors appointment due to an epileptic seizure and the doctor would not come to us at home because they said it was not an emergency he just had what sounded like stomach flu combined with side effects of epilepsy medicine and aftermath of seizures, and they had no more appointments until 3 weeks later. They told him to just rest and eat enough fruit and drink lots of water. He didn’t want to go to hospital because he said they would just tell him the same thing and there was no point and he would prefer to stay at home and recover from the virus. I feel so awful now that I didn’t take him to hospital but the following week it did seem like he was getting better although he fell in the shower we thought he was dizzy from his epilepsy medicines and then he was seeming to get better by the end of the week but now I just feel so awful that I didn’t take him to hospital for the certainty. So awful, but sometimes he was really insistent on not going and I can’t remember everything very clearly now. He eventually died of a heart aneurysm although he had no record of heart problems. I am so angry that the doctor didn’t come out to check on him because what we thought was flu and epilepsy side effects was probably signs of heart failure but I didn’t know anything about this, however a doctor should have been able to identify that if they had just come to see him. I still feel so guilty for not getting him to hospital and treated somehow. However other things I realise were not within my control and were his responsibility for sure, and his resistance to going to hospital made it harder for me to decide what to do for him although I wish when his friend had come with the car to pick him up when he had a seizure in the street, we had decided together to take him to hospital then, but my man wanted to go home, and we respected his wishes. That night he died.

      2
    • susan  November 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm Reply

      Hi Masho,
      Reaching out to you, I am 31 and just lost my partner he was only 40. Totally understand what you are going through and feeling like there is more you could have done to stop him from drinking and get him to take medications and all of this, wondering if it was something that you did that caused his behaviours. I was in a constant dilemma when my partner was sick because I loved him and wanted to be there to look after him but then I also wondered if it was too stressful for him to have me there all the time as we shared a one room studio and i wondered if I drove him to go and drink the bottle of whiskey that seemed to have lead to the decline in his condition, because I was working a lot and he felt confused and didn’t understand that I was putting in extra hours temporarily because I had to sort some matters out that would allow me to continue living in Europe after Brexit and therefore allow me to stay with him and look after him and work here. He felt quite abandoned and didn’t understand I was doing all this in order not to abandon him. I had to register at his address because he didn’t want me to hire a room anywhere else because if I did that he was anxious that I was planning to leave him, but then registering at his address caused him to have his benefits cut by 300 euros and so therefore I had to work extra to pay him back the money but even so this caused him stress and he felt out of control of his situation. I sometimes wondered if he was just doing this as a favour to me and I felt so terrible for causing the stress I never imagined it would have been so stressful for him and I am worried this lead to his condition worsening as well and lead to him drinking the bottle of whiskey.
      All these kind of things.
      Could write so so much but I don’t think you want to hear everything but really the point of this message is to say that we cannot know everything or have control over everything in this life and people are ultimately responsible for the way they react to situations. You could have done something to annoy or upset your partner indeed but it is impossible not to do that at some point, we are in the words of Nietsche, like porcupines trying to live alongside each other without pricking each other with our prickles. It is up to each individual to take responsibility for the way they choose to react to situations, communicate, deal with stress, handle their medical issues and there is only so much you can do as a partner beyond offering love and care and company without interfering or treating them like an infant. I still maintain I could have done more because there was a point when he was seemingly willing to go to the hospital while recovering from what we thought was a virus but it was taking some time, my partner had missed a doctors appointment due to an epileptic seizure and the doctor would not come to us at home because they said it was not an emergency he just had what sounded like stomach flu combined with side effects of epilepsy medicine and aftermath of seizures, and they had no more appointments until 3 weeks later. They told him to just rest and eat enough fruit and drink lots of water. He didn’t want to go to hospital because he said they would just tell him the same thing and there was no point and he would prefer to stay at home and recover from the virus. I feel so awful now that I didn’t take him to hospital but the following week it did seem like he was getting better although he fell in the shower we thought he was dizzy from his epilepsy medicines and then he was seeming to get better by the end of the week but now I just feel so awful that I didn’t take him to hospital for the certainty. So awful, but sometimes he was really insistent on not going and I can’t remember everything very clearly now. He eventually died of a heart aneurysm although he had no record of heart problems. I am so angry that the doctor didn’t come out to check on him because what we thought was flu and epilepsy side effects was probably signs of heart failure but I didn’t know anything about this, however a doctor should have been able to identify that if they had just come to see him. I still feel so guilty for not getting him to hospital and treated somehow. However other things I realise were not within my control and were his responsibility for sure, and his resistance to going to hospital made it harder for me to decide what to do for him although I wish when his friend had come with the car to pick him up when he had a seizure in the street, we had decided together to take him to hospital then, but my man wanted to go home, and we respected his wishes. That night he died. There are so many details I haven’t written in here, but really in terms of you feeling like you caused him to drink or not take his medications, that is on him because we all have free will to decide how to react to situations and there are many different ways of coping with stress, and do remember the positive things you did for him and shared with him and it sounds like you really stuck by him through a very drawn out difficult period of alcoholism, terrible sickness and pain and that is more than a lot of people would have done. And if he really didn’t want you to be there he would have let you know.

      1
    • Faith  January 21, 2020 at 4:49 am Reply

      I am reading all these messages about the guilt thats with the grief. I am also feeling this terrible guilt. My mother passed away December 28,2019. She had been dealing with a lot of issues the past 3 or 4 years. She had terrible arthritis, which the doctors treated with pain killers. She became addicted to those and almost died several times. These past years have left me angry and bitter. I was the only person dealing with this with her. She lived with me. My brother lives up north and we were here in the south. Her mother, my grandmother lived next door. She got so wrapped in her addiction she would fail to help my 92 year old grandmother. She wouldn’t take her to the store or doctors appointments. I was working 2 jobs to make ends meet and dealing with groceries and her addiction and trying to help my grandmother. My grandmother passed away last August (2018) I finally get the doctors to understand whats going on with my mother and they stop all pain killers. Now she’s coping with arthritis and pain and she starts laying in bed for weeks at a time. She has constant diahrea, she’s nauseous and depressed. Her grand daughters stop calling because she never calls back. She goes to abusing Imodium and handfuls of tylenol, benadryl, motrin, naproxen. This has gone on for years. Then she will get up and be good for a week or two and go back to week in bed. This last time she says her back is too painful. She takes to bed. She had went to doctor the past week and blood results are bad. She goes for follow up blood work. Christmas eve day they call, say shes severely anemic. She says she is in bed and sick. Instead of calling me the doctor says she needs to make follow up appointment with blood doctor. She had signed release with doctor to discuss her medical stuff with me, but apparently they dont see it as being an issue. Shes now having diahrea in the bed, not getting out, I have no clue about the severity of anemia. I make her get out of bed after 3 hours of begging. I sponge bath her. Flip her mattress and change her. I said things to her in the 3 hrs of begging and pleading. Let me call ambulance. She refuses. I say I hate her. I hope she dies. I blame her for my grandmothers death. I’m so angry. This is friday morning (3am) I call out to work. I stay home Friday. She refuses to still get up. Saturday I get up. I think I hear her cough and instead of looking in to check on her, I go to the store. I have no idea why I dont check on her. I always did. I come home after ive been out for around 5 hrs. She is dead. The guilt I have. I cant live with this guilt and what if. cant help but think I should have just called ambulance. She got so mad at me when I wanted to. Why didnt I check on her?? I have to live with my last words that I said to her were so hateful. I was so angry for the past years of all of it. Now the burden of the guilt.

      3
  130. Ruhi  October 3, 2019 at 12:13 am Reply

    I am married and had an unplanned pregnancy soon after we got married. My husband and I were not prepared for this and decided to go for medical abortion at 6 weeks. I took the pill and it was awful. I always asked my husband to use a condom and but he insisted on not using it and use the withdrawal method instead. I love my husband and he really loves me. I got pregnant again after a few months, we were really confused and having a baby didn’t seem right at that time. The thing is I am unemployed and I didn’t want to have a child whom I cant support financially. I didn’t feel supported by my husband as well to continue that pregnancy. So I have had another surgical abortion at 8 weeks. I had a birth control implant after that. One year later my husband was insisting on removing the implant and plan to get pregnant. I got pregnant after a few months of removing the implant. My husband and I would fight because I was worried if he would ask me again abort and we wanted to have that pregnancy. We had a big fight one day where we said a lot of things to each other. He even said that he does not want to have a child with me. The next day I had a spontaneous miscarriage. We went to the emergency room and they confirmed that I had miscarried and there is nothing they could do about it. They assured there is no particular reason for this and there is no one to blame. But deep down I feel like it’s karma. God punished us for fighting and having 2 abortions before this planned pregnancy. I feel so much guilt and shame and anger for myself and sometimes for my husband. Why didn’t he use proper precuations when he wasn’t ready to have a child. I hate myself for putting myself in this situation. I am again trying to get pregnant. But I so scared if I will be a good mother. I am scared if I will be able to carry this pregnancy to full term.

    1
    • NadiDadi  October 6, 2019 at 12:42 am Reply

      First, I know God will forgive any sin you confess to Him and He will cleanse you and restore you to Himself. I used to worry about being able to provide for my son before having him and I tell you that God has always made a way. Don’t be afraid to pray, ask God and try. He will help you. Ask God to show you how to be at peace and in agreement with your husband about having children.

