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

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Litsa Williams


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. You know us – trying to educate the world on how not to piss off a griever, one blog post at a time.

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.

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

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  1. 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.

    • 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. 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

    • 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    • 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

  6. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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

  8. 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?

    1
  9. 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
  10. 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

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    • 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.

  11. 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.

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  12. 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….

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    • 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/

  13. 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.

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  14. 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!

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  15. 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.

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  16. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

  17. 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.

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  18. 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.

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    • 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,

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  19. 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 🙁

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  20. 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.

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    • 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 🙏🏻

  21. 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.

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  22. 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.

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  23. 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.

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  24. 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.

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  25. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

  26. 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.

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  27. 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.

    • Susie Mulholland Porlier  March 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm Reply

      Concerned friend. I was “Carlton” and I had the affair on my husband. I ultimately left my husband John and married the man I had the affair with. John raised my two daughters, ashley and erika. John loved them like they were his own flesh and blood. When they were 17 and 15 I found out I was pregnant. John and I had a son, TJ – TJ is now 17.

      For years and years I was SO SELFISH, justifying and trying to make a new life for me. And although my 3 step bonus daughters and their families mean the world to me, it was NOT worth the pain, separation and grief my selfish actions brought to so many, many people.

      1997- I met John
      Feb 28th, 1998 I married John
      July 1999 – I started the affair, later discovered my daughter Ashley
      **off and on I would see the man I was having the affair with. He married another woman during this time and later divorced**
      Jan 12, 2003 – TJ was born- my son with John

      Nov, 2006- John and I divorced.

      The man I had the affair with…we were dating on and off.
      EVERYONE, and I’m not exaggerating told me to get out of the relationship….it was toxic and unhealthy.
      Yet, in my stubbornness and selfish way…I continued.

      2012 – I married the affair man
      2019- I filed for divorce from affair man

      **During this time John forgave me….BUT THIS IS THE WORST PART…..

      About 1 1/2 yrs ago John was diagnosed with bladder cancer that spread.
      God brought us back together….I am still not divorced, but I told John I would take care of him and our son.

      22 days ago, March 8, 2020 -our son TJ…after church TJ and I went to help his dad because he was sick and couldn’t do a lot. I stayed and John and I talked about the future with Ashley, Erika , TJ and the grandkids…now mind you I am separated and going through the divorce with the man I robbed my son and his father of 14 years with….

      19 days ago, March 11, 2020 – I took john for his new chemo treatment. He was not breathing well…however, at the time we had NO idea what would happen over the next few weeks.

      I promised John I would take care of him, he was so kind and loving…he STILL loved me till the end….a love I DID NOT DESERVE.

      Because of Covid19 -I was not allowed to stay at the hospital with him and the last time I saw john up and talking was on Friday March 20,2020.

      Tuesday, March 24, John was put on a ventilator…NOT because of Covid 19 – I begged the hospital to let me hold his hand and let his son be with him. And they did.
      THANK YOU MISSOURI BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER.

      At 2:25pm on March 24, 2020 – John took his last breath and entered into Heaven.

      I found this blog or whatever, because I AM ENGULFED WITH GRIEF AND REGRET OVER MY SELFISH LIFE CHOICES.

      I normally dont’ read comments and things, but there is no doubt in my mind that God wanted me to to go this website and read your note. I will pray that Carlton will see and know it’s he will not be happier in the affair. I have printed out your comment and I will not stop praying that my situation will help someone else.

      I would give ANYTHING TO HAVE JOHN BACK. FOR MY SON TO HAVE HIS DAD. FOR MY GIRLS TO HAVE THEIR POPPIE, FOR JOHN’S MOM, BROTHERS AND SISTER-IN-LAWS TO HAVE HIM BACK. For all of our friends.

      John just wanted to see our son graduate next may 2021, and that is all my son wanted.
      It’s too late…..John did not deserve what I did to him.

      Marriage is hard, no matter what….what happens leading up to the “affair” is between the husband and wife…BUT when one steps OUT of the marriage and has the affair…its on them..(me!)

      Trust me, the guilt, regret and anguish over the affair is so devastating…it is all I can do to get up each day.
      I can not take back what I did, I can not make it right like I want to…I hope this helps…death is final.

      Even when he was dying, I couldn’t say enough how sorry I was for hurting him, for the affair, I told him I loved him and I do.
      In John’s cancer & death I learned what love is….and believe me it’s not some steamy lust affair…!!
      Through God’s Grace I will have to learn how to live each day for our son….each day, it’s hard to get out of bed.

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    • 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…

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    • 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…..

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  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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  31. 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.

    • 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.

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  32. 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.

    • 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

    • 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!!!

      1
    • 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.

      1
  36. 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.

  37. 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.

    4
    • 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.

  38. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      1
  39. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 ❤️

  40. 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…

  41. 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.

    • 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.

      1
    • 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.

  42. 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.

    • 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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.

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

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

    • 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) 😇😊😉

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  50. 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

  51. 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. .

  52. 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.

    • 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.

  53. 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.

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  55. 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.

  56. 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
  57. 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
  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

    • 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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?

  63. 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” its february 6th now(Wednesday) and my mom comes in and I just knew…

    before I continue let me make a quick note: the relationship with my father is not great but im older now and not afraid to speak up. My mom being the saint she is also knew i need a father figure and through her patience and determination found a way to build a friendship for my sake. She still cared for him, but now she didnt have to live with his shit, and he knew if he acted up we would both just say fuck off. She could have taken everything from him but never went after a single penny, money never drove her. She went as far as to buy a plot for them both for when his time comes(hopefully 100 years from now)

    Its the evening on the 6th and my immediate family arrives. I had no shame to be a 25 year old kid crying like crazy clinging to my mom for dear life. It was a hectic time.
    “Pancreatic cancer – 3-6 months” thats it… pain control is only option. I’m a complete mess and lost…I knew what a piece of shit I was and if ever there was a time To pay my mom back and be attentive, now is the time. I couldnt let her be in a hospice and by the grace of god and help of family doctors we receiveda palliative care group to take care of her at home. My aunt also stayed. The first week or two was rather eventful with me taking her to the bank, lawyer… all to get things in order for me(her mind was all on me) then she could worry about having this pain subside with help of hydrocodone and other painkillers prescribed. The lawyer and his assistant were both in tears as my mother and i signed papers while we heavily weeped.. she said “everything ive ever had is yours, you need to be smart”

    After the business was done she started on the meds “maybe just half mom and see how you feel, i dont want you dazed and confused because this is strong”
    “Okay” she replied
    It seemed to work and i began to feel optimistic of some sort of miracle…
    “‘Maybe a half a pill every few hours and she can live for years….hell maybe she can be a candidate for a new procedure at that time”
    My mom was more realistic and told me not to cling onto false hope and this is just life.

    My employer was extremely supportive in this time and paid me 3/4 wage while i stayed home looking after mom with my aunt and palliative care.

    It was a stressful time full of a lot of sadness, it’s hard to put in words but we actually bonded a lot in this time. We talked and talked, i wanted to know everything about her life and growing up and she told me memories of her childhood and how she grew up to be who she was, her trials and tribulations.. im soaking it all in but also saying to myself why the fuck am i doing this now.. i slowly started to see my mom drift in and out of awareness but with some effort and fight on both our parts she would engage like normal. One night I decide to hit the gym and relieve some stress. When I got home it was silent…by this point my mom said she wanted no more family and friends to visit, only immediate family. I go to her room which was lightly dimmed, my aunt, grandmother(her mom) and my father are sitting just watching her. I look at my mom and the image of her in that moment is engraved in my memory and haunts me. Heavily sedated, staring at the ceiling, jaw dropped, cheeks sunken. I became drunk with the sudden realization that this is going to happen… my mom is going to die. – i made everyone leave the room and stated “everyone should leave now I want mom to get some sleep” i covered the blanket for her to keep warm, kissed her goodnight and shut the lights.
    I never thought Id be taking care of my mother like this and honestly felt if anything shed be burying her son before she passed. I would bring her breakfast, feed her, my aunt would administer most of the medicine instructed by the palliative care and would clean her. A few times though I offered to wash her and these are more moments that haunt me but at the same time felt this was a responsibility as a son and I knew she was fragile so would gently lift her, slowly guide her to the shower, remove her clothing, sit her down on the bench we purchased and cleansed her… “i dont want my hair to get wet” i found that funny how she was still in tune at times and it was such a girl thing to say. “You have a hot date or something?” I replied. “She giggled”
    “Maybe if it’s nice out tomorrow i can go for a walk ?”
    “Of course mom ! Anything if you feel up for it”

    Its been 7 weeks now since diagnosis and mom is completely out of it, brief moments of speech but not making much sense. No surpise given the cocktail of pain meds administered, morphine, hydro codone, other shit i can’t pronounce. I asked the nurse “howcome i see her trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night?” I stayed with her all night so To be close and thought maybe she just needed to go to the bathroom… but she would just wander. The nurse told me this is close to the end my dear, it’s partly the drugs but that is an indication she will die soon.

    March 23rd now. 9pm. A commotion is heard on the intercom we setup to hear if something is wrong. My father and grandmother are with mom while my aunt and i are just laying down in the living room. My aunt did lots in this time and forever grateful. We rushed upstairs and mom was gasping for air . I held her hand and looked at her in the eyes crying hysterically and repeating how much I love her, but please just let go you will be okay just let go. And that was it.

    The moment after she died I quit crying, I called family and they came over. Some friends of mine as well and other close friends of my moms. The crying subsided at this point until after the funeral, only one outburst when the priest said she wanted it to be known how much she loved her son and the family wanted it to be known that her son helped take care of her until her death.

    After everything was finished and taken care of I returned home. This is when the shit really sets in. Crying myself to sleep every night, having some company and allowing me to cry even more and exhaust skme of the shit thats been going on the last couple months. It was all so surreal. It felt like a dream.

    5 years is coming up and things have not gotten better. I live with intense guilt and grief and still hold onto a house that I cannot afford, going cheque to cheque indulging in appetites of gambling, harder drugs, and paying bills. I went through another rough relationship that was a mirror of the first(thought the anger would have died after losing mom) racking up debt, and holding a very stressful job running a warehouse for a construction company. The house is a complete disaster. My moms room is untouched with everything left as is. The medical waste basket still there, the bucket of expired vials of morphine and other drugs. Its so unhealthy for me to look at. She would want me to sell and live a better life and find a woman to start a family and just be who she wanted me to be. My family pleads with me but Im too stubborn. How the fuck could I sell tbis place i should have been helping her while she was alive and maybe if i made her life less stressful she would still be with us…with me. I fucking miss her so much!!!! I can never make up for what ive done and things ive said and even though I knew she knew i didnt mean the shit i said and just wants me to be a good person. I just cannot allow myself to move on…i appreciate more than ever everything she did for me now that i see all the work that goes into managing a home. Im so skinny and eat so poorly people are even bringing it to my attention… its so embarrassing… i told my cousin i dont think ill live to see 35, but at least the mortgage will be paid by then.

    I know nobody will read this entire novel but i need help and dont know where to start or what to do. It seems that theres no light at the end of the tunnel and im just waiting to die alone, sad, miserable and its not what I want!

    Love you mom forever im so sorry

    • Anne  February 11, 2019 at 6:26 pm Reply

      Dear Jim,
      I read your heartbreaking story till the end. It’s clear, to me, you are a kind and sensitive person. You had a very poor childhood experience. Your father was a bad role model, and you’re a victim of this. It is not your fault you have sometimes behaved in a similar way to your father…….you learnt this behaviour by from him, when he should have been nurturing you and protecting you and your mother.
      You are a sweetheart, and I really hope you’re able to get some counselling to help you recover from the emotional trauma you have so unfairly been subjected to. You cared for your Mum admirably when she was dying. You are an amazing young man. We all make mistakes. When someone has a childhood where they are frightened by a parent who is unreliable, selfish and nasty, they’re unable to experience a proper childhood. It’s not possible to grow into an emotionally balanced adult, if you miss out on a proper childhood. Good parenting nurtures and guides children whilst they grow up feeling good about themselves, and feeling loved unconditionally, with the knowledge that their parent (s) will always support them to achieve their dreams and ambitions. You didn’t grow up in this environment, and this is the reason you are struggling with life. I really hope you can reach out and find a counsellor who can help you. Looking after your Mum like you did, is the most amazing thing I have ever heard. You should be really proud of yourself. Please don’t feel guilty. I don’t want to invalidate your feelings, but you had a traumatic childhood, and you nursed your dear Mum when she needed you more than ever before.
      Jim you are a great guy with a kind heart. Please don’t beat yourself up about regrets. Please talk to a counsellor. The emotional trauma you have experienced is huge, and you need a trained counsellor to help you. EMDR is very effective. You can google it. You might think EMDR sounds strange but it works. Please, please try to get some help from a professional as soon as you can sweetheart.
      With much love and very best wishes,
      Anne Xx

    • Cat Carson  January 11, 2020 at 1:42 am Reply

      Yeah, dude. You’re right. You were, still are, and probably always will be self-absorbed and awful.