      1
    • Shannon  November 19, 2019 at 6:59 pm Reply

      You’re going to be a great mother. This is not karma. This is a very common problem. You will have a baby someday ❤️

      1
  131. RockStand  October 1, 2019 at 7:32 pm Reply

    I recently lost my girlfriend…died of a lung infection…l tried to get her to doctors but l feel l didn’t do enough….as l thought she would get better…my job schedule also made me to check on her abt 2- 3 times a week..l feel l should have been visiting her every day…and not skip days..
    The last day (Thursday) l saw her..l gave her a massage as she was saying her body feels sore…the next day…l ddnt go to see her as l thought l wld see her at the weekend…l got a phone call on Friday evening that she has passed away…
    At this moment l think of the past arguments we used to have and l feel maybe l was too hard on her..it torments me big time….l really miss her and feel l ddnt show her much love during her last days…

    2
  132. Aleena  September 29, 2019 at 1:50 pm Reply

    I went outside with my pet bird and I let him fly, not knowing he wouldn’t come back. I am really sad about this and I also felt as if I killed a cat as well bc his owners didn’t feed him so I feed him and that encouraged him to go outside and then he died from a snake bite. Rumors in school flew everywhere and I felt immensely guilty of these deaths, as I felt I didn’t get to do a proper good-bye to my father who died recently. I just feel depressed and so, so guilty.

    1
    • NadiDadi  October 6, 2019 at 12:58 am Reply

      Please allow yourself to feel loved and know that we humans always make mistakes. There was no way for you to know the outcome of any of this. Forgive yourself please. Let it go.

      2
    • Felicity Dark  October 19, 2019 at 6:09 am Reply

      Birds are meant to be free, you gave your bird freedom. Your bird maybe flew away to a happy life being a bird in a tree instead of a cage. The cat is an animal who is also free, unlike a dog. Cats can catch food if hungry. Snakes are unusual & beautiful too. All life exists in a tenuous balance. It is important to understand that you are grieving for your father who has died. You seem to have much love for animals, they are so good for therapy. I enjoy making drawings or paintings of my animals. When they die I am sad but I know another animal needs my love & care. I hope your family is helping you in your loss.

      1
  133. JR0502  September 10, 2019 at 8:11 am Reply

    I had a relationship for 5 years and unfortunately she died… For the past months before she died, id became cold, i d became relax in our relationship and oftentimes i ignored her and it seems that i have lost my feelings toward her…. In her last days i am quiet busy with my job and trying to escape from the reality that she is sick… We are in an LDR relationship… I thought nothing serious w0uld happen to her until i received a message that she passed. I am feeling guilty about the incident and im totaly grieving and all the negatives thoughts were on my mind and it seems feels like im contributing something bad to her and im thinking i might be the cause of her death. I am feeling like im ignoring her coz i dont want to get stressed, and also sometimes i am afraid of the responsibilty financialy and everything…. Now i am feeling super guilty. Would you please enlightened me.

    1
    • Ang  September 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm Reply

      I’m very sorry for your loss. It is a normal part of grief to feel responsible and guilty, especially within a close relationship, we can all have regrets with hindsight. You did the best you could with what you knew at the time. The fact that you are worried is an indication that you care and that you’re a good person. You could speak and write to her about the things you’d like to say. Remember that she wouldn’t blame you, in the same way that you wouldn’t blame her if something happened to you. Most importantly, it is not your fault. See how you move forward with the grief, it’s early days. If you still feel responsible try reaching out to talk to family/ friends or a counselor if you can. It isn’t your fault.

      1
  134. H. GARCIA  September 8, 2019 at 9:27 am Reply

    In April 2018, I was involved in a head-on collision that I have no memory of. I sustained traumatic injuries and for the most part, I feel very blessed to have survived. The other driver sadly did not survive and despite investigative reports and reassurances from loved ones that the accident and the other driver’s death was not my fault, the guilt over it has almost paralyzed me with fear. I am scared to drive again because not knowing (or not remembering) if there was something I could have done to prevent his death makes the fear of being behind the wheel even more so than I would be had it been a non-fatal accident. I am young and need to be able to drive again, but this crippling fear makes me physically react to things that haven’t happened and I am always anxious in the car, thereby making me an unsafe driver. I need to get past this, I don’t know how.

    1
  135. Destiny  September 3, 2019 at 5:42 am Reply

    I lost my guinea pig, Penny last night. I had her for about 4 months and we grew very close within that time. I moved into a new apartment yesterday with two of my roommates. I was so excited about moving in because I turned my large closet into a guinea pig room so Penny (and Nickel) would have more room to run and play. I spent hours planning on how it would look, and thinking about how happy they’d be. Well, I got everything set up and walked outside for 2-3 minutes to get my boyfriend from the parking lot who just arrived to see my new place. In that time, my Penny was attacked by my roommates husky. I cant stop thinking about her and I cant stop feeling guilty for not shutting my bedroom door all the way. She supposedly went up two flights of stairs into my roommates room where the dog attacked her. Never in a million years would I think she could even climb up a flight of stairs, much less leave my room (bc she is a prey animal and is so scared of being out in the open). I would do anything to have her back, I am truly heartbroken and feel incredibly guilty. I tried to bring her to the vet but she died in my arms on the way there. I cant explain the overwhelming sadness I felt, and still feel right now. I brought her back home so Nickel could see her deceased body for closure. Nickel has been very sad all day, not eating and constantly sniffing the sweater I wrapped penny in while she was dying. I didn’t have anywhere to bury her so I called a cremation place close by to see how much it would be and it was pretty expensive, so I thought about just bringing her to my parents house an hour and a half away to bury her there. But she was becoming stiff and starting to smell a little bit, so I called another place to see what their prices were. The prices there were still expensive, but the kind man who worked there, Lorenzo, said he’d give a college student discount. I was happy about that. I got there and he talked to me a little bit, turns out we were both from the same hometown AND both went to the same high school! He is now doing a $150 private cremation procedure for me and is giving me an imprint of her paws FOR FREE. That was the best news I’ve heard all day and I couldn’t have felt more thankful. I was also able to get Nickel a new friend today. She’s no Penny, but she is cute. I loved Penny and so did Nickel. We will never forget her and its going to be so hard to let go of the woulda coulda shoulda’s, but I’m trying. Thank you for reading.

    Happy Healing,

    Dez

    1
  136. Nelly  August 29, 2019 at 9:09 pm Reply

    I don’t know if anyone would understand me! But a simple, little thing made me so mad to myself. I found a baby wild mouse / rat jammed in between the floor and garage door of my barn. Normally, it’s a major concept that wild rodents are considered pests. But I saw this tiny baby mouse almost dead but seems to be trying hard. I picked it up and decided to care for it. I brought it home, long hours of no sleep, feeding it milk replacement for 7 days. It finally got better and stronger. Opened it’s eyes and started being animated, full of life. I took it to work so I can continue feeding it milk. It even responded to his name. Then one day, I must have been so tired coming back from work. I looked in his container. He was gone! I looked everywhere, nowhere. I cleaned up and put everything in a plastic bag. Three days I search. I finally gave up and made a conclusion that he escaped. After 7 days, I was searching for something inside the cabinet. I smelled something dead! I searched inside a plastic bag. So to my discovery, he crawled into a folded hem with tiny hole.. the cloth was thick like a sweater. I never even noticed he was stuck in the hem. I checked everything twice and never thought he was in there. I just can’t take the thought that I killed, suffocated the mouse. I realized I was inexperienced with such small animals. But the feeling of screwing up , killing something that I painstakingly gave life and then suddenly took it away! I know it’s just a mouse . But I hope I will find a way to have peace with myself. Thanks for reading this comment.

    1
    • NadiDadi  October 6, 2019 at 1:12 am Reply

      Sounds like an honest mistake. Don’t beat yourself up. Let it go darling.

      1
  137. Mokka  August 6, 2019 at 2:29 pm Reply

    I run a pigeon rehab. I love those little birds dearly, and I feel personally responsible for the life of every single one I take in. Recently I picked up a little squeaker, he was maybe around four weeks old. I crop fed him formula, first 10ml, and as the crop still didn’t feel very full, I decided to give him another 10ml. I put him on a heating bottle and went to sleep. Checked on him about 6 hours later, and he was doing fine and had pooped out some of the formula. When I went to get him 3 hours later, he was lying dead in his little nest. Formula was seeping out of his mouth. The only plausible theory I can come up with is that he regurgitated and choked on some of the formula not long after I had checked on him. Meaning that I gave him too much, I killed him. I was supposed to help him, it’s what I do. And instead I killed him. He was just a baby. The guilt and grief is eating me up inside, I keep playing it over and over in my head. My mistake cost him his life.

    1
  138. Patricia M.  August 3, 2019 at 7:20 pm Reply

    I must have bookmarked this page sometime in 2017, and now I’ve rediscovered it when needed most. My Dad passed away two years ago, completely blindsiding us. Mom passed away five months before him, after a nine year grueling battle with dementia. Thanks to wonderful visiting hospice nurses, we were prepared for her journey, and learned how to handle her changing medical needs (we cared for her at home). My Dad, sister, a family friend, and myself were her caregiving team. We even won an award as “caregivers of the year”. We were stretched thin and constantly exhausted, but Dad had a great attitude. He continued to work as a live-in manager/handyman for a senior apartment complex, so the income could help pay for Mom’s care. He was cheerful and beloved by all. After a long day of work, he would attend to my Mom overnight if she needed anything. They fell asleep every night holding hands.

    Her deteriorating balance – and his bad knees- forced them move into one of the apartments he managed (he had a great boss). There was no room for me when I came to help out, so I moved into their condo just a few steps away. We were learning about dementia during those nine years, and by the time Mom passed we were utterly exhausted. But because we had been prepared, there was also gratitude that she was no longer held hostage by this horrible disease.

    While caregiving, we of course forgot to take care of ourselves. It just became an afterthought. Even though we were all run off our feet, we gained weight. We weren’t eating fast food, but after working all day and having to make separate meals for Mom, dinner was often thrown together at the last minute. It was time to make sure Dad got the attention he deserved. He had been putting off needed knee replacement surgery, so we got that scheduled. I went with him to the required heart stress test. Then I flew down to Florida for a few days to oversee a small backyard project at what would be his winter home. The night I flew back we went to the local diner because he was hungry. He told me about his annual physical he had earlier that day and other than being overweight, all seemed well. It was about 1 am when we got home. I was still living in Mom and Dad’s condo, a few steps away from their apartment. Around 9 am the next morning he emailed me, saying he woke up nauseous, and dizzy. I immediately thought it was food poisoning from the corned beef hash he had eaten.

    I went over and during the next few hours tried to help him with hot tea and Advil. I admit being tired from jet lag and a bit annoyed because I had a lot of work to do. He took a hot bath, because his back hurt (it was often stiff from hard work). I suggested maybe taking a ride down to the hospital first, since it was the weekend our family doctor office would be closed. But he said he’d try the bath first. I was unaware that nausea and back pain were symptoms of possible heart trouble. I knew about arm pain and chest pain, but he did not have those. After his bath we both dozed in comfy chairs for awhile. Then he said maybe we should take a ride down to the hospital. I said okay and went across the street to get the car, my purse, etc. In the meantime one of his close friends called and Dad told him he wasn’t feeling well. He must have felt something bad happening because he ended up calling 911 for himself. When I got back to his apartment he called my name in a distressed tone, and I could see things were suddenly very serious. I got a cool cloth for his face, and phoned a neighboring volunteer fireman to keep watch for the ambulance. Dad started to have an episode, gurgling, eyes rolling – it was so scary. I was trying to reassure him help was on the way but not use language that made him frightened that he may be dying. Police arrived and gave him oxygen. Then ambulance. I was trying to stay focused and calm. This was my invincible Dad. He had his physical just the day before, his heart test a week before. He died in the ambulance.

    The ER doctor determined it was probably a torn aorta. My sister arrived shortly after, as she lived 30 minutes away. It just felt so surreal. Dad had submitted his retirement letter to his boss just two days earlier and now he was gone. He was three weeks away from new knees. Now he wouldn’t get to relax, and enjoy his family and friends. It’s so unfair. His loss is felt so deeply.

    Of course I keep replaying that awful day over and over. With my Mom, we were so in tune with her medical condition and knew what to do. I felt like I totally dropped the ball with my Dad. I was tired and didn’t take control like I should have. I should have made him skip that bath and go to the hospital . He was our “team leader” for so long that I missed the cue to step up and lead when it was needed. It hasn’t helped that I’m still living in their condo by myself, letting this guilt eat away at me. And it doesn’t help when someone says “Oh but he wouldn’t have survived a torn aorta, you can’t blame yourself.” Of course I can! I’m human! And I dissect every clueless decision from that day. I actually wrote down everything that happened later that night for my sister and niece, almost as a record of events while it was fresh in my mind. I’m glad I did, so I don’t misremember things. I feel so stupid for not acting quicker.

    After Mom passed, hospice would send us letters, offering grief counseling whenever we wanted. They were so wonderful, I might reach out to them even though it’s been two years. The guilt is real, and needs addressing. Thank you so much for having this place to express feelings, to vent, and to not feel so alone with this guilt. I typed way more than I expected to! Hugs to everyone else out there hurting.

    2
    • Abethy  September 11, 2019 at 4:22 am Reply

      Miss. Patricia,

      I just so happened across this page as Well today and read your”reply” to/sharing your grief and I am hopeful due to understanding after living through very similarly to your devastation that it gave you if only a flicker or if you haven’t yet felt that it did release the indescribable and unforgiving sorrow that encompasses every second of life as you currently are dreading through. Please accept my apologies if this was neither requested or of need in my response. However I think if I had little wishes of strength when my life crumbled around me then the help in acknowledging can continue now, and sometimes will keep on passing some words to another stranger whom we all know and feel as they.
      Take care as much as it may appear and I’m here and you will forever be in my prayers.

      With warmest and best regards,

      Abethy (A bee) ???

      1
  139. Leah  July 22, 2019 at 4:07 am Reply

    Nearly 5 years ago, my best friend drowned in a rip-current whilst volunteering in South Africa. She had been the best friend I have ever had in my life. She was the most beautiful person I know, both inside and out. When we were growing up as teenagers we were joined at the hip and did everything together. She was always the more beautiful and nice one out of the two of us and as a teenager this made me so jealous of her. Whenever I liked a guy, they always liked her. I would sometimes not want to introduce her to people because I thought they would like her better than me. Sometimes I was just mean to her for no reason, purely because I was jealous of her. Despite all of this she was always so kind to me. She would make me feel like the most beautiful and wonderful person on the planet. We used to go on holiday together with her family at their apartment in Ibiza and whenever we went to the beach she would say how amazing I looked, despite the fact she was honestly the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen in my life. Why was I always so horrible to her? She was nothing but a good friend to me my entire life.
    Her mum started up an annual music festival in her honor, and it is always such a beautiful day. Her mum asked all of her close friends to get involved with the music festival and help with the promotion and everything and every year I tell myself I am going to make sure I am more involved and do as much as possible but I never do. I know it’s because I have been focusing on studying really hard, but that’s not to say I don’t have the time to. I mean, how much effort is it to make instagram posts? I post on mine all the time. I think part of it is that I find it difficult to, because it just makes me feel so sad and depressed. But I know it will make me feel better if I just do it, but I can’t.
    I also feel guilty for not spending more time with her mum and brother. She has a younger brother who she was always so protective over and I message him from time to time, but not very often. I’m permanently living up in the north and they are in the south, so I don’t get that much of a chance to see them. But also her mum is just a spitting image of her and everytime I hug her goodbye when I see her it just hurts so much.
    I’ve thought logically about why I shouldn’t feel guilty and have spoken to mutual friends about how I’m feeling but I just have days like today where all I want to do is cry and hurt myself and it’s just so difficult. I’ve tried to apologise to her and can imagine her exact response, but I can’t shift the way I feel. And this is nearly 5 years after. It just gets harder.

    1
  140. Jeane  July 18, 2019 at 12:40 pm Reply

    It has been 15 months since my husband died by suicide after we had an argument. At the time, I was very stressed out: I was the only one working, we had been living apart for business reasons for many months and he had now just come to live with me permanently in a house full of boxes and clutter because we were storing the more valuable things there in preparation for moving. We were building a new dream house we’d always talked about, which was very stressful and on a tight budget. My job is awful, working for a narcissistic bully, but I was keeping it until he got here and the house was completed. Then the plan was to go part-time somewhere else. I am responsible for my mom who is in assisted living: her laundry, supplies, decisions. Anyway, my husband could be very distant. He wouldn’t get a job and he wouldn’t take his social security and thinking it was okay to just go through savings instead. In fact, he was pulling away from me and I didn’t know why. He would break promises, sit on the computer all day, not share anything (in hindsight, of course I see he was depressed and so was I, we just handled it differently). He had a year to gather his tax things for us to file together. Every month I’d remind him and every month he’d tell me to stop nagging, he’d do it. He got here two weeks before taxes were due and had nothing. And no idea, among over 300 boxes he had stored where anything was. That day, he snapped at me over nothing after I’d tried to have a nice day with him and I lost it. I asked him to apologize and he wouldn’t (he never would, I don’t know why). I had told him all week I was so stressed I thought I was going to have a breakdown. SO then I did. I screamed that I hated him. I said he wasn’t my friend and I didn’t even know why I was married to him anymore. It was childish and mean and selfish. I don’t know where it came from, it just came out of me. Earlier in the week he had sworn at me and hung up the phone when I asked him to do something he didn’t want to do (he went into these rages sometimes and say horrible things to me. I didn’t know where they came from but maybe I provoked him and I didn’t realize it.) This was the first time I myself lost it so badly. I’d never said anything like that before to anyone. I just totally snapped because I couldn’t take the stress anymore about every little thing. I saw his face and I immediately felt so bad I apologized and he wouldn’t hear it. He said I wasn’t sorry and I said I was. I sat in the car and cried; I felt so bad I was thinking of how I could fix it; how could I make this up to him and chastising myself for being so horrible to the person I loved more than anything. I swear, I didn’t do it on purpose and I was mortified. Because I didn’t follow him into the house maybe he thought I meant it. I didn’t. He came out and knocked on the car window and shot himself in the head.

    I am devastated. I didn’t mean it. He was the WORLD to me. We had gone through so much in 12 years: cancer, deaths, so so much. I told him I loved him multiple times every single day except I said that on that particular day. I told him if he died, I’d die, too, that he was everything to me. I mean, he was everything to me and I don’t know how to live without him. I don’t want to. I’m 60 and we’d only been married two years; he was my first marriage. Finally we were going to be together in our dream house. He had nightmares at night and wouldn’t tell me about what. He went into rages sometimes. He was a Vietnam vet that was in-country, but told me had had and still didn’t have any PTSD related to that. I told him there was something wrong. I was his third marriage, so maybe that made him feel worse. But in hindsight now, I can only see that maybe I wasn’t a good wife. I should have been more understanding. I shouldn’t have gotten angry back; I should have realized there was a problem and been gentle. I should have been loving as he had always been generous to me; done things for me I don’t believe any other man would do. He was my soulmate. I snapped that day and now he is dead. It is all my fault. The guilt is killing me, too. Every day I cry my eyes out. Every day I hate myself. There is no joy in my world anymore and there never can be. He was the love of my life and it all went so horribly wrong. Maybe I made him so depressed and I didn’t realize it. He lost both his parents and his brother in the last 5 years; he had just moved away from where he’d had his little house he loved. But I still feel this is all MY fault. I loved him. I miss him so much and feel so bad that I wasn’t better. I should have been a better wife. I should have been a better person and maybe he wouldn’t have been depressed and maybe this wouldn’t have happened. There’s no way to fix this. No way to make it better. There’s no redemption for me or the knowledge he still loves me and forgives me or knows I didn’t mean it, like I know he didn’t mean all the horrible things he said to me. It’s just hell every day here without him and thinking that at the end he hated me and believed maybe I didn’t love him when i did. I was just angry and lost it. Our whole relationship is now a lie. Nothing is what I thought it was, including maybe me. I always thought I was a nice person before. Look what happened because of me. I just can’t stand it. This kind of guilt . . .I don’t think it can be turned into regret. I don’t think I can ever learn to live with it. I can’t even look back on our life and all the years of good memories now because it only breaks my heart. All the future plans we had are now destroyed and I have to give up the dream house. It’s all a cruel joke and it’s all my fault.