      You suck.

  64. Veronica  February 9, 2019 at 2:17 pm Reply

    I had an affair two years ago and lied repeatedly to my husband. He begged me to come back and did all he could to save the marriage and family( my son was 4). I was completely cold and heartless. When I turned around and asked for his forgiveness, it was too late. He was determined to get a divorce. He was a perfect husband and had always taken care of me with so much love and dedication. I took everything for granted and now I have lost everything that matters to me. He no longer loves me but is still kind and doing what’s best for our kids. I regret what I did everyday and wish I could turn back time and undo everything. I will never find anyone as amazing as him and I will have to live with the consequences of my behavior for the rest of my life.

  65. Rex  February 5, 2019 at 10:21 am Reply

    My boyfriend passed away suddenly November 11, 2018.. He had been on benzos for depression and was an alcoholic (which I didnt realize until it was too late).. I begged him many times not to drink because of his meds, knowing the combination could be fatal. We had been together for 6 years. At the time of his death we were going through a very rough patch that had been lasting for months.. he was becoming paranoid, wasnt sleeping or eating.. acting agressively… he would not let me take him to the hospital after being hit by a car 1 month before he died.. I pleaded with him to go, begged him to talk to his drs about the symptoms he was expreiencing, and begged him to stop the drinking.. he never listened to me.. we had gotten into a huge fight the day before he died, and he called me to apologize, tell me he loved me, and have a good day…i told him, ok and i love you too.. he had been saying he was suicidal for months.. he was in pain and wanted it to end.. i just wanted him to be happy.. he had a mental illness which wasnt being treated properly, PTSD from an abusive childhood, and issues with substance abuse.. he was tormented with his thoughts and feelings. i loved him more then life itself and i couldnt help him or save him. the coroner said it was an accidental overdose as there is a difference in the amount of meds taken between a true suicide and an OD. knowing the things he said to me about wanting to kill himself, i pray that it really was accidental.. i dont think he wouldve left me like that.. he wouldve left a note or something had he intended to go through with it. so i hope. the last few months had been so hard for us.. with ours being a LDR and my work schedule, and the fact that we was on parole and didnt drive, it was very hard to spend the time we wanted together. and sometimes, to be honest, i didnt want to spend time with him because of how he began to act and the fact that i didnt like him when he drank.. i feel guilty for all of that. he needed me and i wasnt there. i had had thoughts of breaking up with him the day before when we had that awful fight. i try not to think about it too much. i begged him to talk to his drs, i wanted him to help himself. i wanted him to stand on his own feet and take control of his life but he just couldnt.. and i didnt realize how bad it really was until it was too late. i wish i had realized and been able to do more to help him..

    • Sally garcia  April 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm Reply

      Your story sounds like mine. Me and my bf known eachother for 6 years but officially together for 5 years and 2 months. My bf was on probation when i first met him and he was amazing. He became my bestfriend, my lover, my companion, my soulmate, and everything else. He had his own place and i had mine with my 2 boys. I wanted him to move in with us but he was very wary. After his probation was up he started drinking and that’s when i found out he was a alcoholic. I tried many times to help him.
      We would only spend time mostly Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. Most of the weekends he would get all tore up from drinking and apologized the next day and tell me he wouldn’t do that any more
      That went on for along time. Then i buy a house and i ask him to move in with me because his lease is going to end and surprisingly he agreesl but not untill the beginning of October 2018. So one night in September. ..i think the 21st of sept. 2018 I get a phone call from the E R that my “husband” is in ICU because he had fallen inside a restaurant from drinking to much and cracked his head open. I go the next day to visit him and possibly take him home and it was horrifying to see him restrained to the bed with a tube down his mouth. I was glad he was going to be ok and i thought for sure he learned his lesson and was going to stop drinking. We ended up at my house so i could take care of his wound. He got like 10 staples on his head. So hes doing ok and were cleaning his apartment and he’s getting ready to move in with me and my boys who are 21 and 14 and its now October 2018 and i get off from work and my son had text me a message that my bf was wasted. I get home and i realized hes really messed up. I was really upsett and i dropped him of at the hotel like a mile away from my house.
      He had money saved and he went on a binge for like a week i think and spend all his money and finally i went to go drop him off some clothes. He didnt want me to go meet him but my son and i went to go meet him at a seven eleven. We convinced my bf to let us take him to a detox place. They only kept him there for less than 24 hours. Let me back up.to when my bf went on a binge for a week i had a relative who needed a place to stay and so i said she could stay at my house while she was waiting for her apartment to be ready. My bf called and asked me to.pick him up from the detox place and I told him that my aunt was staying for awile with us. He didnt like the idea but he had no choice. He was working at a temp agency. Well my bf seemed to be okay. He was angry with himself because he wasted all his money. The temp agency didnt have anywork for him in the middle of October orNovember
      It was ok to me because he didnt have money ro buy beer. Then in December 2018 in the second week the agency called and had work for my bf.
      That was a good thing because of Christmas and my aunt was told her apartment was going to be ready on December 28th. Everything seemed like it 2as going to be ok. My bf had made a appointment with behavioral heath and said he was going to take medicine to help with the cravings of alcohol and i believed him. He also head problems with anxiety and sleeping. So my aunt moved out and the very first Sunday my bf had to himself because i work every Sunday he started to drink again. It did upsett me and we started to not get along. His apointment was on January 16th and i was like soon enough he will be on meds and everything will be ok. Well my bf went to his apt. And he chose to not take the meds to help him with the cravings for alcohol but for anxiety he would. We were the kind of couple that would call eachother love or sweetheart but we were on first name basis at the time. So January 30th the last time i saw him i came home from my first job and he was a little bit intoxicated and then I went to my second job and came back home to find him more under the influence. We were sitting in the living room and my bf was drunk and kept talking and talking and I grew tired of it and thats when i said whoa i see where this is leading to. I could see another episode starting to happen all over again. I told my bf that everytime he did this to himself that something bad would always happen. I reminded him of the time this and that happened how he needed to take his meds and when was he going to learn and my oldest son said to my bf to relax and chill and my bf got very upsett with my son and wanted to attack him. I got up and stood in between the 2 of them and my bf wouldn’t leave it alone. I told my youngest son to call the cops which I thought he wouldn’t because thats not want i really wanted. But my son did what u told him to do. My bf left the house and the police come over and asked me uf i wanted my bf to go to jail. I said no. I said he needed help with his drinking. My bf left walking and i thought mayb he would go stay at a hotel.January 31st my youngest son’s bday. I had requested that day off from work and so did my oldest son.
      Our plan that day was to go do our taxes and go to dealerships to look for a car my oldest son.
      My bf called and asked me why did i take the house keys and i said u left them at the house. I was running around all day and my bf called me thruout the day and i honestly believed he wanted to go back to the house but no one was there. I was really upsett about the previous day because he wanted to fight my son. So later that day we sang happy bday to my youngest son and we didnt know where my bf was. I went to my second job that evening and prayed for peace in my life as i was driving home. At 814 my bf called and we got into a huge argument and i said something really awful and he stayed quite for like a second and he said something back to me. All i could hear after that was his phone in his pocket swishing as he’s walking. I guess he didnt realize he didnt end the phone call. I get this feeling like at 9 o ‘clock to call him and just pick him up where ever he is at. I didnt
      I went to bed and his father called me after 1 am to tell me my bf is gone. I thought maybe like jail but no he said hes gone. Oh how i cried and cried
      . Its been over 2 months now and i feel so guilty because I had the opprtunity to change the outcome twice. The first one was when the officer asked me if i wanted to send him to jail and the second time when i thought of calling him at 9
      He passed away a little bit ater 10 pm that night.
      Every second of the day hes on my mind. I j7st can not stop replaying it in my head. I miss him so muxh and he was my everything. I regret alot of th8ngs that happened how i could’ve handled the situation better. How come i didnt think about him getting hit by a car. I should’ve of known better to send gim away knowing the danger of being intoxicated and roaming the streets. How i should’ve let him stay at his apartment and not rush him to move in with me and my boys. Everywhere i go i have memories. I have triggers everywhere i go. I talk to his picture and kiss it. It doesnt seem real. We talked everyday 6 times or more from the time we met. This is the longest we haven’t talked. He lost his mother in2011 and my bf said to me ” u dont know what its like to lose someone close to you because it hasnt happened to you”
      Now i know what it feels like. I cant eat. Im losing weight. I was already struggling with depression. I feel very vulnerable but i know better to run into someone else’s arms. First of all it wouldnt be my bf. I only want him. I think about how i asked god for peace in my life. I didnt want my bf to pass away.
      I think about the after life if my bf is in heaven or elsewhere because he was sinning. I haven’t had any dreams of him and wonder if hes mad at me.
      I wish could just go back in time and change it.
      He was suppose to be my husband one day and i feel like i failed. I honestly thought that one day he was going to change. I never gave up hope or faith.

  66. Patricia Garcia  January 18, 2019 at 7:42 pm Reply

    I lost my soulmate last week. He had cancer in 1983 which was cured. In 2014 he felt some changes in the same area but the doctor told him there was nothing wrong. I did not push him to get another opinion even though he kept feeling something. By the time he was correctly diagnosed in 2015 it was stage IV. I don’t see how I can get over not telling him to have someone else check him in 2014. His oncologist told me that cancer is too unpredictable and that year wouldn’t have made a difference but I can’t believe him.

    • Eric  April 6, 2019 at 5:11 pm Reply

      Believe your oncologist. My love died this last year with AML which is hard to find and in her case blew up on her in less that 1 month with it really only becoming discernibly serious in the space of 16 days- the last 8 of which were in ICU with doctors desperately trying to figure out what was happening. She was too weak even for a bone biopsy and AML was determined after she passed away. But she had been seeking out doctors and the internet for 6 months before that trying to figure out her lack of energy, weight gain and back issues… there were too many red herrings it seems.

      You could not have known what to do and certainly not if he did not even know what to do.

      It seems as if many of us belong to this same club: ‘When we can’t find anyone or anything to blame well, then blame we blame ourselves.’

  67. Adrienne  January 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm Reply

    My pets had an untimely death because of my own recklessness and selfishness. I owned two rabbits, barely into adulthood, and one of them got fur mites. Not a very serious condition, but none of the other medication worked and I wouldn’t go to the vet because I thought it would be too expensive. So I dosed both with Frontline, which I was both informed of its effectiveness and strongly warned by the internet that it was toxic to rabbits. But it’s the internet, right? Surely people are overreacting! I watched them over the course of about two weeks have terrible seizures, stop eating, and lose basic coordination until they died, and at every step refused to take them to the vet, first because I thought it was too expensive. The internet also said the seizures weren’t fatal, so I hoped they could last the poison and eventually get better. This was the lie. By the time I found out it wasn’t actually so expensive realized it was too far gone and they would only euthanize them. Should I have taken them anyway? Could they have saved them? Did I make the right choice to let them suffer through the gift of life versus an easy death?

    I tried to make it as comfortable as possible for them, but I couldn’t really tell what they liked except for being left alone in a dark crevice. It feels wrong, but it’s also what they wanted, so I have anguish about not interacting more with them. I came home after a night out to find the first one to die was the one who was totally healthy and didn’t need to get the medicine at all, who was also my favorite. Should I have stayed home to be there for him? The second I thought would make it because she still ate. She was pregnant, had babies they day after the first died, all stillborn. It was a tragedy, but I thought perhaps they saved her from the full effects. No – once she gave birth, she quickly became in poor health and had to watch helplessly as she had her last seizure. Before she died I gave her a bath in preparation, and she licked me like she did when she first met me, begging to take her home. It kills me every day knowing if I had given them up at any point, even thrown them in the wild, they would have had a longer life than being under my care.

    I had been debating on whether to give them up for a while because of my PETA-esque views on animal autonomy, and didn’t feel good about keeping them against their will in my house. It’s hard to talk about with people because pets are just there for our amusement right? No greater tragedy than losing your security blanket.