    I went to a “guilt” survivor group for six weeks. It really didn’t help. All those people just wish they were better. They didn’t say something bad in an argument like I did before their loved ones suicided. I try to think of things I DID do for him and times I showed him how much I loved him but all I can remember now is that day.

    1
    • Chris  August 11, 2019 at 6:58 am Reply

      Jeane,
      I was not sure about this site until I found your post. My husband and I’s last words together were shouted and angry. I do not know yet if he committed suicide, or if he had died of natural causes. They are doing a toxicity test on him and checking tissue under a microscope and comparing the results. It sounds like it may take 4 to 8 weeks. I do not know what I will do if it is suicide. We have been dealing with our addicted son for 16 years, and our addicted granddaughter for two years. Tremendous stress, chaos, sadness, and helplessness have consumed our lives for years. My husband started drinking more, 100 proof alcohol, guzzling it at night, I started going out and gambling. We both just trying to escape our lives. We loved each other so much, did things together every day, day trips every week, up to three days a week we would go off and do things together, we had plans to travel full time once we retired, we always said we could get through anything if we could just stay together. The chaos kept getting worse, and I started resenting that he drank so much, but he also hated me going out and gambling. Our addicted children were into meth, not sure you know much about meth, but it creates monsters. True monsters. The night my husband died, he was on a 36 hour binge of drinking. I had left the house during this, went to a casino for a few hours. I was on my way home when my granddaughter called asked if I could pick up a list of groceries before coming home. She said her grandpa kept getting up and they had to keep putting him back to bed because he kept falling down. I was in the store when I received a call from him. I told him I would be there soon, that I was bringing home groceries. I could tell he was still drunk. I was in the check out when my granddaughter called again, said grandpa had fallen and had a bad cut on his eye that kept bleeding. I told her to put a wash cloth on it and I was on my way. I rushed home but he was already asleep. His eye no longer bleeding. I stayed up for a little while then went to bed. Not sure the exact time, around 2am, my husband had gotten up but had fallen on me, jarring me awake. I have diabetic pain in my arms, from elbows to shoulders and the sudden movement caused sharp pains, I yelled at my husband, he yelled back. He kept yelling until my son came to the door and told me I should sleep on the couch in the living room. My husband started yelling at my son. then again at me. I grabbed my bag and went into the living room. I heard my husband shut and lock the bedroom door. I stayed awake. I tried listening to what he was doing in the bedroom. I was worried he would get one of his guns out. I went outside to see if the curtain was open on the patio door to our bedroom. I did not want him to see me so I just peeked inside. I could see his legs as he was sitting on the side of the bed facing the window, I did not see a gun, so I felt good about that. I could not sleep, I was still worried, a little later I went back to check. I saw him kneeling by the side of the bed, his back was working like he was sobbing, he does that a lot when he drinks. I did not get too close so I did not see his face. I did not want him to look up and see me. I know from the past that I do not want to try to talk to him when he is drinking even if he is crying. I thought, well, no gun, he will go to sleep and we will talk in the morning. I still could not sleep. I wanted to wait and make sure he got back into bed and was sleeping. I went out to check again, probably twenty minutes later. He was still kneeling in that same position, his back was not moving, I got closer and saw his face smashed into the soft chair that sat next to our bed. It did not look natural. I ran into the house, grabbed the key out of my bag, yelling for my son and rushed into the room. My son and I worked to revive him. 911 was called. I lost my husband, my partner, my lover, my confidant, my best friend of 40 years. I want him back. We should have just taken off and left our addicted kids and been free of all the chaos and depression in our lives. I should have stopped gambling and stayed home, made love more often before he would begin to drink, kept him in bed so that he would never start. Bought the small camper trailer we always wanted and just started traveling. We were only a year away, less than a year away from driving to Alaska, we would have had so much fun, we loved traveling together. My husband was a great guy, he only drank because of depression. I gambling for the same reason. We were both so consumed with depression, but we loved each other so much. And I feel like I could have saved my husband. I do know yet if he committed suicide, but I could have done more to stop his drinking. It was us against them. We just had to stick together.

      2
    • Dana  August 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm Reply

      Oh Jeane, I’m so sorry about your loss! I feel so much compassion for your anguish, I wish I could give you a hug. My husband died by suicide 5 months ago, and I feel intense guilt as well. We had been fighting all weekend, and he was in a dark mood. But I was all wrapped up in my own little annoyances. My husband also had PTSD . He took off angry in his vehicle one evening after a series of stressful events that day, and I freaked out. I chased him down the road and begged him to come back. He would not, and when he hung up the phone and took off down the freeway, I called the police. I thought he was going to commit suicide from the conversation we had. He then called me back hysterical, saying that since I called the police, it was going to happen for sure. And that it was my fault since I called the police. He was crying and hysterical on the phone about “having” to do it. He then went to a location and shot himself in the head. The whole thing plays over and over in my head.
      No matter what anyone tells me, I still feel responsible and guilty. But, I have to tell myself, I never meant for him to kill himself. Never did I imagine that would happen, and somehow I have to forgive myself. And the same for you, you never wanted or meant for him to kill himself. We cannot be responsible for the act, but I know it’s easier said than done. I’m in counseling, but it has not helped much. He was the love of my life, we were together since I was 16, married for 25 years. I’m shattered. 🙁 And the guilt on top of it is horrible.

      1
    • Nancy  September 23, 2019 at 4:15 pm Reply

      My husband died 2 months ago, I came home and found him dead. I tried CPR and a neighbor called 911. His face, hands and feet were completely blue, eyes closed. It took awhile for the paramedics and police to arrive and I I was told that he had been dead for awhile, though I didn’t stop trying the breath of life until they arrived. 5 hours later they were all gone… they had to look at the death from every angle and questioned me, my neighbors, and friends. They did a toxicology report and 6-8 weeks later came back with Accidental Death by alcohol/anti-depressant. There was no note. But looking back there were so many signs that I missed. I just googled the words to the song he requested every Saturday night, and I thought, having a great time… he had been such an athlete when I met him. We were a perfect fit. He was my soulmate. We had found the perfect apartment to get old and die in. Then fast forward 15 years and many operations, a stay in a mental institution, possible alcoholism and drug addiction and severe pain he was a shadow of himself. He rarely talked. I would chat to him on and on when I would get home from work, he looked forward to dinners, cocktails, and me coming home. I thought I was enough to keep him alive because I knew he was depressed. However a few months before the day happened, I was becoming more and more irate with him because he wouldn’t engage with me. But of course, those were the signs. Like going out to dinner and him not finishing his burger or beer, or eating only a tiny amount at dinner when he used to consume great quantities of food, like asking for the same song over and over, like finding an undated “I’m sorry” note in a cookbook (that’s all it said and I am told could have been written any time). I had been so mean to him the night before … saying I hated him and that no one liked him. Not his family, not his friends, and now not me. I just was so tired of taking care of him, physically and mentally. What hurts the most and what makes me feel like I will never get over the guilt is all the things I didn’t say to him at the end, about how much I loved him. I loved him more than anything but I had stopped saying it and we hadn’t made love in years. I couldn’t sleep in the same bed with him because of his talking in his sleep and his snoring, and he missed me in bed but I had to work to support us. I regret never looking up the lyrics of the song that he insisted that I play. They weren’t about death but I can read into the words that it could have been construed as that by him. I regret the things I didn’t say or do like never asking him if he had ever considered suicide – that thought never crossed my mind… I am in counseling, am going to start going to a suicide support group, and read incessantly about the subject. I also have been watching 13 Reasons Why non-stop and last night rented Leaving Las Vegas, which is a movie about the fact that no amount of love can stop a suicide. These things remind me that I am not responsible for his death but I still cry inconsolably every night. Wishing I could change things. Wishing for a re-do. Wishing that I had been kinder – like in the beginning of our relationship…kindness was even in our vows. Giving anything for one last moment with him to tell him how much I love him. Not sure why I am posting this but these are the things I cannot share with my best friends or family, they are sick of me crying and ‘proving’ it was suicide, not an ‘accidental overdose’. They don’t want to hear it. I guess in the end, I feel like I could have stopped his suicide or accident if I had been a kinder person or if he had loved me enough, or if he knew, truly, how much I loved him.

      1
      • Cristina  May 16, 2021 at 4:12 am

        Hi Nancy,I just read your posts ,I know it’s long time and it’s a possibility not to get an answer from you.I lost my husband few months ago and my story is almost the same as yours.I am consumed with guilt and regrets and I can’t see how to make peace with this death and my feelings.I am desperate at the moment and I don’t know what to do.I would like to know how you manage to survive after the tragedy and how leave to live with this feelings.I can share my story with you if you are willing.Thank you for listening. Cristina

  141. Jenifer  July 14, 2019 at 11:40 am Reply

    I met the love of my life. Our relationship grew very quickly. He had moved from another state to take care of his elderly parents (in their 90s) , dad had dementia and cancer. He lived 1hr away and decided he needed to be closer to me. He got a new job and moved in with me. His mom would call weekly that dad was having an episode and he would immediately go to them and take care of dad and settle mom down. A week ago he discussed moving them closer to us and they had agreed. I was away travelling for work, my love had planned a weekend getaway when I returned, he had gone up on Wednesday and spent several hours with mom and dad (typically that would keep dads episodes under control) to make sure they were good and also “selfishly” to make sure our weekend would not end up in a phone call. The next day dad suffered a massive heart attack. My love did not make it to the hospital before he died. In the enormous level of guilt he packed everything up from our house and left before I returned home from my work trip that day. Leaving a note that dad had a massive heart attack and he needed to be alone. 2 days later he reached out to me, he was broken, shattered with guilt. He was coming home but had rode the motorcycle for 36hrs straight cross country. I love him and just need some help in how to support him, how to help him through the guilt and grief. He says he does not blame me, that he should have been there. I just need some guidance to help him

  142. Grigorie Diana  July 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Hello. I took a paralized hedgehog from a woman that couldn’t take care of her. I had her for a month and yesterday I went to the city and she stays outside but when it was hot I took her inside. Yesterday I didn’t and I came home to see her dead. I don’t know why she died but I feel so guilty like I’ve killed her. .

  143. Joe  July 3, 2019 at 6:43 am Reply

    I’m pretty sure my buddy Dan died because of a choice my wife and I made 15 years ago.

    Dan and I were both the social butterflies of a massive friend group in our 20’s, and we had been friends since high school. Around 2004 he started messing around with cocaine. We all drank and partied, but never “real” drugs. I had a problem with him doing it because I know myself and vowed never to touch the stuff, and his longtime girlfriend wasn’t having it either because her dad had a bad history with cocaine.

    Well, we were all roommates at the main party house, and he knew many of our friends weren’t cool with it either. But some were, and they often went out to the bar to get high, and I obviously wasn’t invited along, nor was his girlfriend. Here’s the guilt: the 90’s adage “bros before hoes” is almost always meant as a joke. But this time, I think I should have listened to it.
    My wife and I fell in love that summer, as he kept us at arms length and was off with “new friends” frequently. We all still hung out at the house but instead of being there trying to dissuade him from his bullshit, we were selfish and secretly falling in love. Between the two of us we might have made a difference.

    What’s worse is that once it all came out, he went into a depressed tailspin, started going hard into his savings to buy coke and god knows what else. They all moved. He did some things I couldn’t abide that ended our interactions for a few years. Then my wife and I were off in our own little world. I felt guilty sometimes, but maybe not often enough, and she didn’t because she was going to leave him anyway over the cocaine use.

    But that whole thing, plus the coke, basically fractured the already divided group. I was in and out of the loop because of the band I was in (we brought the group together as an audience so it was always a reunion) and Dan and I had a long talk one night that lasted into the next day. He never forgave me, and I don’t blame him. Time passed some more after I left the band (like 10 years), and he ended up having a couple of boys, now just older than my two kids.

    So I got invited out to a camping trip with some of the old crew this year. Unbeknownst to me he had been struggling with drugs, hard drugs, since that depression that started back in 2004. He had just gotten back into rehab (again) in April of ’19.

    His wife found him dead last Thursday on their floor after coming home from a fight they had had over drugs. I’m sure she feels guilty and mad and everything you’d be feeling, and people are telling her it’s “the drugs, the drugs”. But why was he on those drugs? Surely it’s not her fault, it came before she did. I believe this is probably my fault, at the very root, because I chose myself and my feelings over his at the worst possible time. He lost one of his best friends and his first love to *each other*, and that we chose ourselves over him, caused him to go as dark and deep as he did. In a parallel universe, maybe we did it differently, not so hastily, not so callously. She had her grudges, I didn’t. Now I have guilt and two wonderful kids. What a life.

    • Matthew  July 6, 2019 at 5:54 am Reply

      Aw, Joe, you’ve got a big heart man, but listen; people are stronger than you think. Picture if you had been the one who’s friend and girlfriend ended up together. Sure, you’d be pissed, but you’d go on living. Your friend wasn’t using coke because he was sad. He was using from the very beginning. If he hadn’t been using, he prob would of noticed something was up with you and your wife, of maybe your wife wouldn’t have wanted to leave him. My point is, it was the addiction and the depression that comes from abusing drugs like that, and it’s a viscous cycle, He let it define who he was, and the drug came first in his life, that’s what addiction does to a person. Hate the addiction buddy, you didn’t drive your friend to this. I lost my dad to suicide, and my partner of 15 years just up and died from a heart attack one night. I know the blame game. It’s not your fault. It was just his time, his fate. We are powerless against God’s will, and we have to accept it and hope that our loved ones are in heaven waiting for us. God looks past all the deeds in your life and sees the good, the very best parts of you. I know my words aren’t helping you, because I have the same problem, I can’t shake the guilt I feel. I heard a noise, and didn’t go to see what it was, and found my poor sweet Dennis dead on his back. He looked afraid and alone, and I left him there for 10 minutes while I continued to play video games instead of checking on him. No one will ever be able to convince me that I didn’t let him down, or that I couldn’t have saved him. If I had gone right away, I could have saved him. The coroner stayed with me the night he died because I was so upset and he was worried I might harm myself. He told me that he’s seen a lot of death in his line of work, and that he truly believes that when someone dies, it’s because it was their time. And there’s nothing we could have done to change that. It gives me at least some comfort, when I will myself to believe it’s true. I wish the best. I’m so sorry for your loss man.

      1
    • nick  July 7, 2019 at 5:53 am Reply

      hai there i can relate to your post. My ex boyfriend/bff for life had long distance relationship for the past 1 year. We had been together for the past 7 years. So during the last 1 year before his death our relation become a bit distance as i was busy with work and subsequently get to know other guys. At the same time we are still communicating almost daily via text and call. Little that i know he get into drug and last may i lost him due to pneumonia.. He was very thin. He told me it was because he stressed with his busy daily routine and work. I only knew he was with drugs when its too late. I asked him why. He said because he was jelous and lonely there. I still cant bear the guilt. How i wish i could offer him stay with me and get rest for few months when i saw him become thinner. However i couldnt turn back the clock even if i killed myself. People say its his time.

      1
  144. Nique  July 2, 2019 at 4:35 pm Reply

    My dad passed away a week ago and if I was a better daughter he may still be alive. He had a lack of appetite and scheduled an appt with his primary doctor. My sister went with him and I was relieved to find out it was diabetes. Unfortunately after the first 2 weeks after his diagnosis his appetite was not improving and he was getting weaker. He wanted help, so we just tried to change things up. The week before he died I brought home fish which he loves and he still didn’t eat it. I tried to get him to swap snacks for more nutritional foods. The Friday I called back the doctors office to complain that he isn’t showing any improvement, what was really going on and what tests were done. I was shocked that there was no notes that he had any trouble eating and only info on the blood test the revealed that he was diabetic, plus he didnt even see the doctor just the nurse practitioner. That same week I mentioned the emergency room and he was not happy about that so the next step was to make an earlier doctors appt. The following Monday he was saying he didn’t feel like himself, he felt weaker. The Tuesday morning I was prepared to change his doctor and get him an appt that same week. I woke up late and heard him wake up, then saw him go back to sleep. I wanted to wake him up but I left him alone to sleep. I called him at 10am to let him know I was making the appointment but he didn’t answer. I called the doctor’s office and went off on them until I got a Thursday early morning appt( I called on a Tuesday). I was sooooo happy that I got squeezed in so early and could finally demand someone to order whatever tests necessary to help my dad. I called him repeatedly and started freaking out only to get a call that my father passed away. All I can think about is the fact that he was alive when I left and I didn’t wake him up to check on him. I took him forgranted and assumed that he was okay, felt like he would live forever. Every morning I would wake him up or just stand over him and make sure he was breathing and tell him to have a wonderful day and that I love him. Why did I choose the most critical day to go out of character. He was depending on me to find him and call the ambulance. It just was what we always do he would wake up then go back to lay down until I was finished getting ready. It felt like a normal day. I am a sorry excuse for a daugher, I had one job and I blew it. Now its officially a week since his death and its my fault my family and his friends are so sad. I miss him so much and then I feel guilty because I caused him to die so how can I feel the way I do. I just keep replaying that morning in my head begging for a do over. He was 84 years old and the most important persom in my life, the only constant.The love he gave me I can never have again, who knew I would hurt him so bad.

    • Louisa  July 6, 2019 at 8:36 am Reply

      Dear Nique, I’m struggling with a similar situation. Tried my best for my Dad, got up early each day to check he was OK, kept track of doctor’ visits and so on. Then, he got ill, I didn’t realise, should have got him help sooner. I feel like the worst daughter. So I understand your feelings. The only things that helps is that he KNEW I was trying my best and I was there for him most of the time. It will get easier, I hope. Lots of love to you

    • Sherice  July 11, 2019 at 8:05 pm Reply

      Please don’t feel bad I would say even though I’m going through the same. It just made 3 years that my Dad passed. I blame my sister and myself. I wanted to move him to another hospital but she kept saying no. I shouldn’t of listened. He went in for a simple gall bladder infection and was supposed to be home in a week, but proceeded to get worse. Hospital has bad reputation and people were telling us to get him out of there. He kept asking to come home. I feel like I let him down and that my sister and I are to blame. With your Dad you didn’t know that would happen. It wasn’t intentional. Small or no consolation I know. What gets me through is God and tons of dreams with him being healed and whole. One dream he said he was with our mom. And knowing we’ll be reunited and that this separation is temporary.

    • Matthew Ressler  December 27, 2020 at 7:58 am Reply

      Oh Nique, i sympathize with you deeply. You DIDN’T KNOW. You just DIDN’T KNOW. It is NOT your fault, you were fighting for him, trying to get him help, because you loved him and cared about him. You just DIDN’T KNOW that morning would be different. I struggle with something similar, or even worse, as I was even given a clue that something had happened, and I was too hyper-focused on something to go check on him. I may have very well saved his life. I heard a loud THUD. Later I would learn it was his body hitting the floor. I called out to him, but didn’t get a response, so I just kept playing video games. I’ll never fully forgive myself. But the one thing I know for sure, is had I known he was in real trouble, I would have ran to him. I didn’t know.

      1
  145. Merry  June 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm Reply

    I appreciate and I am very thankful for your blessing! My baby boy will enjoy wearing it all. I am just a single mom going through a hard time right now. I was drawing unemployment until last December, and due to complications while pregnant I’m unable to work while pregnant. Every piece of money I get goes towards bills. I was so worried about items for my baby. Your gifts makes me feel alot better! Thanks again! Share your thought with finance now on your financial problem and get good interest loan today via call/whatsApp +1 4313007649

    I hope this information has helped.