    I knew I wasn’t ready for the burden they imposed on my lifestyle either, but I loved them and was concerned what kind of life they would have with someone else. I also didn’t want to abandon them, having them wonder why I left. I took on this responsibility, and I was going to see it through. At least I was able to keep that promise, in a terrible way. I wonder if I gave them a good life, if I they were happy. Did I treat them well enough? Did I help or was I a nuisance? Especially as I tried to comfort the girl as she died.

    • Kym  March 6, 2019 at 5:16 am Reply

      Hello. My biggest regret, and the thing that keeps me awake at night, is that I caused the death of my two pups, and my pregnant cat. It was over a decade ago, and I still cry so hard about my bad decisions. I feel I could never redeem myself, no matter what I do in my life. They trusted me and I betrayed them. I deserve every bad thing that happens to me. I know exactly how you feel.

  68. Tahmid  January 3, 2019 at 2:23 pm Reply

    Hello. I don’t know if my comment will be read by someone, but I had to share.

    I lost my father when I was 16 years old. I stayed home to prepare for my exams, while he was taken to hospital where he passed away. It was really hard for me to get past the loss as I was very close to my father. 12 days ago, I lost my mother. I am 24 now. My mother was sick and as her only song, I took care of her in her last days. My mother suffered from brain stroke, so she lost most of her sense. She was also suffering from kidney deseaseas. She had to go through home dialysis everyday, thrice. I performed them. She would have acted like a child. She did not sleep at night and all night long she was screaming her brothers and sisters name. As I am a student, I had to attend classes in the morning. I could not sleep at night because of her screaming. After the first two months, I used to get pissed off. I used to shout at her angrily. I knew everything, I understood everything. But I was so tired and stressed, I acted out of complete stress sometimes. As she lost her senses, she would roll over and fall from the bed and then ask me to carry her to the bed again. I would get angry and shouted for doing that over and over again. Three days before she died, she went completely out of hand. She would have just rolled over and hurt the operated point on her stomach which complicated the dialysis process. She did it continuously. Finding no other way, I had to tie her up with the bed. And she cried and begged to me to untie her. Whenever I untied her, she would done the same thing.

    People reading this comment might me awed by the disgusting behavior of mine. But as a boy with near nothing nursing knowledge and noone to take care of my mother, I just did not find any other way. I did not have enough money to keep a nurse beside her all the time as I am just a student and no income source.

    After she passed away, I am dying out of the guilt. The guilt of behaving improperly with my mother, the woman who bore me. I behaved improperly because of her well being. Maybe I could have behaved softly. I don’t know. I don’t know for how long I can cope with this guilt.

    If anyone could tell me anything helpful , it would mean a lot.

    • Sarah  January 9, 2019 at 5:27 am Reply

      Please know that you did the best you could under the circumstances. And by doing the best you could to try and help your mother, you obviously loved her very much. We are all human, we all make mistakes and it’s very easy, in hindsight, to look back and wish we had done things differently but, the reality is often that we did the best we could at the time. I think you should focus on creating a happy future for yourself and start by showing yourself some love and working on taking the best care of yourself xxx

    • Kristin  January 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm Reply

      To the 24 year old son who took care of his mother in her last days. Please know, you were a young man trying to take care of her and go to school at the same time on very little sleep or income for months. It also appears from your post you were handling this very difficult situation all by yourself. No wonder you were tired and stressed. You call your behavior “disgusting”. I call it heroic. You stepped up and did your best. It sounds like your mother was in too much distress to tell you how much she loved and appreciated you. As a mother myself, I want to assure you she would not want you to feel the burden of guilt. It is difficult to hear you say you don’t know how much longer you can cope with these feelings. Could you contact counselors at school for some support and guidance ? Local hospice groups often have counseling for free. Try to be kind to yourself. You have been through an awful lot for someone your age. Good luck with school. You make your parents proud.

    • Jay  January 17, 2019 at 2:08 am Reply

      My mom had scizzoophrenia and was refusing treatment in the icu and they used restraints to hold her down otherwise she was kicking and hitting, refusing treatment. I felt bad it happened but also was glad she was being nursed back to health. If she was forcing herself to get sick you did all you could to keep her from harming herself, and they did this same exact thing for my mom in ICU at the hospital. I begged them to keep her longer in the psych ward because I knew the minute she went home she went back to smoking refusing oxygen and medicine. She had copd, diabetes high blood pressure and smoked. She quickly died of a cardiac arrest after smoking and everyone was shocked. Here I am now reading your post because I’m have extreme waves of guilt on what I could have done differently for her even though the only thing I could have done was to crawl inside her and make her take the medicine, nebulizers and stop her from smoking. I tried to get a team out to evaluate her (adult protection), even called the hospital to take her back and wanted her to go to a non smoking facility. Nothin I could do or say made her do it. She had advancing dementia from the cO2. I’m feeling the guilt waves not for what they did in ICU, because this revived her, but for not being able to stop her from smoking or being able to get her to take her meds.
      I hope this helps you

    • Annoynmous  January 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm Reply

      I feel the same way, my mother died last month, she was bed ridden and blind because of a stroke ( she was on blood thinners before this and we had a fight one day and we made up later but she refused to take the tablet and I didnt insist on it, thinking that I can just give it to her tomorow, she had a stroke the next morning). Doctors said she would regain her functions after 10 months but she died five months later. She used to always scream for me to be by her side, but I couldn’t do it because of college. It was annoying and stressful, she used to scream all night, one night I snapped at her and tried shutting her mouth with my hand because I couldn’t take the screaming anymore. She’s on a feeding tube and one day she vomitted but I wiped it off without really giving it much thought. One day she vomitted blood and we took her to the hospital, they found that she had stomach ulcers that was causing the pain and she had pneumonia because food had gone into lungs through the feeding tube, they said she is improving though, the next day I went to the hospital they told me that she passed away. I cant help but feel
      Guilty, if only I made her take the medicines to prevent the stroke, if only I informed the doctor when she vomitted, if only I told her how much she meant for me and I wish I could have been more patient with her. During the last days she used to cry whenever im not by her side, i thought i had more time so I didnt really pay much attention to her. I feel horrible for not being there for her and I hate that I’m responsible for her death. I wish I could have done things differently and told her how much i loved her. Not being there for her is my biggest regret.

    • Your sister  March 31, 2019 at 3:51 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.

  69. Vicki Hill  December 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

    Marie…My daughter died 2 years ago. I tried to get through the the holidays, weddings, births so as not to dampen the mood for family members. But, I found them intruding into my moments, alone. My Dad died 6 weeks before my daughter, so for mama and me, it was a double whammy. One day someone said, we just want you to be happy. I said, “I may never be happy, I will never ever be the same.” I have to find my new normal and until I do, don’t let my sadness ruin your happy times.
    I will promise you, it does get easier. There will never be closure, until you meet again in a better place. But, slowly it will get better. There is a lot of mind work to all this. It is difficult. It is a lot of work. It is a process. You just can’t snap out of it, move on. Does not happen quickly, it is a slow process. You need to tell the people you love, not to rush you, take your on time and do not fill guilty. In your way and in your time, that’s how it works. One foot in front of the other.

    • Nichole Wolford  December 16, 2018 at 10:49 pm Reply

      Hi Vikki my name is Nichole Wolford sorry about ur daughter I read ur post I need to talk to someone who understands my husband and I have 3babys our 2sons are 5and 3our only baby girl would of been 2nov 16 of this year but she passed away unexpectedly in her sleep October 24of this year were still waiting on results but all she had was feaver sezierz wen she would get a high feaver u said u slowly healed after the death of ur daughter we left her and her brother Collin that night night with Grandma everyone tells me if it wasn’t her time to go then God would of brought her back to me if there granma left them alone for a few min yo step out of room would that if changed things that night

  70. Sahim  December 9, 2018 at 2:24 pm Reply

    My ex-wife passed away in a hiking accident where she got lost. We were divorced a year before that happened. Sometimes, I go through old emails of our communications and I feel guilty as hell. I just didn’t treat her right and that just eats me up from inside. All she wanted was her own family with children, and I had lost interest. I wish I could go back and tell her, I am really sorry for mistreating her. Maybe, just maybe, if I was by your side, this accident would not have happened??? Who knows.

    • Nicole  December 29, 2018 at 1:41 am Reply

      I can relate to what you are saying. I lost a close family member 2 weeks ago and I am devastated. He came to be like a father figure to my husband and I and treated us as if we were his kids. We eventually grew apart because he was an old-timer and so set in his ways. I so regret being aloof to him at times. I analyze everything and know he loved us, too, but I failed him I feel. I love him so much. We are just lost and cannot believe he is gone. If only I had sucked it up and never moved away from him (we used to live very close and he was in our home daily). I fed him and he was just part of us. I feel like us moving caused him to not get nutrition he needed and not having our company hurt his health. If I could rewind time I would, I would hug him and make sure he knows how much I loved him. I would have just set better boundaries. I miss him dearly. He was like a Dad to us!!!

      • Tolu  January 14, 2019 at 3:56 pm

        This is so me.right now, I don’t, know of I can ever get over this guilt eating me up. I just feel I didn’t do enough for my dad, I just I could have given him more hope when his business nose dived and he started thinking, I just wished I could have been closer to him instead of constantly throwing his past mistakes to his face. I wish I didn’t not bother him with the pains I am personally going through, which compounded his own thinking leading to his sickness and death.
        Oh my dad really tried for me, he practically laid himself for me, took loans to send me to school, sold his properties to see me and siblings through private universities when we could secure government owned institutions for years. 8, and 7 years after our grads none of us got jobs, we started selling menial things, learning vocations, I got pregnant in the process to an abusive man, when it became unbearable after 3 years I had to run back to live with my dad. Pressures, thinking, loneliness, killed my dad 2 days ago, and I am here beating myself of guilt. Oh this is too much for me. All the works he labored for, he ate none of it. He died a poor, unhappy, unfulfilled man who labored so much to give his wards the best.
        Oh, I love you dad, I wish I had told you how much I love you, I wish I got job to take care of you, I wish I married rightly, I wished my sister got a job too, I wish I given you more hope and assurance of a better future. Oh I wish

  71. Leslie Hanson  November 27, 2018 at 7:26 pm Reply

    So appreciate this article…………….my best friend who had a form of bone marrow cancer passed away during a hospital stay for pneumonia. I am certainly running through the woulda, shoulda, coulda hamster wheel in my head – the day before she died her breathing had changed and she said she was scared. What if I had been more forceful with the nurses and the residents to get them to see that she was getting worse though her tests were looking ok???? Should I have talked to her more about the possibility that she would not recover??? Should I have held her more and rocked her??? She died at the end of October and I am working on glimpsing that she does not blame me for what went unsaid and what I should have done at least to reduce her pain more. I know I could not have changed the outcome because in the end it was the cancer that overwhelmed her body – just figuring out how to work through my guilt from that last day before she died. Your posts remind me I am not alone!

  72. Angela Adams  November 12, 2018 at 9:51 am Reply

    My husband died on 9-21-18. I feel so guilty as if there was something more that I could have done. He had stage 4 Chronic Kidney Failure. He has lived with this disease for years. When we met he was not on disability or dialysis yet, because he refused to go on it. He wanted to work, and he did until he just couldn’t anymore. Mind you, he also had gouty arthritis and hypertension. He was put on dialysis in June of this year. He has been up and down as far as swelling and kidney function up and down and gout flare ups, but he always bounced back. And he was good for a while. This time he got sick and was sick for a couple weeks, could never get any relief, but we were holding out faith that he would get better this time too. The day before he died, he missed his dialysis appointment because he was hurting so bad and could barely walk. Again we think it will pass he just wanted to rest. But then he started throwing up and mind you he wasn’t eating and barely drinking but he wanted to just try seven up, did not want to go to the doctor. He did not want me to quit work and become his care giver either, always said this is temporary, just hang in there. I also wasn’t in the best of moods or stressed because we have a 3 and a 5 year old who don’t really understand why daddy always hurting or sick, they are being kids. So my attitude could have been better. But I got everyone off to sleep and I tried to lay down. Now I don’t know if throughout the night he was trying to tell me he needed to go, or he was going somewhere, but the next thing I know, I’m woke up with my youngest son bouncing around my head, and I turn over and my husband is cold to touch, but not stiff, but he isn’t responding to me. I call 911 and they have me move him to the floor to administer CPR. I do this until they show up only to find out he was already gone. I keep thinking why did i go to sleep. I should have stayed up with him, I should have insisted he go to the ER. But we just thought this was like the other times, and that we had more time. I can’t get it out my head. I am trying to be so strong for my kids that I have not really begun to break all of this down. I’m so lost.