    • Cat Carson  January 11, 2020 at 1:29 am Reply

      Get the FUCK out of here, scammer.

  146. Effy  May 14, 2019 at 3:19 pm Reply

    I lost my 8 year old cat to asthma 3 days ago. Actually We still don’t know what the exact reason was that he died so suddenly but We can only assume because He had been diagnosed with it 2 years ago. However, He’d been doing so great that We’d barely used his inhaler or medicines…
    So He played in the garden for an hour that day and When he came back home, I brushed him and bathed him. While I was drying him, He panted for a second but I ignored that because It sometimes happens when cats are stressed or nervous and obviously shower isn’t cats’ favorite play so I kept drying him. After that, I gave him his food and some snacks before I went to take a shower. He was waiting for me at the door and looking at me When I finished shower. I said Hi, baby, and He meowed at me walking to another bedroom. And that was the last chance to see his eyes…. I mean… It took only about ten minutes to dry my hair and put on some clothes but He was gone already on the bed When I went to see him again.
    I mostly spend time with him at home every single day and My ears are always so sharp that I literally can hear everything but How could I not hear him dying….???????? I could have saved him with his inhaler. I had a chance to save him. I know I’m not God so I can’t predict things but for god’s sake, It’s my cat. It’s my baby. How Could I not?
    I feel guilty that I couldn’t save him. I feel guilty that I ignored his panting in shower. I feel guilty that I bathed him while I know that He doesn’t like it. I feel guilty that I didn’t follow him to the bedroom. I feel like He could have lived longer if I had been there.
    I know these are not rational thoughts but I can’t stop my thoughts running around my head just like I couldn’t control all the situations that happened just a few days ago. I’m in the deepest pain but I don’t want to get rid of these terrible feelings because Maybe I want to punish myself. I know he doesn’t want it. I know He didn’t die to make me suffer but I feel so helpless. I feel like I’d feel worse if I stop blaming myself. I want to be free from this guilt but, at the same time, I don’t want to.

    • Karen  May 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm Reply

      I am so sorry for your loss. You sound like a very loving and attentive cat mom.

    • Milo  May 30, 2019 at 3:36 am Reply

      Effy, I am so sorry for your loss. I cried my heart out reading it. You and I are grieving pretty much the same, we’re not alone. My husband had a heart attack on May 20th. I found him in the bathtub, but I can’t get past the guilt as you.. Why didn’t I hear something? He said his shoulders & arms hurt, but he said it was from work. I aaked if ge wanted to go to the ER, he said no, if it gets worse he’ll make a dr appt. 3 days earlier he said he had a toothache & the dentist said they were short staffed & he had to make a appt. He said it felt alot better, so he planned to go the following week. He was 55. I keep telling myself I should have insisted he go, but honestly I know I couldn’t make him. The parametric that was here said they couldn’t have taken him even if I had called & he didn’t want to go. (The autopsy came back that he had the heart attack 3 days before he died by how much blood was filled in the sack around his heart. They said even if he would have been in a hospital he couldn’t have beeb saved). But I can’t stop feeling I should have done something, been there, anything. I hope you find the strength go get through this more peacefully. Please try to hold on to the good memories. I used to think when it’s time it’s time, now I question that & even feel wrong about that. I pray we’ll all meet those we love again in heaven, until then I hope you & I find peace here. (I told you about Mike’s autopsy, so maybe you could see maybe there was nothing you could do either.
      You know, this is the most I’ve talked (texted whatever) to anyone about this & It hurt, but I think it helped the most for me so far. Thank you.

  147. Peter  May 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm Reply

    I started to care for the neighborhood’s feral cats after my dogs died. Some are wild and others are tame and loving. Unfortunately, some people in the neighborhood poison the cats and one of the cats I had spayed vanished as well as some of the tame male cats. I was devastated and desperately wanted to take care of them but to not get too emotionally attached due to the tremendous grief I suffered by losing them. Then, one of the new cats, a female, grew attached to me and I thought of spaying her but didn’t. She became pregnant and I provided a comfortable space for her and her kittens and she was happy. Then when her kittens came of age, she would leave and occasionally come back. A few times I suspected that she had kittens in some remote place and I couldn’t confine her. The last time she came back – she was very pregnant but still rubbed her face against my foot as she did as a kitten. After that, she would come to the yard to eat but was not affectionate and she resisted my attempts to hold her. Last week she was one of the cats who were poisoned. I found some of the dead cats in my yard and I buried them. I suspect that she died where she had retreated to. Now I’m weighed down with grief and guilt for not spaying her when I had the chance. I feel she would not have had to leave as male cats would not have chased her away. Even worse, I recently starting to spay other females who were not as affectionate to me as she was and I feel even more guilty. I concluded that I deserve to feel miserable for my entire life for not taking better care of her.

    2
    • Isabel  June 6, 2019 at 5:56 pm Reply

      Peter, please try and forgive yourself. You are doing so much more than most people do for these cats, and you cannot change the world and all the dangers to them. You provided kindness to her and that is the main thing – even though now you wish you had done even more, you have done so much. I read this blog because I am really struggling also with the loss of an animal and I feel so guilty about mistakes I made and I recognise in what you wrote that you feel the same as me. I hope you feel better and recognise that you helped and cared and that is very important.

      2
  148. Mina  April 15, 2019 at 4:52 am Reply

    I lost my Cat two years ago to cancer. I wish I had seen the bump on his back earlier. When we took him to the doctor, the doctor said to do a surgery immediately and my mom didn’t agree. I cried and looked it up online and I knew it was a malignant cancer that would return almost 90 percent even with surgery. I wish we had still done the surgery earlier. I feel so dumb for having denied the matter all together with my parents. I immigrated and left my cat with my parents and when I returned I found him so sick. He was in too much pain. And I couldn’t do anything. My parents did surgeries on him without telling me first. If I knew I would have stopped them. It just inflicted more pain on him. I felt so helpless because there was nothing much I could do to stop his suffering. I miss him so much and it’s been two years but I can’t move on. I miss him more than I feel guilty. I’m sorry that he was in so much pain. I wish I could share his pain.
    They dug his grave and planted a tree there. I feel so awful that his grave was touched. I feel so disrespected. So powerless. How can I not do anything right. Why couldn’t I predict the future. It was clear already but I made the wrong choices. I have no control over anything. I feel awful. I feel like a nobody. My cat loved me unconditionally like no one else ever did. He was the closest creature to my heart that I’ve ever lost. He was so wonderful. He had a personality of a human. He was so wise and calm. I’m sorry for all the things I couldn’t control to prevent his suffering. I wish I knew. I wish I knew better.

    • Tressna Jane Martin  April 16, 2019 at 6:27 pm Reply

      Mina, I am so sorry for your loss. My beloved Tickety-Boo (border collie) died on Saturday – a horrible end to a fantastic 14 year life. He had dementia for the last 8 months and that last day, had an accident that I could have prevented. I am so wracked with guilt that sometimes I don’t know how to go on. My family has reassured me that he had a wonderful life – and yes, he did. And the times I rescued him from silly things that he did that I had no control of (like falling into a sewerage pond when chasing a rabbit!), I feel like I have betrayed him when he needed me most.
      I really feel for you and I know there’s not much I can say to help but it sounds like a lot was out of your hands. Sending you warm wishes.

      1
  149. Unknown  April 2, 2019 at 1:24 pm Reply

    I lost my mom that suffered from severe mental illness, edema in her legs and high blood pressure. I constantly
    Attempted different things with her legs to get them to go down but she refused. I would often say things like you want to die. The last doctors apointmemt she was prescribed compression stockings and for some reason i did not get them. I was thinking she was not going to wear them as usual. She died suddenly a couple of months later but we do not know why but i keep replaying in my head that i shoulda got the stockings. It is plaquing me.

  150. Walt Schaller  April 1, 2019 at 6:32 pm Reply

    I fall into the category of I Really Did Something Wrong. My 39 year old son worked with me in our family business. Over the years he struggled with alcohol and recreational drugs as well as depression and ADD and was in the midst of a divorce that he didn’t want. His alcohol and drug use never really resonated with me as I rarely saw it. At one point his wife found him on the lawn of his home from a heroin overdose from which he recovered after a Narcan injection. One year prior for his birthday my wife and me surprised him with a cooking class at a nearby resort and told him to stay a few days and enjoy himself. He didn’t want too but I insisted. He told me that was when he was first exposed to heroin. I subsequently found out from his friends he had at least two more Narcan episodes at which point I contacted his psychiatrist and family doctor to make them aware. His doctors recommended and he seemed to enthusiastically accept a rehab stint for about 4 months, going as an outpatient 3x per week. Neither his friends or myself saw him drink and he seemed to really take to it. He was very smart (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Grad), handsome, well-off, with a gregarious personality that lit up the room when he entered, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and local cat shelter, fine arts enthusiast, horticulturist, and amateur chef. I would occasionally mention the opioid crises to him and he seemed to understand. Afterall, he’s smart, right? Why would he risk his life with all that he has going for him I thought. No need to brow beat him about it, After all, he’s seeing psychiatrists and therapists who are suppose to know how to handle these situations. I might not say the right thing so I kept my mouth shut.

    One week after he is “finished” with his rehab my wife finds him dead at his home from fentanyl. My son and me would regularly go out and see each other at work but I really didn’t discuss with him the gravity of what he was doing. That was for the professionals, not his dad. Now he’s dead, they’ve removed him from their patient files and moved-on to their next billing. I left his care in the hands of others when it was my primary job.

    It doesn’t stop there. The day before he died I felt something wasn’t right. Rather than talking to him I texted his wife and said that he was speaking very nicely about someone who I know sold him drugs in the past. I said I was concerned especially since he just moved into a new home that was much closer to known drug hang-outs. I told her we need to drug test him the next time we see him. Why didn’t I tell him that rather than to the wife that is divorcing him? I think I thought she could get thru to him better than me. The night before he died he was at work and called me. I had lent him my SUV to transport flowers and he called me to let me know he had my car detailed but he had a minor accident. I flipped as it was his third accident with various cars in about 6 weeks. Mind you my SUV is 12 years old. My last words to my son were F..YOU and I slammed the phone. I texted his wife and told her that I didn’t want to see or speak to him again. Little did I know I would get my wish. The next day when no one heard from him I was driving near his home and thought I should stop in and see if he’s ok. But I didn’t because I was still mad about the bullshit accident. It wasn’t until 8 hours later my wife found him. He could have still been alive had I stopped in. No one will tell me the time of death. To make things worse, if possible, apparently someone or ones were at his house when this happened and stole his cell and ipad and left him to die.

    I could have made a difference in so many ways, any of which may have changed the outcome. Being proactive with his care, being an actual compassionate father, not taking for granted that he knows better, seriously talking with him about his issues, following my instincts to check on him. But no, I didn’t do any of those things and now he is ashes, on a shelf in my house and around my neck.

    • Anne  April 21, 2019 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Your guilt is real as any….and I beg you to understand and accept that all humans are very frail and often make mistakes. This was beyond your control and it seems unlikely anything you did or didn’t do was going to change outcomes. Drug addiction is extremely powerful and often wins against our frailties. I am not a praying person, however, you are in my thoughts and I hope you will find relief in time, you are doubly suffering and it’s a torture you don’t deserve. Be well, your love shines through, it rises above human frailty.

    • Laci kifer  May 30, 2019 at 12:48 am Reply

      Walter,

      I feel like our stories are so similar. My husband just passed away on the 7th and I have so much guilt over the way it happened. Like your son, my husband battled drug addiction the whole 10 years we were together. He woke me up one morning mad about unimportant things such as dishes and laundry almost like he just wanted to argue about something. I immediately took offense and we started to argue I told him I wanted him to move out and also during the argument had made the huge mistake of telling him to go die. I have never said that to him before and still can’t believe nor understand why I had said something so terrible. I left to take our kids out to eat, came home and he was gone. He returned home two days later on a Monday to pick up some clothes and by that point I was furious for multiple reasons. One being that I learned he had spent all of our money when rent was due and that he was still high. I made him leave and never saw him alive again. Later that same night he had been admitted to the hospital and then to jail. He was released from Jail Tuesday afternoon in a town an hour from our home. He was struck by two vehicles and killed and like you now all I have is an urn and a necklace full of ashes. I have done nothing but stay consumed with guilt over what I could have done differently.

    • Matthew Ressler  December 27, 2020 at 8:29 am Reply

      Walter, I’m going to tell you what my sister has told me over and over again, and it actually helps(my story is above). YOU DID NOT KNOW. You’re blaming yourself for the way you behaved, but you fact is, YOU DIDNT KNOW HE HAD OD’d. Anyone in your shoes would have been angry about another wrecked car. It’s only feeling awful to you because our brains have this way of tricking us into somehow making completely legitimate behaviors and responses that occurred seem like heartless, neglectful, even cruel. But the simple fact of the matter is YOU JUST DIDNT KNOW. I think sometimes it helps to think about what you would have done, had you known. You know you would have done everything in your power to save him if you knew he was in trouble. But you didn’t. I know that doesn’t wash it away. I can’t imagine the anguish of losing a child. It is not in the correct order of things, it goes against our very nature, because our instinct being that we are their protector. But you didn’t kill your son. Drugs did. And you had no way of knowing that it would kill him that day. Hate the drugs, the addiction, but for God’s sake, don’t blame yourself. No one knew it was going to happen. That’s all there is to it.

  151. Anonymous  March 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Just woke crying from a dream of my brother again, searched my guilt and found this article. Thank you so much. He died nearly 3 years ago of undiagnosed cancer. He lived with me for the last few years and I feel constant guilt that I didn’t try hard enough to get him to the doctor. I talked to him, asked him to go because he was having symptoms of something I thought might be Lyme disease or MS but never suspected cancer till the pathology report came back. He wouldn’t go until it was too late, and I torment myself constantly with guilt over not alerting our other two brothers, thinking maybe they could have convinced him to go. My rational mind knows he knew he was sick, didn’t want chemo, and probably wouldn’t have gone anyway. I just wish I’d tried. My oldest two siblings drop subtle hints that I’m to blame, and I’m just now realizing how toxic that is. My brother would hate it. But my relationship with them has always been rocky and I think they’re just using my guilt to hurt me more, and to unleash their guilt at treating him less than kindly at times. I can walk away from them, but I can’t walk away from my own guilt. I should also mention that we’re all well into adulthood and were when this happened. He wasn’t challenged in any way and knew himself that he was sick. Anyway, I’m rambling and I have to cook our holiday dinner so I’ll wrap it up. My takeaway idea from this article is to turn my guilt into sharing with others about acting on your instincts and not dismissing things if you feel a loved one is ill and may not seek care. To try as hard as you can to get them the help they need. That I can do. Thank you so much again for writing this.

    1
    • His sister  March 31, 2019 at 3:53 pm Reply

      I lost my brother a week ago. He was an indigent and I was embarrassed by him. He only ever called when he needed something. Our mother recently passed away and I also made him feel bad because he would always make excuses for not visiting. She could no longer give him money and she was always his great enabler. My guilt is that I did not accept my brother for who he was. Although I would have fought off anyone that I knew would intentionally hurt him. But I hurt him but making him feel less than. I paid for his cremation but this does not remove the guilt. I shoulda, coulda have done so much more. The way you make a person feel comes back at you with a vengeance when you no longer have the capacity to right your wrongs. Reading everyone talk about their guilt doesn’t do much for me right now to ease mine. This story is so much longer, but even the good I tried to do for him just doesn’t seem to matter to ease the pain. I am the last of my parents legacy.

  152. Helen McAllister  March 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm Reply

    It was NOT your fault, Annette. You didn’t do anything wrong at all. If it was a massive heart attack, he would have died whether you had been there or not, and he probably died instantly – you couldn’t have reached him before he left you. I am sure he would NOT want you to be unhappy about this. He loved you, so he would want you to be happy, not guilty. And you will feel better in time. Take care.

  153. Jerry  February 12, 2019 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Lost my beautiful, intelligent and wonderful wife in
    July, 2018. Married for 54 years and she was responsible for everything meaningful in my life.
    She had occasional cough for quite a while that went away with cough medicines until finally went to see doctor in January of 2016. He dismissed her complaint as something that was going around and prescribed stronger cough medicine. Seven months later she saw the doctor again who ordered a CT scan that showed “bric-a-brac” as he called it in one lung and that we could go on our vacation and see a pulmonologist the following month. It turned out to be inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer by that point and she started chemotherapy. She lasted 22 months and suffered mightily toward the end.
    I am haunted with guilt for not getting a second opinion for her and insisting that her doctor order a CT scan when he saw her the previous January. Given that she was a two-time cancer survivor from different cancers, the doctor and I should have been more circumspect . I am a retired health professional but not experienced in lung cancer. My wife may have expected me to protect her and I feel that I failed her. I don’t see how I can ever get over this guilt .

    • Eric  April 6, 2019 at 4:45 pm Reply

      You should not feel guilt. Certainly not over the issue of her medical care. You did the best you could given what you knew, and as a friend told me in similar circumstances, rather it was her responsibility. I assure you she was trying to find out what was going on via internet and doctors visits. If the Doctors are not finding it and her own persistence are not making the connections the how would you? As my Brother in Law told me- “you are not god and you are not a doctor…you need to stop blaming yourself”. It seems harsh, but we are adults and should know our own needs. Like you, I had gone through a lot of guilt over the notion that it was my responsibility. It was not.

      I do understand though and every day still some how seems an eternity of despair. I think of how fantastic she was and what a
      foolish man I often was. She was my light and my reason for persisting, and as you said “she was responsible for everything meaningful in my life” though I seldom really realized it.

      In my case, I think there are other matters that I failed her in (it is human). I can not see going forward without her, but perhaps I can quietly love well in the broader sense of loving those whom remain in our families and friends.

      • Eric  April 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

        I assure you she was trying to…. I am speaking here of my wife. I imagine in a broad sense it likely applied to your wife.

      • Sharon  April 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm

        I know exactly how you feel. I let my long term partner of 21 years down too. He was wonderful to me, unusually so, when I hear often from friends how other men treat their partners,…he did everything for me and was always there for me. I realise now just how much I deeply loved him, but I just never realised this when he was here. I took him for granted because he was so kind and caring and always there for me, Now it’s too late to tell him how i now realise how much I love him. He was ill and I didn’t realise either. When he finally went to the hospital walk in, it was too late. He had liver cancer, spread to the lungs, and although I was there for him 24 hours from that point, as it was then that I realised how much I loved him, we only had just over a week left as he came home with no treatment possible. All that is a blur as I was numb. I don’t even remember us talking, just me trying to care for him.Now I’m ridden with guilt at not realising how much I loved him. And he will never know how much I loved him.

      • ted  October 11, 2019 at 1:09 pm

        Sharon, I came across your post. My wife of more than 30 years passed away in early August 2019. Your time together after your husband’s diagnosis was so short. We had many months together after she was diagnosed with cancer but it was still too short. I am struggling with similar issues about the final few years of our relationship. We were both somewhat unhappy in the marriage but stayed together and like you I cared for her until the end. I am struggling with guilt about things I should have said or not said, done or not done over the years before she became ill and am now blaming myself for her unhappiness. It has been six months since your husband passed away. Does it get easier? Did you go for couselling? Did it help?