    2
    • Louisa  November 27, 2018 at 5:29 pm Reply

      Hi Angela, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your husband sounds such an amazing, thoughtful person. It is only natural to think ‘if only I had realised how ill he was, if only I had called for help sooner’. The problem is we don’t have all the facts at the time. The people we love want to keep going, not to make a fuss, not to worry us. Nobody can see into the future. You sound like a very kind, supportive person. Your husband died with you beside him, safe and warm. Not such a bad way to go.

      1
    • Tracy  December 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband passed away on October 8th of this year. He also had ESRD and was on dialysis. I can relate to so many things you posted. He died in the hospital in the ICU. Although he was very sick, I did not expect him to die when he did or how he did. I still don’t totally understand what happened. One minute they were trying to move him up in the bed and the next minute the room was full of Drs and nurses preforming CPR on him. I don’t think I will ever get those images and sounds out of my head. I have so many feelings of guilt. I should have taken him to the hospital sooner, or taken him to a different hospital, or maybe if I told the staff to just leave him alone and let him rest instead of moving him maybe he would still be here. He had just had his leg amputated 2 days before and was scheduled to have a stent placed in his cardiac vessel that morning. There are so many things I wish I would have said to him. I know he knew I loved him though. 🙁

  73. Marie Louise  November 11, 2018 at 3:23 am Reply

    Thank you so much for your posts on guilt and forgiveness. My dearly beloved husband died on 22 September 2018. Three months and eight days earlier he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had never smoked a cigarette in his life. From the moment of his diagnosis he started slipping away from me at an incredible pace. It was hell. And although I was with him almost 24/7 throughout the entire process, there was nothing I could do to stop it. Nothing I could do to stop his suffering. Or was there? I now feel guilty about so many things. About not being able to stop his disease or his suffering. About wanting his suffering to end, so in fact wanting him dead. About telling him that we (our daughter and I) would be fine and it would be okay for him to leave us – it wasn’t, it will never be okay. But most of all I feel guilty about being alive when he is dead. But at the same time I feel envious as his suffering is now over and my suffering has never been greater. And of course that selfish thought has led to even more feelings of guilt. Most people I have shared these feelings with have told that I should simply stop feeling guilty. That it will not help me move on. But the guilt is just there and I now realize that it has a right to be there and that it’s normal. It’s all part of the grieving process, part of loving and losing.

  74. Lupe  October 20, 2018 at 9:56 am Reply

    My bf wife passed 5 months ago. Everything was good until it came down to intimacy. He feels guilty about things he did to her during the marriage. Feels guilty for moving on. Feels guilty for yelling at her when he came home. So he’s not able to relieve himself and cum. Is there anything I can do to help him stop thinking of that. I believe he needs to forgive himself ask her forgives even though she’s gone and try to be happy. He gas 5 kids that I love. His kids are my kids friends. But it’s becoming an issue between him and myself. He shuts down. He says hes just thinking. Is he just not ready? When we’re together with kids and music he seems fine then when we go home he’s a different person. I’m confused because I know we are good together. I can help him with the kids but just wish his guilt weren’t taking control of his thoughts.
    Please any suggestions?

    Thank you Lupe

  75. Russell  October 13, 2018 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I feel guilty because my mum was experiencing stomach pain and feeling sick the day before she died. I have since found out that I learnt in first aid that stomach pain and nausea is a warning sign for women of a possible heart attack. I asked if she wanted me to call an ambulance and she replied either ýou could or should’. I said that we will organize a doctor’s appointment for the next day and see what they say. I even thought about calling Nurse on Call. Because she wasn’t experiencing chest pain I decided on waiting for the doctor’s opinion.
    That night I helped my mum to bed and made sure that she had her medical alarm handy and explicitly to her to press if she felt bad. Throughout the night mum groaned but I let it go as she had done this before and told me not worry as it was her way of coping.so on this occasion I didn’t go in and check.
    Two o”clock the next morning Mum got up and went down to the kitchen. She called out that she had fallen down. This happened regularly. I told that she should have stayed in bed. It was a lot more difficult to pick her up this time. I since found out she may have been having a heart attack. She died in my arms. The moment before she died ,Mum, looked at and a look of relief came over her face

  76. Jess  July 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm Reply

    I just want to say that this article really helped me. I’ve been dreaming about my loved constantly. Every time I close my eyes to sleep I have horrible guilt ridden dreams about them. Today I about lost it and couldn’t handle the the grief and guilt anymore. I searched the internet, went on a walk, called out of work, even had a glass of wine to try to calm down. Tried everything and then I found this article and went through each bullet. I have a handle on my irrational guilt now. I’m going to continue to implement these tricks when my thoughts overwhelm me. Thank you so much.

  77. laura  July 21, 2018 at 11:08 am Reply

    I’ve lost my parents weeks apart , what helped me is to think of it if it was reversed, if it was exactly the same situation but I was the one who died.

    Would you have blamed your Dad if he hadn’t noticed you were short of breath? or if he couldn’t fly out to see you? No you would just want him to know you loved him and he did.

    Focus on the love you have for him, it is still there and you can connect with him through it, the guilt will block it.

  78. Carroll Oglesby  July 12, 2018 at 8:22 pm Reply

    I grew up in a toxic household. My Mom had two sons before she met my Dad from a previous marriage. They were 6 and 9 years older than me. They were absolutely horrible to my Dad for many years. One reconciled later on and the oldest one never did. I see them both 4-5 times per year and have mostly forgiven how they made my Dad’s life terrible. I know this is not unusual within families with step children, but what made it worse was that my mother turned against my Dad too.

    From the time I was 7 or 8 my Mom started to side with her kids and be nasty to my father. Also she became a verbally abusive alcoholic. Mostly to my Dad but sometimes to me and my sister. She would try to manipulate me and my sister to be mean to my father. Thankfully I was old enough to see that she was a lying drunk and I remained close to my Dad always. My sister however didn’t side with my Dad and shut off my father. He had little to no relationship with her for almost ten years because of my mother and oldest brother. I stopped speaking to my sister because she hurt my Dad so much.

    My Dad was a very sad man during this time but he stayed in the guest room and kept providing for our family because he wanted to be close to his kids and be able to care for them. He shielded me and protected me from so many things. He would hide my mother when she was being nasty and drunk. He would clean up after her when she vomited up all over the floor before we would notice. Mostly he just put up with hell from my mother so that he could be there for me and my sister. If he hadn’t been there I never would have never accomplished anything. If not for him I would have never worked hard to go to a top school or been driven to succeed. I told him this, but I was never emphatic enough in my opinion.

    With my Dad I always acted tough. I told him I loved him always and did a lot with him, but I was never gushing with love and excitement like he was. He absolutely bubbled with enthusiasm every time I spoke with him and walked on cloud nine while we were together. Always gushing me with praise and love. I wish I had reciprocated more. He never told me but I know now that he would have liked to have spoken every day. Just to keep touch and be in my life. I acted too busy for this and we spoke on average twice per week. They were long conversations 20 – 30 mins and were great, but I should have noticed that he craved for more because he had time and was sooo interested in my life. I typically saw him 4-5 times per year for 2-3 days at a time. So around 10-12 days per year. I know this is not out of the norm for many families but it is connected to the guilt that I feel.

    My Dad started to experience shortness of breath in April. I did not fly home to be with him when he went to the Dr. My step-mother went with him and I didn’t think it was anything serious. He left the Dr. thinking that he was fine because the Dr. told him that it was likely connected to him being out of shape from not walking enough during the winter and gaining 15 lbs. He ruled out the heart as an issue with the typical tests, and he was supposed to have a CT scan of his lungs to determine if there were any clots in his lungs but the testing facility gave him the wrong CT scan that didn’t have enough detail. The Dr. decided that the test was negative even though the wrong test was administered. He said there was a small cloud in his lung but that it wasn’t anything to be alarmed about. During the six weeks he was walking four to five miles per day but it was taking him a considerable amount of time. I never pressed him for these details when we spoke. I just assumed he was doing great like always and focused our conversations on UNC sports.

    As I detailed in an earlier post, I saw him on Memorial Day weekend. He seemed fine and I didn’t notice anything at first. We went for a hike and that’s when I saw that something was wrong. He was getting way too winded for someone with his past level of fitness. Also, his wife told me that the testing facility gave him the wrong CT scan without contrast. At the conclusion of the weekend, I made him promise me that he would go to the Dr. as soon as he got home.

    My Dad went to the Dr. on May 31st and had another round of bloodwork and x-rays. There was a small cloud in his lung again that had reduced in size since the last exam. He also had low oxygen levels in his lungs. The Dr. told him that he thought he had a lunch issue and sent him home with an appointment for the three days later with the lunch specialist. My Dad called me to tell me the news. I had a great call with him and told him how much I loved him and that I would always take care of him. Then the next day he died of a pulmonary embolism. I got to say about ¼ of the things that I wanted to say to him. I know this is better than most, but he deserved all the praise in the world.

    The reasons that I feel bad are the following:

    I was planning to fly him up to see me and go to the ACC tournament in Brooklyn week of March 5th. I didn’t because I was switching jobs and I had been flying home for weekends to care for my mother who had knee replacement surgery in February.
    I cut a corner here with him and this weekend I could have noticed something
    He called me and asked for me to fly home last minute and see him one week while his wife was gone. I declined because I only had a weeks notice and flight prices were expensive. I talked to him a lot that week to make up for it.
    I cut another corner here when he wanted to see me
    When he called me to tell me about the shortness of breath it was around the same time of his birthday. I didn’t fly back because we had decided to do a big Memorial Day trip together.
    Again, I cut another corner and didn’t go see him when I could have
    When I saw his health I didn’t take an urgency with him. I could have forced him to the ER
    I was just so used to him being fine that I didn’t think anything was wrong. Also the fact that he had seen the Dr. multiple times just made me assume it was nothing urgent
    I should have googled CT scan with contrast and learned what that was meant to detect

    All in all I know that many people would have reacted the same as me and it was just a bad set of unlucky circumstances. It is just hard accept because he was there for me on sooo many occasions and in so many ways throughout my life. I wish I had been there for him. To save his life would have been the ultimate thank you for the lifetime of unconditional love that he showered upon me.

    I know that my path forward is to use this experience as fuel to make myself a better person and to value the fact that I had 30 years with an amazing father. He had 74 years so he still had a pretty long life compared to many. It is just hard to accept that and move on to my new reality. A reality that I never dreamed would happened this early and he didn’t deserve. He just deserved so much more in life. I just want one more weekend, one more fishing trip, one more hug, one more smile, one more chance to tell him how wonderful he was.

    Best,

    Carroll

  79. Heather  July 12, 2018 at 9:15 am Reply

    My husband passed away 2 weeks ago at our home from a massive heart attack at the age of 32. He came home and told me he didn’t feel good. I asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital but he said no- it was just indigestion. He kept assuring me it just felt like he had a gas bubble in his throat. He said it couldn’t be his heart and he just had a work up with a cardiologist and got the all ok. He took tums and said he was feeling better. He took our dog for a car ride and rented a movie. I went to bed. I heard him come home and go into the bathroom and a few minutes later I heard a loud thud. Once I figured out it could have been him and rushed into the bathroom I found him face down, unconscious. I called 911 and the operator wanted me to roll him over and start CPR. He was a 300 lb. man and I have severe rheumatoid arthritis. I tried so hard but I couldn’t roll him over. I ran outside to find help and it took forever to find someone and by then the paramedics and police arrived. They weren’t too quick getting into help him either. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. The guilt I feel is eating me alive. It keeps me up at night. I feel guilty that I didn’t make him go to the hospital as soon as he said he didn’t feel good. I just had this feeling it was something serious but he was so adamant it wasn’t. Guilty that I couldn’t turn him over and perform CPR… I’m convinced I would have saved him if I could have and blame his death completely on myself. Guilt that I couldn’t find help sooner. Guilt that my kids no longer have their father. Guilt that our dog is depressed and loosing hair because she misses her dad immensely. Guilt that I didn’t appreciate him enough when he was alive. It’s helpful though a little to know I’m not alone in my feelings.