  154. Jim Smith  February 10, 2019 at 10:09 pm Reply

    I was a bad son. It’s hard to own up to that. I’m sure growing up watching my father being extremely loud and verbally abusive towards my mother did not help, but now I blame myself. My last chance at being happy and moving on is to acknowledge that anger and irrational behaviour is a symptom of something much deeper. While I feel more aware of myself and can stop myself from certain impulses I feel like the root cause is still not being addressed and am still capable.

    Before I continue let me catalogue what and when my anger is unleashed, and how my anger is displayed. Along with other issues that may play a role in holding me back from progressing.

    * verbal abuse towards women – not random women or acquaintances and/or friends, or short term girlfriends. My mom(now deceased) and the two long-term very much in love relationships. The abuse always starts after an event(s) where I feel betrayed.

    *trust issues – Very hard to trust people, especially women. It’s what keeps me alone, I seem to take comfort in being alone knowing I wont be lied to.

    *type of verbal abuse – extreme name calling followed by extreme sorrow and apologetic behaviour. I emulate my father and maybe even exceed him especially now with texting. I’ll find anything that makes them feel ugly and worthless and repetitively go with that until anger subsides and sorrow sets in. Then I ask for forgiveness.

    *substance abuse / addiction – Smoked a lot of weed in my teens(no longer smoke) but feel like it had made me paranoid and enforced my feelings of suspicion which increased my likeliness of anger.
    Gambling is an ongoing crisis, the guilt and unworthiness that comes with knowing you’re broke and cannot even take your girlfriend out for dinner increases my likelihood of anger and frustration. Will belittle someone I love because of how weak I am.

    Bullied at school – this one is a little bit obscure and uncertain(not sure if it classifies as bullying or just bad judgement on my part) and has taken some real reflection. By no means was I an easy target or the kid who everyone bullied. However I seemed to overly find the need to be accepted with the cool kids and with that came name calling, being taken advantage of, embarrassing moments.

    *extreme laziness and uncleanliness- don’t know the root of this but cleaning up after myself is extremely difficult. Has been all my life. To say it is a tedious task is an understatement. I’d rather live in my own filth then take a few moments to clean. Let me put it this way. It’s to the point where family and friends cannot enter my home, I wont let them. Where I work I’m constantly cleaning and organizing so it’s not that I can’t. For some reason I choose to not take pride where I live.. its become very overwhelming and embarrassing for me.

    Now that I’ve gone over some of the shit I deal with let me go in even more detail. Just to clarify, I don’t feel like a bad person, but there is DEFINITELY baggage that has not been dealt with for a long time, and as a symptom has caused me to act bad towards people I care about.

    31 years ago I entered the world and come from a good loving family. Was always a bit of a mommas boy -aunts and uncles tell me how I was mommy coddled, she did everything for me and as an only child I was her number one. She was extremely thoughful of others, affectionate, honest, had a large circle around her and all were people she judged on character never on superficial means. Hard working, independent, punctual, everything.
    My father – a tall and intimidating figure, very opinionated and loud. His scope of perspective is narrow and if something is not done to his liking he can turn nasty. He has a special ability of turning extremely irritable for a disagreement on something so minute. He can have a good sense of humour, will lend a helping hand, but his loudness and lack of filter in my opinion drives people away. He can be lazy and will often find excuses to miss work. The ideal day for him is sitting on the couch reading the paper, watching TV, and not having his buttons pushed( very hard to not do) I believe my mom fell in love with him for his figure and toughness which brought security, and she seen he does have a softer side so thought she was getting best of both worlds. Much of his anger I experienced growing up, he took it all out on my mom and I. Calling me stupid, a piece of shit, dumb, constantly belittling me. “Why cant you be smart like your friends!” “Youre a fucking disgrace” many nights alone in my room in tears asking myself why was I incapable of doing the right thing. Actually believing what he was calling me. Family now tell me they think he was jealous (which makes no sense) that my mom showed so much attention to me. Then how he treated mom.. “stupid bitch” “where were you today? Sucking cock you fucking whore?” “Worthless bitch”
    If she was out he would sometimes make me wait with him in the living room until she arrived home to unleash a scene of name calling – mind you this is all done with extreme loudness that just intensifies the fear.

    Only now do I realize how my mother must have felt and what it did to her mental health, and mind I guess…

    At age 13 my mother built up the courage to leave him. This was the first time I felt betrayed. I was young and did not understand… my dad convinced me to stay with him and it felt like she left me, like I was nothing to her anymore. My father did not make things easier and now I had to live with him and his bullshit and tend to his needs when he would be crying and pleading to himself for mom to come back. “Don’t worry dad im her and mom will come back” at this point I knew things I could and could not say to protect myself from constant verbal harassment, it still occured obviously . In the following months I slowly started spending time with my mom. This is when things turned very bad for us. I emulated my father very much, “fuck you bitch i hope you die” “hope youre proud of leaving us” “i fucking hate you” mom remained very patient with me and tried so hard to explain but it never got through to me. The anger seemed to always win. She bought a loft downtown and slowly i started spending more time with her.
    Let me add that I stopped trying in school altogether, failed nearly every course, skipped all my classes, smoked weed daily, always playing video games, isolating myself from outside world and locking the door to my room. All this further escalated the relationship with my mom but she remained patient. If she dare ridiculed me or my poor behaviour i dished it out 1000000x worse, and made her feel worthless to the point of tears. This is the start of my guilt and pain that haunts me, some time would lapse and i would visit her in her room to find her still crying. I would apologize and we would have such heartfelt moments crying in eachothers arms. This was a cycle… a vicious cycle that followed me for 12 long years. So its highschool and im spending the week with my father and weekends with my mother… my father never let me leave the house so i had no social life… but after realizing i can actually go out and experience the world and make friends and meet girls and make my own choices its no surpise i called him up and said i want to permanently live with mom. It was a painful call and distinctly remember feeling terrified for my wellbeing that at any moment he would show up… he is all bark and no bite my father…says shit without thinking. “Im gonna grab you from school” had to spend the weekend at my cousins because I was scared.

    So fast forward to 18 years old. I have a close knit group of friends some of whom ive known for years since elementary even. Still trying to fit in with people who i was just not compatible with but none the less enjoying life.. going to clubs, bars, events, and finally meet a great girl. We connected and she initiated everything, gave me her number, insisted we go out…. at the time i was more eager to lose the V card and that I did(woot) didnt plan to have a relationship with her and I knew she had experience before me but after a couple months we made it official. Everything was great. Until she lied to me… see I do have a big heart and try to forgive people but really in hindsight I shoukd have maybe called the quits at this point. She said she was out with girlfriends but later found out she was with some guys( people I knew but not close to) i flipped and broke up w her. She cried and pleaded and I took her back(stupid) after that I never trusted her… any phone call she had I was sure from another guy. “Who are you texting?” “Where are you going?” “What are you doing?” And slowly the name calling and emulating my father came to life… to the point of her crying, then asking her for forgiveness. She was close with my mother and my family all loved her. Everyone tried to tell me they think she is loyal and she pleaded lots, but I could never believe her. For three years we went back and forth until she finally ended it and I was heartbroken. Stupidly trying to get her back with constant messages followed by angry hurtful messages. It took months for me to sizzle down and slowly got back to normal. To this day I think of her and what could have been, and the guilt of verbal abuse, cheating on her numerous times(thinking it was okay because if she was untrustworthy it would make me feel less bad) having her friends sleep over at my place on her birthday without her knowing..mainly the verbal abuse.

    I dropped out of school at 18 and started to work construction(abatement work) and was making good money. This is also when my gambling career started and started going paycheque to paycheque to feed the addiction. It became a talking point for family as they all knew my problem but it didnt matter to me because i lived with mom and always had a roof over my head and food to eat. I ended up going to gamblers anonymous but it never did anything… must have not worked the program accordingly because after meetings I would just hop on the computer to play poker.
    Work became more tedious and with depression from losing my money set it in i started missing more days. Went for multiple leave of absences to collect unemployment and gamble it away.

    Now I’m 22 and finally the urge to gamble is not as strong. Im going out more, chasing tail and have many good memories through this time. Meeting people, have different clicks of friends, my gym buddies, friends from growing up, work friends… some girlfriends but mainly one night stands… get drunk/fuck see ya later.. but Was always scared to get heavily involved and risk getting hurt and allowing my anger to show itself… so many good memories in the years 22-25. Social wise that is. The vicious cycle and unhealthy relationship with my mom still existed but I isolated myself when not out as much as possible to prevent tension.

    Now for the real hard times…and the events that unfolded from this experience has changed my life. It’s February 4th – monday night, im headed to the movies with some friends and go say bye to my mom. Shes on the phone talking to her mom, on the ground in agonizing pain, she had pain leading up to this but I never seen her like that.. they kept telling us it’s gastritis but I told her “mom no way I’m going out let me take you to emerg” i havent told this to anyone but a few weeks prior in a huge temper tantrum i said something so horrible it fucking haunts me(amongst countless other events) i told her I hope the pain is cancer… i remember the look at me as if to say “you know what son, while i hope not, i think it is” i quickly alologized and assured her it’s nothing serious don’t worry. After that comment we actually were on good terms. We had an exceptionally memorable moment together that i cherish leading up to February 4th. The city was hit by an ice storm and everything had a inch thick sheet of ice around it. The trees and branches and everything looked beautiful. We spent time together taking pictures of everything. Then I took some pictures of her. We took pictures together. In a time of harsh conditions we had a moment of pure zen. Thats all she ever wanted my mom, complete zen.
    We are in emerg and my mother is in a fetal position on the chair trying anything to ease the pain while I’m begging the staff to assist her she needs help. It felt like an eternity but eventually we were assured it was a non-serious condition and she most likely had stool backed up causing pain, but wanted her in the following day for tests.

    I was up all night begging a higher power for her to be okay, but nothing was okay. It was my worst nightmare. “The results show some spots on your liver and this appears to be cancer” “you need to come in for a catscan, but it does not look good”
    At this point im fucking losing it and everything is going a mile a second praying that the charts are wrong “maybe its a mix up” i