  80. Cathy  June 28, 2018 at 1:48 pm Reply

    I recently met someone….we only dated a couple of weeks, let’s just say they were 3 pretty intense weeks. I immediately realized he had some demons to overcome. Me being me knew he was put in my path for a reason, even if it was just to give him a little love, friendship and an ounce of happiness-even for a short amount of time. I don’t think I realized just how serious these issues were, being that I’ve never known anyone with an alcohol and substance abuse problem. I am overwhelmed with guilt and it’s eating me up inside. The last thing he sent me through a text and voicemail was, Cat I need you. I did absolutely nothing. I was sure he’d sleep it off and we’d see each other once his episode was over. Wrong! He’s gone! The guilt is not really for myself but for not doing a darn thing n now his mother and father have lost their only child and his 2 daughters will never truly know their dad. Why didn’t I go to him when he said he needed me? Why did it take me so long to check if he was ok? Why didn’t I reach out to his family? Why did I ignore him? Why did I screw up so badly? Why didn’t I take him seriously? How could I close my eyes and sleep while he was alone and dying?!?!

  81. Louisa  June 13, 2018 at 1:30 am Reply

    Dear Sue, there are times where events overtake us and nothing goes right. You didn’t know about the blood thinners. In hospital, you tried to get nurses to help with the urine bottle. You rushed home for medicine. And how could you have known about the catheter? You wanted to stop the tubes being pulled out. You were doing what you thought was the right thing at the time, with the best of intentions.

  82. Noelle L  June 10, 2018 at 8:17 pm Reply

    My dad suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder from Vietnam war since before I was born and all through my life. We never had a “normal” relationship due to his mental illness. My mom and separated when I was just 3 and he chose to live on his own. He was prescribed tons of medications and lived like a homeless person in his own home. He didn’t want help or to be cared for but this was part of his condition. For years my dad was not well and I tried to do the best I could for him. I had him 302’d several times so he would get proper treatment but it was an almost impossible process. They would just keep him a few weeks until “stable” and send him back home even though he needed a lot more time to be treated. Honestly my dad had a thousand lives, he was constantly in and out of hospitals and psych wards but was extremely resilient for some reason.
    Unexpectedly, he dropped dead one day in his house. Not sure the cause of death but it happened and it came by surprise. I wasn’t ready at all. I still had hope to change things around for him. Some days I think I’ve accepted that this is what life turned out to be for him after fighting for his country doing what he was asked to do , and suffer for the rest of his days. But I can’t help but ask a million reasons why and how did this all happen and maybe had I been more involved in his life earlier on the outcome would be different . But I was Just a kid I didn’t understand or know how to handle him or the situation. Why am I still Blaming myself.. it’ll be 3 years and I still Question.

  83. Sue Foster  June 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm Reply

    My husband fell backwards down the stairs at home. The doctor was coming that morning and confirmed nothing broken and that he would have a lot of discomfort and just to take paracetamol. He was pretty stiff and had headaches for a couple of days then just after lunch four days later he suffered a brain haemorrhage and was rushed into hospital. The ambulance crew said he should have gone straight away after the fall because he was on blood thinners and should have been taken off them. Over the first few hours he was able to communicate with some speech and gestures but it was clear that he couldn’t understand everything being asked of him. We were told it was a wait and watch strategy to see whether the bleed would stop, but they were reasonably positive.
    We explained that he would want to use the urine bottle himself and to have one on the bed for his use as the urge came on suddenly. They said no he had to ring for one, which he couldn’t do. We warned them that he would try to get up if there wasn’t one there, his upper body strength was very good for a man in his 80’s, and we asked them to put him in view of the nursing station and put an alarm mat under him, neither of which they did. As a consequence he tried to get up in the night and had a bad fall – but they didn’t call me and I was only told when I phoned first thing in the morning. We rushed to the hospital and he was in a dreadful state and covered with bruises on his upper chest, neck and jaw. He could no longer feed himself and was in a lot of pain. I had to go home to get more medication as they didn’t have the right drugs. They put on an external catheter which he found unbearable but I didn’t know and I thought he needed to urinate and I told him it was OK as he had a pad on. He became very distressed as I didn’t understand that he wanted the catheter removed and I held his hands firmly as he was trying to pull off the bed clothes and as he tried to pull out the intravenous tubes in his arms. I feel I let him down so terribly when he needed me so much to help and understand him. I am haunted by having let him down and having exacerbated his intense suffering when we had had such a close and caring marriage.

  84. Kevin  May 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm Reply

    My dad passed two nights ago after two years of Alzheimers and the last three months really being no life at all. I thought I did all I could, but in the last three months I moved him three times as the one of the placed provided terrible care. I fear the stress I caused by moving him and the poor care at one of the places caused a earlier demise. He wasn’t going to last too much longer anyway, and perhaps dying now was in his best interests But I just cannto help thinking had I made better decisions he would have lived long, perhaps more healthy, and we could have had him longer. This guilt just compounds the grief I feel by losing him. My dad was 93 (just even tears me apart to speak of him in the past tense) and had 91 good years before diagnosis. Who am I to complain. But it hurts like heck and I just feel I cause him to die sooner and perhaps be suffering more.

  85. Kevin  May 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm Reply

    My dad passed two nights ago after two years of Alzheimers and the last three months really being no life at all. I thought I did all I could, but in the last three months I moved him three times as the one of the placed provided terrible care. I fear the stress I caused by moving him and the poor care at one of the places caused a earlier demise. He wasn’t going to last too much longer anyway, and perhaps dying now was in his best interests But I just cannto help thinking had I made better decisions he would have lived long, perhaps more healthy, and we could have had him longer. This guilt just compounds the grief I feel by losing him. My dad was 93 (just even tears me apart to speak of him in the past tense) and had 91 good years before diagnosis. Who am I to complain. But it hurts like heck and I just feel I cause him to die sooner and perhaps be suffering more.

  86. Deana  April 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    Why is it when feelings of guilt over one thing start up it usually creates a flood of everything I’ve ever felt guilty for?
    My Father passed away from lung cancer 2 and a half years ago. And unlike most, I don’t have the usual woulda, shoulda, couldas. I dropped my entire life, as I knew it, the day after he called me to tell me and packed up and moved to go take care of him. His prognosis was not a good one but we had hope. Early on he told me that he never wanted to be ‘kept alive by machines’ and as his caregiver he signed medical power of attorney over to me. He was hospitalized several times but the last time (which at first were didn’t know was going to be the last time) they took him to ICU and put him on a breathing machine. He wasn’t intubated but it was basically a forced air external life support. It all happened so fast that I didn’t understand what they were doing or what he was being hooked up to or what condition he was in. He was conscious and lucid but apparently didn’t seem to understand either. The next afternoon, I spoke with his Dr after several tests had been completed. He explained that my Daddy was dying and there was nothing more they could do for him. He also explained that the breathing machine was the only thing keeping him alive at that point. I was devastated… not only that my Daddy was dying but that I had let them put him on one of ‘those machines’ that he detested and very frequently reminded me about. I spoke with my younger sister and we decided that we would honor his wishes and let him go. I told the Dr that evening and signed the paperwork. I have zero guilt about that decision and I never have.
    Like I said before, my Daddy was conscious and coherent and otherwise normal except he couldn’t breathe. This breathing machine was a big, bulky mask and it made it hard for him to talk to us so, he would take it off at times for brief moments to join in our conversations. After I signed those papers, the nurse came in and said, “I’m going to put this other mask back on you so you can talk and visit with your daughters better”. He said, “Whew! Thanks! That thing is terrible! I couldn’t hardly hear them and I certainly couldn’t talk to them”. Later Daddy said he was tired and wanted to take a little nap. I hugged and kissed him and told him goodnight. I started crying and he said, “It’s okay, I’ll see you in the morning. You are going to be here, aren’t you?”. “Yes sir, I’ll be here”. We sat and held his hands and watched him sleep and struggle to breathe for 5 hours until he just didn’t take another breath. I never told my Daddy that he was never going to wake up.
    I’ve questioned that decision every day since. My reasoning was that I didn’t want him to be stressed out… all I could think was how horrible it would be to know that when I close my eyes that I’ll never open them again. But- What if he wanted to pray and ask for any final forgiveness? What if there were things he wanted to say? People he wanted to say bye to? Did I deny him a basic dignity? A basic opportunity? It eats me up…..

  87. Deana  April 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    Why is it when feelings of guilt over one thing start up it usually creates a flood of everything I’ve ever felt guilty for?
    My Father passed away from lung cancer 2 and a half years ago. And unlike most, I don’t have the usual woulda, shoulda, couldas. I dropped my entire life, as I knew it, the day after he called me to tell me and packed up and moved to go take care of him. His prognosis was not a good one but we had hope. Early on he told me that he never wanted to be ‘kept alive by machines’ and as his caregiver he signed medical power of attorney over to me. He was hospitalized several times but the last time (which at first were didn’t know was going to be the last time) they took him to ICU and put him on a breathing machine. He wasn’t intubated but it was basically a forced air external life support. It all happened so fast that I didn’t understand what they were doing or what he was being hooked up to or what condition he was in. He was conscious and lucid but apparently didn’t seem to understand either. The next afternoon, I spoke with his Dr after several tests had been completed. He explained that my Daddy was dying and there was nothing more they could do for him. He also explained that the breathing machine was the only thing keeping him alive at that point. I was devastated… not only that my Daddy was dying but that I had let them put him on one of ‘those machines’ that he detested and very frequently reminded me about. I spoke with my younger sister and we decided that we would honor his wishes and let him go. I told the Dr that evening and signed the paperwork. I have zero guilt about that decision and I never have.
    Like I said before, my Daddy was conscious and coherent and otherwise normal except he couldn’t breathe. This breathing machine was a big, bulky mask and it made it hard for him to talk to us so, he would take it off at times for brief moments to join in our conversations. After I signed those papers, the nurse came in and said, “I’m going to put this other mask back on you so you can talk and visit with your daughters better”. He said, “Whew! Thanks! That thing is terrible! I couldn’t hardly hear them and I certainly couldn’t talk to them”. Later Daddy said he was tired and wanted to take a little nap. I hugged and kissed him and told him goodnight. I started crying and he said, “It’s okay, I’ll see you in the morning. You are going to be here, aren’t you?”. “Yes sir, I’ll be here”. We sat and held his hands and watched him sleep and struggle to breathe for 5 hours until he just didn’t take another breath. I never told my Daddy that he was never going to wake up.
    I’ve questioned that decision every day since. My reasoning was that I didn’t want him to be stressed out… all I could think was how horrible it would be to know that when I close my eyes that I’ll never open them again. But- What if he wanted to pray and ask for any final forgiveness? What if there were things he wanted to say? People he wanted to say bye to? Did I deny him a basic dignity? A basic opportunity? It eats me up…..

  88. Lisa F.  April 13, 2018 at 3:07 am Reply

    Im so glad I found this site. Im up tonight torn apart by guilt! All the shoulda, woulda, couldas, hating myself for making the wrong decisions.
    I live in Arizona. My brother called me on Dec 27th saying my dad was in the hospital, they didnt know if he would make it through the night. I called the hospital and had them put the phone to his ear. ” I love you dad. I will be there as soon as I can. You get better ok? I love you” of course like he always did he told me dont come. Then he said something that haunts me. ” will call you when I get out of the hospital” he was coherant enough to talk to me.
    I flew in on Dec 30th, my cousin picked me up and took me to the hospital. They had put stents in the day before. When I got there he was half in and half out but somehow he said things that assured me he knew I was there. My cousin couldnt drive at night because of night blindness so we left after about an hour or two. I kissed my dad and told him “I will back tomorrow.”
    The next day was New Years eve. My brother didnt drive so I drove the van. Dad had been hitting curbs because he was having a hard time seeing. The rim on the van was bent so I could only drive short distances. The hospital was 35 to 40 minutes away. I had to use the phone directions because I didnt know my way around. I tried to get the rim and tire fixed with no luck. Meanwhile me and my brother were cleaning the house because we knew when he came home he would need a clean place.
    During all this I couldnt get to the hospital to see my dad. The calls were coming from the hospital to keep us informed on dads progress.
    He was doing better, his virals were good, he was being tranferred to a regular room from ICU.
    Good news.
    I celebrated New years with my brother at the house, which was also his birthday. I bought him a cupcake and said “Happy Birthday”
    I tried to get the tire fixed on Jan 1st no one was open. That night all hell broke loose!! Dad pulled the feeding tube out, they had to go in and clean the stuff out of his lungs. 2 hours later at 1 am the nurse called “he needs a cpap” ok 1 hour later “hes being intubated” ok at 3 am I called to get a rent a car. I was done messing with the tire! I had to get to the hospital! They were supposed to pick me up at 9 am, at 9:30 I called them. They never got the message. I left with the rent a car at 10 am drove like crazy to the hospital. When I got there they informed that dad went into cardiac arrest and passed away. What? Nooooo!!!! I went into his room holding his hand telling him over and over “Im sorry I wasnt here” “I love you dad, Im sorry”
    Everday I cry! I shoulda got a rent a car from the airport, I should have been there everyday, I coulda spent more time with him, I shoulda been there, I shoulda rented a car sooner, I shoulda, I shoulda…..
    My heart is so broken! I beat myself up everyday mentally! Im tortured thinking he passed away and I wasnt there! I feel so guilty for not being there, not renting a car sooner, not taking an uber to the hospital! I was trying to be there for my brother, get the house ready for when dad went home, making plans to stay to take care of him.
    The one thig I didnt do was be at the hospital with my dad. I should have found a way to get there! I should have been there! If I was there maybe he wouldnt have “given up” as the nurse put it. Im so tormented, tortured, guilty, that I cant function! I walk around numb during the day and cry every night! Some days when Im alone too.
    I want a do over! Im such a bad daughter for not being there! All I have is guilt.

  89. Lisa F.  April 13, 2018 at 3:07 am Reply

    Im so glad I found this site. Im up tonight torn apart by guilt! All the shoulda, woulda, couldas, hating myself for making the wrong decisions.
    I live in Arizona. My brother called me on Dec 27th saying my dad was in the hospital, they didnt know if he would make it through the night. I called the hospital and had them put the phone to his ear. ” I love you dad. I will be there as soon as I can. You get better ok? I love you” of course like he always did he told me dont come. Then he said something that haunts me. ” will call you when I get out of the hospital” he was coherant enough to talk to me.
    I flew in on Dec 30th, my cousin picked me up and took me to the hospital. They had put stents in the day before. When I got there he was half in and half out but somehow he said things that assured me he knew I was there. My cousin couldnt drive at night because of night blindness so we left after about an hour or two. I kissed my dad and told him “I will back tomorrow.”
    The next day was New Years eve. My brother didnt drive so I drove the van. Dad had been hitting curbs because he was having a hard time seeing. The rim on the van was bent so I could only drive short distances. The hospital was 35 to 40 minutes away. I had to use the phone directions because I didnt know my way around. I tried to get the rim and tire fixed with no luck. Meanwhile me and my brother were cleaning the house because we knew when he came home he would need a clean place.
    During all this I couldnt get to the hospital to see my dad. The calls were coming from the hospital to keep us informed on dads progress.
    He was doing better, his virals were good, he was being tranferred to a regular room from ICU.
    Good news.
    I celebrated New years with my brother at the house, which was also his birthday. I bought him a cupcake and said “Happy Birthday”
    I tried to get the tire fixed on Jan 1st no one was open. That night all hell broke loose!! Dad pulled the feeding tube out, they had to go in and clean the stuff out of his lungs. 2 hours later at 1 am the nurse called “he needs a cpap” ok 1 hour later “hes being intubated” ok at 3 am I called to get a rent a car. I was done messing with the tire! I had to get to the hospital! They were supposed to pick me up at 9 am, at 9:30 I called them. They never got the message. I left with the rent a car at 10 am drove like crazy to the hospital. When I got there they informed that dad went into cardiac arrest and passed away. What? Nooooo!!!! I went into his room holding his hand telling him over and over “Im sorry I wasnt here” “I love you dad, Im sorry”
    Everday I cry! I shoulda got a rent a car from the airport, I should have been there everyday, I coulda spent more time with him, I shoulda been there, I shoulda rented a car sooner, I shoulda, I shoulda…..
    My heart is so broken! I beat myself up everyday mentally! Im tortured thinking he passed away and I wasnt there! I feel so guilty for not being there, not renting a car sooner, not taking an uber to the hospital! I was trying to be there for my brother, get the house ready for when dad went home, making plans to stay to take care of him.
    The one thig I didnt do was be at the hospital with my dad. I should have found a way to get there! I should have been there! If I was there maybe he wouldnt have “given up” as the nurse put it. Im so tormented, tortured, guilty, that I cant function! I walk around numb during the day and cry every night! Some days when Im alone too.
    I want a do over! Im such a bad daughter for not being there! All I have is guilt.

  90. sirguy.lives  March 19, 2018 at 3:31 am Reply

    Next to Nostalgia “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” is probably most of my grief. The combo together is basically looking back and reliving events from the last decade, last year, her last Week , her last hours. It’s like replaying a chess game you already lost. Examining every move trying to find the one that eventually lost the game. The one move that would deny Death’s Ultimate Checkmate. If that weren’t annoying enough there’s the guilt about little heretofore insignificant things that now have come to the forefront of memory. The silly arguments, Not going to Blues Alley last spring/summer. My only hope with all this is if it is a normal part of the process then for every thing my grief brings into question I need to try to find somethings that I know I did right. The smart moves, the good moves. When I played chess finding and remembering the best moves were all part of the learning process.

    @Tormemnted:

    I know exactly where you are coming from. I too lost my spouse January 2018 to a form of Cancer which strikes 6 out of one million women each year. I have to remind myself its only March and that it hasn’t been that long. It seems now that the bad days out number the good but at east there are some good days.

  91. sirguy.lives  March 19, 2018 at 3:31 am Reply

    Next to Nostalgia “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” is probably most of my grief. The combo together is basically looking back and reliving events from the last decade, last year, her last Week , her last hours. It’s like replaying a chess game you already lost. Examining every move trying to find the one that eventually lost the game. The one move that would deny Death’s Ultimate Checkmate. If that weren’t annoying enough there’s the guilt about little heretofore insignificant things that now have come to the forefront of memory. The silly arguments, Not going to Blues Alley last spring/summer. My only hope with all this is if it is a normal part of the process then for every thing my grief brings into question I need to try to find somethings that I know I did right. The smart moves, the good moves. When I played chess finding and remembering the best moves were all part of the learning process.

    @Tormemnted:

    I know exactly where you are coming from. I too lost my spouse January 2018 to a form of Cancer which strikes 6 out of one million women each year. I have to remind myself its only March and that it hasn’t been that long. It seems now that the bad days out number the good but at east there are some good days.

  92. tormented  March 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm Reply

    I lost my husband in Jan 2018. He’d had multiple health issues for years – but miraculously always resurfaced doing well. It took him awhile to “bounce back” each time, but he did. He was older (79) but his mind was tack sharp. (He was a writer.) He’d had several hospitalizations where doctors told him he wouldn’t make it, but he did.

    This time, his body was deconditioned when he was told he got a second colon cancer (the first surgery was in 2014) and was not a candidate to have a partial section removed as before because he’d been on immune suppressant drugs for 12 years (he had a kidney transplant) and the prednisone he took caused his tissue to be extremely delicate. Doctors were worried that the colon would not “mend” causing massive infection. We went to several doctors — his trusted cancer doctor — each one said to get the surgery. My husband did not want the surgery. He was terrified of death. He kept saying “my luck has to run out sometime.” He wrote emails to people as though this was it, saying “if I don’t survive this surgery…” He was extremely depressed.

    Doctors said he needed to eat more protein and exercise for the recovery. They gave him 2 months to do this. He did the best he could re: diet and exercise, but he was so depressed, his wasn’t really making the effort he really needed to. He often was like this – eating food that made his condition worse, sitting at his computer for hours on end, not exercising enough. Becoming weaker and weaker. (we argued about it a lot over the years.) He went into surgery in October.

    He went through the surgery with absolutely no problem. Now, the recovery. As I said, he always fought doing things he should do to take care of himself. When the nurse was trying to sit him up on the side of the bed the day after surgery he was understandably in a lot of pain – I said something about how well he was doing sitting there and he lashed out at me. He lashed out at me often – especially after he’d come through something frightening. I went into the hall and cried, and the nurse came out and said they see this frequently, don’t take it seriously.

    Over the next two months, so much happened. His ostomy bag leaked, it was outputting too much, he was becoming dehydrated, wasn’t eating enough, and then ileus, and he aspirated ending up in the ICU for 9 days. then, it happened again a few days later. This time, they put a trach in (removed just before he was discharged) and a feeding tube to remove residuals if there was a backup again. Also, he received nutrition when he wasn’t eating. ( he refused food a lot ) He didn’t get a lot of PT because he also had a-fib and the therapists were too afraid to have him get up (even though the cardiologist said it was okay.) He lost a lot of weight and pressure wounds were getting bad. He was not drinking, or exercising, or eating the food as much. It was so difficult.

    But by early December, and he seemed to have come through everything all right and doctors were again amazed. I was being pressured to find a rehab for him (he could not stand or walk on his own so he couldn’t come home for followup care. If only he could stand on his own, get into bed…)

    Then, I found one that got 5 star rating on Medicare’s site. He was released there on a Thursday. He had scoliosis also, and had been on pain medication for years. The facility did not get his pain meds until 10:00 pm. I was there all day, hassling them, he vomited. I wondered if he even got any of his other medications. I called the surgeon who said he would follow up. The next day, my husband told me he hadn’t urinated all day. I called his nephrologist who ordered IV fluids. That night he did not seem well. (Why didn’t I get him out of there right then?)

    Then, two days later, he was admitted to a different hospital (no one was familiar with his history) with septic shock. The next morning, one of the doctors had written in notes; “survived the night.”

    That hospital did not treat him well – in a number of ways. He was doing horribly. They treated him like he was dying. He wasn’t getting the proper antibiotic treatment (I found out later.) Even before the infection cleared they said he had to be discharged (it had been 10 days) His nephrologist said to bring him home and then if “something happens bring him to the hospital” where all of his doctors were. I scrambled to get all the supplies, bed, care set up, etc.

    Within 10 hours, I noticed his urine was cloudy. He went back to the hospital.

    And with all of this, each time he was moved anywhere – even from one hospital room to another, he crashed. Mentally confused, refused food and water. And the day before he was to be discharged to another rehab, he was really in a bad way. The next day, the surgeon came in and said he could eat / drink whatever he wanted — within an hour, he was doing fine!!!

    That night I brought a homemade dinner to him. He ate it and read the New Yorker. A few days later, he was released to a nearby rehab. And I was running on fumes. The entire time, I had to sometimes fight with doctors, try to find out what was happening, what to expect. I never learned why one day he was fine, the next he wasn’t. A therapist told me that she thinks he rallied each time for me. We were incredibly close and I loved him so much.

    That first night he was in rehab, he was all right. The next day, crashed again. And it went like that daily – he begged me to “get him out of there.” I didn’t know what to do. He was in constant pain and nurses were disrupting his sleep every two hours turning him from side to side. Things got worse quickly. And he lashed out at me – blaming me if “something bad happens to him.” And he passed within 10 days. Even the day before, I was in denial that he was passing away before my eyes, as I held his hand and consoled him. The next day he was gone.

    I am tormented by the fact that had I not put him in that SNF to begin with – and instead took him home and paid whatever, he would be recovering. The last 2 weeks, he couldn’t feed himself, he refused food and water often. It just got worse and I blame myself at so many junctures. I keep telling myself it was all so complicated – that the infection could have tenaciously been there anyway to come roaring back. That it would take him months on end to recover anyway even if he had not had that terrible last ICU experience.

    Also, why didn’t I get him back to the hospital when he was begging me to get him out. I just didn’t know he still had the infection – even though they were giving him antibiotics there. He certainly would have gotten better treatment in the hospital. But then, would it have just drawn out his pain and suffering leading to the same result later?

    I’m so frantic and feel like he would forgive me. But I wonder how I will forgive myself. I’m seeing a grief counselor and going to a group. But not much is helping. I find myself sobbing and telling him “I’m sorry.” It has only intensified over the last two weeks. (even worse than in the beginning.) I need so much help.

  93. tormented  March 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm Reply

    I lost my husband in Jan 2018. He’d had multiple health issues for years – but miraculously always resurfaced doing well. It took him awhile to “bounce back” each time, but he did. He was older (79) but his mind was tack sharp. (He was a writer.) He’d had several hospitalizations where doctors told him he wouldn’t make it, but he did.

    This time, his body was deconditioned when he was told he got a second colon cancer (the first surgery was in 2014) and was not a candidate to have a partial section removed as before because he’d been on immune suppressant drugs for 12 years (he had a kidney transplant) and the prednisone he took caused his tissue to be extremely delicate. Doctors were worried that the colon would not “mend” causing massive infection. We went to several doctors — his trusted cancer doctor — each one said to get the surgery. My husband did not want the surgery. He was terrified of death. He kept saying “my luck has to run out sometime.” He wrote emails to people as though this was it, saying “if I don’t survive this surgery…” He was extremely depressed.

    Doctors said he needed to eat more protein and exercise for the recovery. They gave him 2 months to do this. He did the best he could re: diet and exercise, but he was so depressed, his wasn’t really making the effort he really needed to. He often was like this – eating food that made his condition worse, sitting at his computer for hours on end, not exercising enough. Becoming weaker and weaker. (we argued about it a lot over the years.) He went into surgery in October.

    He went through the surgery with absolutely no problem. Now, the recovery. As I said, he always fought doing things he should do to take care of himself. When the nurse was trying to sit him up on the side of the bed the day after surgery he was understandably in a lot of pain – I said something about how well he was doing sitting there and he lashed out at me. He lashed out at me often – especially after he’d come through something frightening. I went into the hall and cried, and the nurse came out and said they see this frequently, don’t take it seriously.

    Over the next two months, so much happened. His ostomy bag leaked, it was outputting too much, he was becoming dehydrated, wasn’t eating enough, and then ileus, and he aspirated ending up in the ICU for 9 days. then, it happened again a few days later. This time, they put a trach in (removed just before he was discharged) and a feeding tube to remove residuals if there was a backup again. Also, he received nutrition when he wasn’t eating. ( he refused food a lot ) He didn’t get a lot of PT because he also had a-fib and the therapists were too afraid to have him get up (even though the cardiologist said it was okay.) He lost a lot of weight and pressure wounds were getting bad. He was not drinking, or exercising, or eating the food as much. It was so difficult.

    But by early December, and he seemed to have come through everything all right and doctors were again amazed. I was being pressured to find a rehab for him (he could not stand or walk on his own so he couldn’t come home for followup care. If only he could stand on his own, get into bed…)

    Then, I found one that got 5 star rating on Medicare’s site. He was released there on a Thursday. He had scoliosis also, and had been on pain medication for years. The facility did not get his pain meds until 10:00 pm. I was there all day, hassling them, he vomited. I wondered if he even got any of his other medications. I called the surgeon who said he would follow up. The next day, my husband told me he hadn’t urinated all day. I called his nephrologist who ordered IV fluids. That night he did not seem well. (Why didn’t I get him out of there right then?)

    Then, two days later, he was admitted to a different hospital (no one was familiar with his history) with septic shock. The next morning, one of the doctors had written in notes; “survived the night.”

    That hospital did not treat him well – in a number of ways. He was doing horribly. They treated him like he was dying. He wasn’t getting the proper antibiotic treatment (I found out later.) Even before the infection cleared they said he had to be discharged (it had been 10 days) His nephrologist said to bring him home and then if “something happens bring him to the hospital” where all of his doctors were. I scrambled to get all the supplies, bed, care set up, etc.

    Within 10 hours, I noticed his urine was cloudy. He went back to the hospital.

    And with all of this, each time he was moved anywhere – even from one hospital room to another, he crashed. Mentally confused, refused food and water. And the day before he was to be discharged to another rehab, he was really in a bad way. The next day, the surgeon came in and said he could eat / drink whatever he wanted — within an hour, he was doing fine!!!

    That night I brought a homemade dinner to him. He ate it and read the New Yorker. A few days later, he was released to a nearby rehab. And I was running on fumes. The entire time, I had to sometimes fight with doctors, try to find out what was happening, what to expect. I never learned why one day he was fine, the next he wasn’t. A therapist told me that she thinks he rallied each time for me. We were incredibly close and I loved him so much.

    That first night he was in rehab, he was all right. The next day, crashed again. And it went like that daily – he begged me to “get him out of there.” I didn’t know what to do. He was in constant pain and nurses were disrupting his sleep every two hours turning him from side to side. Things got worse quickly. And he lashed out at me – blaming me if “something bad happens to him.” And he passed within 10 days. Even the day before, I was in denial that he was passing away before my eyes, as I held his hand and consoled him. The next day he was gone.

    I am tormented by the fact that had I not put him in that SNF to begin with – and instead took him home and paid whatever, he would be recovering. The last 2 weeks, he couldn’t feed himself, he refused food and water often. It just got worse and I blame myself at so many junctures. I keep telling myself it was all so complicated – that the infection could have tenaciously been there anyway to come roaring back. That it would take him months on end to recover anyway even if he had not had that terrible last ICU experience.

    Also, why didn’t I get him back to the hospital when he was begging me to get him out. I just didn’t know he still had the infection – even though they were giving him antibiotics there. He certainly would have gotten better treatment in the hospital. But then, would it have just drawn out his pain and suffering leading to the same result later?

    I’m so frantic and feel like he would forgive me. But I wonder how I will forgive myself. I’m seeing a grief counselor and going to a group. But not much is helping. I find myself sobbing and telling him “I’m sorry.” It has only intensified over the last two weeks. (even worse than in the beginning.) I need so much help.

  94. Dianemarie  March 7, 2018 at 6:39 am Reply

    My sister was killed on February 12, 2018. She was hit by an SUV while on her morning walk. We hadn’t spoken since August. 2017, at which time she was visiting and staying in my home. She was very rude and disrespectful to me on this visit to the point that I asked her to leave and stay with her son. I blocked her calls and social media … waitain’t got an apology. The apology arrived a week before her death. A letter just before I went on a vacation. I was going to write her back after I got home. I got home on February 11 and received the call of her death the next morning. I didn’t get to ever let her know that I loved her and reconcile with her. Now the entire argument seems ridiculous and petty and pointless. Her husband, my mother and her son all told me she write the letter and told them she knew I would respond after my trip and her and I would be ok and that she knew I loved her. Her husband told me she knew she was hateful to me in August and that she was going thru menopause and having a very hard to time. All these words do not take away the guilt I feel that I did not get to tell her I loved her still and apologize for not shutting her out of my life. We have always had a difficult relationship and I know that a lot it was just the relationship we had as sisters and my brain says “One fight is not your entire relationship.” But my heart is broken knowing I can never make it right with her. I am thankful that I have the letter and the good memories but the guilt and heartache is at times unbearable.

  95. Dianemarie  March 7, 2018 at 6:39 am Reply

    My sister was killed on February 12, 2018. She was hit by an SUV while on her morning walk. We hadn’t spoken since August. 2017, at which time she was visiting and staying in my home. She was very rude and disrespectful to me on this visit to the point that I asked her to leave and stay with her son. I blocked her calls and social media … waitain’t got an apology. The apology arrived a week before her death. A letter just before I went on a vacation. I was going to write her back after I got home. I got home on February 11 and received the call of her death the next morning. I didn’t get to ever let her know that I loved her and reconcile with her. Now the entire argument seems ridiculous and petty and pointless. Her husband, my mother and her son all told me she write the letter and told them she knew I would respond after my trip and her and I would be ok and that she knew I loved her. Her husband told me she knew she was hateful to me in August and that she was going thru menopause and having a very hard to time. All these words do not take away the guilt I feel that I did not get to tell her I loved her still and apologize for not shutting her out of my life. We have always had a difficult relationship and I know that a lot it was just the relationship we had as sisters and my brain says “One fight is not your entire relationship.” But my heart is broken knowing I can never make it right with her. I am thankful that I have the letter and the good memories but the guilt and heartache is at times unbearable.

  96. GGB  March 1, 2018 at 8:57 pm Reply

    “Figure out what you’ve learned”? That just makes me feel even worse. It’s too late for me to apply any “lessons” in a meaningful way and this line of reasoning makes it sound a little like.. like it’s okay! Don’t worry! THAT son was just a practice run. You’ll do better with the next one! Like, not exactly what I want to hear. Kind of the exact opposite. Even eight years down the line. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

  97. GGB  March 1, 2018 at 8:57 pm Reply

    “Figure out what you’ve learned”? That just makes me feel even worse. It’s too late for me to apply any “lessons” in a meaningful way and this line of reasoning makes it sound a little like.. like it’s okay! Don’t worry! THAT son was just a practice run. You’ll do better with the next one! Like, not exactly what I want to hear. Kind of the exact opposite. Even eight years down the line. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

  98. Sylvia Bates  January 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm Reply

    My mum passed on 29th December 2017 she had end stage dementia and I had prayed so many times for the end to come but I am still very sad even though I know she is free from pain and whole again. My guilt is from not being able to keep mum ato home and that decision I had to make nearly 7 years ago to have mum sectinned and put into a home. People tell me it was the right thing but I feel like I let my mum down as she never wanted to go into a home. As soon as she went into a home the light inside she had been battling to keep went out. From that time on she never used my name did not look happy to see me or smile at me; she smiled at others and spoke sometimes to them but not at me. I cried I apologised but any connection was lost. The homes she were did not do the best for her so I fought for better care and had numerous meetings overy complaints; we moved mum twice before we found a home that met her needs kept her dry and looked after her. It got that each time I visited it hurt so much so I reduced visits to twice a week sometimes only once and feel guilty I didn’t go every day and put mum first not my own feelings. I am just hoping that this guilt leaves me as I can’t change it. I spent 7 years looking for my mum she never came back and I do not miss the dementia mum but miss my mum from around 16 years ago before dementia but can’t really remember my mum pre dementia it just feels like I let my mum down she cared for her own parents and sister upto their deaths seeing them every day even though she worked night shints. She would go straight from work at 8am build their views.coal fire help them dress breakfast do their shopping washing cleaning and then get home at 1pm shattered got to bed then work and do the same again. Eventually when her mum died she brought her dad to live with her she did everything until the end and I think that’s what she would have wanted me to do. My circumstances different couldn’t give up work as my husband at that time had gambled our savings and we had debts so I had to continue working and take care of the money etc. I don’t think I would have coped for 7 years but possibly kept mum for another 2 to 3 years at home I will never know but will always regret this. I know time will heal but it’s still do painful

  99. Sylvia Bates  January 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm Reply

    My mum passed on 29th December 2017 she had end stage dementia and I had prayed so many times for the end to come but I am still very sad even though I know she is free from pain and whole again. My guilt is from not being able to keep mum ato home and that decision I had to make nearly 7 years ago to have mum sectinned and put into a home. People tell me it was the right thing but I feel like I let my mum down as she never wanted to go into a home. As soon as she went into a home the light inside she had been battling to keep went out. From that time on she never used my name did not look happy to see me or smile at me; she smiled at others and spoke sometimes to them but not at me. I cried I apologised but any connection was lost. The homes she were did not do the best for her so I fought for better care and had numerous meetings overy complaints; we moved mum twice before we found a home that met her needs kept her dry and looked after her. It got that each time I visited it hurt so much so I reduced visits to twice a week sometimes only once and feel guilty I didn’t go every day and put mum first not my own feelings. I am just hoping that this guilt leaves me as I can’t change it. I spent 7 years looking for my mum she never came back and I do not miss the dementia mum but miss my mum from around 16 years ago before dementia but can’t really remember my mum pre dementia it just feels like I let my mum down she cared for her own parents and sister upto their deaths seeing them every day even though she worked night shints. She would go straight from work at 8am build their views.coal fire help them dress breakfast do their shopping washing cleaning and then get home at 1pm shattered got to bed then work and do the same again. Eventually when her mum died she brought her dad to live with her she did everything until the end and I think that’s what she would have wanted me to do. My circumstances different couldn’t give up work as my husband at that time had gambled our savings and we had debts so I had to continue working and take care of the money etc. I don’t think I would have coped for 7 years but possibly kept mum for another 2 to 3 years at home I will never know but will always regret this. I know time will heal but it’s still do painful

    • Jennifer  January 25, 2018 at 7:11 am Reply

      Hi Sylvia,

      I read your post. Im really sorry for your loss. I can’t offer any advice im dealing my my own guilt over my mother passing away. I just want to say that I work in a dementia unit and it is very hard sometimes I always think that im finding 12hrs shift difficult . Unless you had a great support network you would not of been able to cope at home . Your own health would of suffered. Your mam sounded like a very caring woman looking after your grandparents , I don’t know if they had dementia but looking after somebody with dementia is a huge challenge. If you kept her at home and supposedly you were in the bathroom and she decided to cook or something dangerous and something happened you would have felt guilty over not putting her in a home. Sorry for the long mail I hope something I said helps even a tiny bit.

    • Chelsea Wyman  February 22, 2018 at 4:22 pm Reply

      Sylvia, you comment hit home for me. Doctor’s think my mother has dementia and I do as well but it has not been diagnosed yet. She was treated for psychosis and was in the hospital for a month and 5 days and was just released two days ago. I brought her home as I had to “try”. I couldn’t move her to a facility right away because I feel I would have failed. I told my husband that if she comes home and I can’t take care of her than at least I tried. A little backstory, my parents divorced in 2010, my brother and I started to notice mom changing in 2015, my brother died by suicide in 2016 and mom has not been the same since. My husband is disabled and in a wheelchair, my oldest son is ADHD and autistic, youngest son is ADHD and then I have a daughter; their ages are 11, 9 and 7. Also, in 2017 my dad slipped off the back of a boat while cleaning it and he had scans done and he found out he’s had multiple mini strokes. So I have a lot of my plate, I don’t feel like superwoman, I just feel like it’s my job to take care of everyone, but it’s a lot to manage and handle on my own and I feel overwhelmed most days. I’m afraid if I have mom go into a facility that I let her down, she doesn’t want to go, she wants to be home and I’m trying to take her wishes into account as well. I’m afraid I’ll make a wrong decision and she won’t want me around or won’t want to see me and that breaks my heart to think about. Like you said, I don’t want that light to go away if I decide I can’t do it at home. I don’t want to think in my own mind that I killed her and I already have guilt just thinking about it. Which I didn’t realize until just know when I typed that last sentence. I pray you find peace in your decision, I truly do!

      Jennifer- you are correct, it is a LOT of work. I don’t think I could do what you do, I mean we take care of our loved ones but I only take care of one. It is a lot of strain on your mind and body. I thank you for taking care of our loved ones in a facility!

  100. Daddysgirl rupal  January 22, 2018 at 10:36 pm Reply

    My dad started dialysis in Feb 2016. I went through resentment and anger and was very vigilant in the beginning. I started caring and more importantly showing him that I cared. I took him to a renowned hospital for a second opinion about getting a kidney transplant. I took a lot of pictures and videos of him. I emailed random doctors, institutions to get information on how to make him feel better. Dialysis brings unpleasant side effects like loss of appetite, nausea, itching, etc with it. Time flew and doctors kept saying his numbers looked good. When asked by doctors my father would say… he was good. We got used the the daily dialysis process that my mom used to do at home. I still spent time with him most evenings. My dad hardly complained. Some days he would look good and other days he would not. I have a stressful job and I need to travel so I continued going on my trips every 3 to 4 months. In 2017, as we got used to the daily routine of dialysis I became less vigilant. I still looked up articles about renal diet and I would print it for my dad. Not that a piece of paper would help someone who had nausea all the time. I once asked the nurse at his nephrologist office how long his patients my fathers age have been on dialysis. The nurse replied… I have a patient who has been on dialysis for 10 years. In my head, I thought that for my dad’s age, diet changes, etc that gives me about 3-4 years with him. I should have asked a doctor, researched his prognosis online. But I got what I wanted to hear from the nurse…10 years – did my math and accepted 3-4 years.
    I planned that I would step down from my stressful job by March 2018 and spend more time with my dad. November 2017 was a particularly bad month at work for me. I feel like I saw my dad but almost ignored him and his health. He had developed a bad cough and sounded like a lot of mucus in his chest. Some days he looked really weak and slept a lot. I was going on a trip to my native country to take care of some business. I was caught up with work until the last day I left. My dad came to the airport to drop me off with my mom. I drove the car and he was in the passenger seat. At the airport I hopped out of the car. My mom got out from back seat so she could drive back home. I gave my mom a hug. I was running late so I gathered my bags and started walking in. I turned around..wondered if I should go to the car and say Bye to my dad. I saw my dad looking at the rear view mirror looking at my in it. But I was running late and I assumed he would be there when I returned in 2 weeks so I did not turn back for a proper goodbye. My dad had my mom call me when they got home from the airport. He came on the phone and told me “Bon Voyage”. I was sitting at the gate and could not talk loudly in public so I just said Thank you and didn’t say much to him. He never called before when I left on my trips. Did he know he may not be around when I got back? Why didn’t he say anything? I would have cancelled my trip and ran home from the airport.
    2 days after I left my mom called and said his cough was not getting better. He had already been to his primary care doctor. I told my mom to take him to the hospital. I was relieved that he was going to be fine once he went to the hospital. He stayed at the hospital and they discharged him in 3 days like they do in the US. He came home went to see his nephrologist and his primary care doctor. She seemed to be doing good, although the cough was not all gone. 2 days later he passed away. I was in another country and had not said a proper good bye and had not given him proper attention for a few weeks before I left.
    My dad was a good man, he did not know to lie, not even a white lie. He was witty and had a good sense of humor. After he passed away I noticed that he always had a smile on his face in all his pictures from years and years ago to the most recent ones. My friends say that he always had a look of content on his face. How did I not notice that smile before . There was so much I was going to learn from him and talk to him about when I stepped down from my job in a few months. Now he is no more. I am left with guilt and regret. It has been a month and a half and I cry everyday. I cry at home and at work. I am still going to step down from my job like I planned. Only thing my dad is not part of that plan I had anymore. It is very difficult. Why didn’t I quit my job sooner? Why did I not ask more people than the nurse about the prognosis for this disease? I have to live with this pain until I die and then I will be free of this constant pain and regret. It really hurts that I wasn’t by his side in his last days.

    1
  101. Daddysgirl rupal  January 22, 2018 at 10:36 pm Reply

    My dad started dialysis in Feb 2016. I went through resentment and anger and was very vigilant in the beginning. I started caring and more importantly showing him that I cared. I took him to a renowned hospital for a second opinion about getting a kidney transplant. I took a lot of pictures and videos of him. I emailed random doctors, institutions to get information on how to make him feel better. Dialysis brings unpleasant side effects like loss of appetite, nausea, itching, etc with it. Time flew and doctors kept saying his numbers looked good. When asked by doctors my father would say… he was good. We got used the the daily dialysis process that my mom used to do at home. I still spent time with him most evenings. My dad hardly complained. Some days he would look good and other days he would not. I have a stressful job and I need to travel so I continued going on my trips every 3 to 4 months. In 2017, as we got used to the daily routine of dialysis I became less vigilant. I still looked up articles about renal diet and I would print it for my dad. Not that a piece of paper would help someone who had nausea all the time. I once asked the nurse at his nephrologist office how long his patients my fathers age have been on dialysis. The nurse replied… I have a patient who has been on dialysis for 10 years. In my head, I thought that for my dad’s age, diet changes, etc that gives me about 3-4 years with him. I should have asked a doctor, researched his prognosis online. But I got what I wanted to hear from the nurse…10 years – did my math and accepted 3-4 years.
    I planned that I would step down from my stressful job by March 2018 and spend more time with my dad. November 2017 was a particularly bad month at work for me. I feel like I saw my dad but almost ignored him and his health. He had developed a bad cough and sounded like a lot of mucus in his chest. Some days he looked really weak and slept a lot. I was going on a trip to my native country to take care of some business. I was caught up with work until the last day I left. My dad came to the airport to drop me off with my mom. I drove the car and he was in the passenger seat. At the airport I hopped out of the car. My mom got out from back seat so she could drive back home. I gave my mom a hug. I was running late so I gathered my bags and started walking in. I turned around..wondered if I should go to the car and say Bye to my dad. I saw my dad looking at the rear view mirror looking at my in it. But I was running late and I assumed he would be there when I returned in 2 weeks so I did not turn back for a proper goodbye. My dad had my mom call me when they got home from the airport. He came on the phone and told me “Bon Voyage”. I was sitting at the gate and could not talk loudly in public so I just said Thank you and didn’t say much to him. He never called before when I left on my trips. Did he know he may not be around when I got back? Why didn’t he say anything? I would have cancelled my trip and ran home from the airport.
    2 days after I left my mom called and said his cough was not getting better. He had already been to his primary care doctor. I told my mom to take him to the hospital. I was relieved that he was going to be fine once he went to the hospital. He stayed at the hospital and they discharged him in 3 days like they do in the US. He came home went to see his nephrologist and his primary care doctor. She seemed to be doing good, although the cough was not all gone. 2 days later he passed away. I was in another country and had not said a proper good bye and had not given him proper attention for a few weeks before I left.
    My dad was a good man, he did not know to lie, not even a white lie. He was witty and had a good sense of humor. After he passed away I noticed that he always had a smile on his face in all his pictures from years and years ago to the most recent ones. My friends say that he always had a look of content on his face. How did I not notice that smile before . There was so much I was going to learn from him and talk to him about when I stepped down from my job in a few months. Now he is no more. I am left with guilt and regret. It has been a month and a half and I cry everyday. I cry at home and at work. I am still going to step down from my job like I planned. Only thing my dad is not part of that plan I had anymore. It is very difficult. Why didn’t I quit my job sooner? Why did I not ask more people than the nurse about the prognosis for this disease? I have to live with this pain until I die and then I will be free of this constant pain and regret. It really hurts that I wasn’t by his side in his last days.

    • Kerry  January 23, 2018 at 4:04 pm Reply

      Hello daddy’s girl. When I read your post I found myself relating to a lot of what you said. I too lost my dad and although it was two years ago I miss him every day. I also remember the last conversation I had with my father and wonder if I said I love you after our conversation like I usually did. I did not expect him to die two days later but I’m conformed in knowing that even though I may not have said I love you that he knew I did. I also felt after he died that I somehow neglected him because he had cancer and wasn’t feeling well a few weeks before he died. He finally did go to the doctor the morning before he passed away. The doctor just thought he had a bad cold so I remind myself that doctors are human and we are human too. The only one who knows that someone is going to die is truly God Himself but I understand how you feel. After two years it has gotten better for me. I hope my words comfort you in someway. Please know that what you feel is certainly very relatable and with time while you’ll still miss your father I think you will forgive yourself and realize that there was nothing you could have done and you never could have known he was going to pass when he did .

  102. Joy Hoffmann  December 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm Reply

    I posted on Nov 14 So you can look back at my comments. It is now over one month later and I am beginning to. Be able to live with myself. I keep a journal and write my feelings and also write emails to my deceased husband,It also helps to go to the cemetery and sit and talk to him.His cancer was the fault of no one . I know in my heart that I did only what I was capable of at the time. I told him I wanted him to go into a nursing home because I knew I could not care for him. He was totally. Passive and just allowed me to react angrily and would never retaliate with words. Certainly I could have done better but I feel I did the best I could .I will have more days of guilt and sadness and that is an emotional response. Hopefully with web sites such as this I will overcome those feelings or at least they will become bearable. When I think of our time together I try to keep focused on the few good months we had before the constant visits for treatments.

  103. Joy Hoffmann  December 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm Reply

    I posted on Nov 14 So you can look back at my comments. It is now over one month later and I am beginning to. Be able to live with myself. I keep a journal and write my feelings and also write emails to my deceased husband,It also helps to go to the cemetery and sit and talk to him.His cancer was the fault of no one . I know in my heart that I did only what I was capable of at the time. I told him I wanted him to go into a nursing home because I knew I could not care for him. He was totally. Passive and just allowed me to react angrily and would never retaliate with words. Certainly I could have done better but I feel I did the best I could .I will have more days of guilt and sadness and that is an emotional response. Hopefully with web sites such as this I will overcome those feelings or at least they will become bearable. When I think of our time together I try to keep focused on the few good months we had before the constant visits for treatments.

  104. Karin  December 19, 2017 at 6:11 am Reply

    Hi everyone, I’m posting this from Sweden so please excuse my sometimes broken English.. I carry loads of guilt because of the way my beloved Mom died.
    Here’s my story..in 2013 my beloved Mother passed away suffering from pneumonia. She lived in a nursing home since a second stroke paralized her in 1998. The last night I was sitting by her bedside for some hours watching her breathe very hard and fast, no pauses. She was totally awake and alerte and the hard breathing had been going on for about 5 hours. Finally I rang the nurse and she came and gave my Mom 7.5 mg of Morphine and 5 mg of Stesolide( I don’t know the word for this relaxing meds in English). After about 30 minutes I rang again in some kind of panic because I didn’t think it eased the breathing that much. I was a fool thinking the meds would change and help my Mom’s breathing, but I did hope it would… it was so stressful to see her breatha like that.
    The nurse came again and I asked if she could have some more.. How I hate myself for this!!! The nurse said yes and gave her another injection and despite of what I thought and hoped for this seem to make her breathing more labored.
    The hardest thing to carry is that I saw that Mom didn’t want that second injection, but I was trying to ease her discomfort and was determined to save her!
    I was in such denial, my brother and I had spoken to the doctor and the chief nurse earlier that day and asked them to try and save her, and we got some hope up, maybe there was a little chance she might live through this! Having had a sick Mother for 25 years, it was almost impossible to understand that this was it-she was going to die. Anyway, being in such a state of denial I went to bed thinking tomorrow was another day and we would try and save her. She died an hour after I went to bed and left her with a girl who worked there.. I torture myself every day for asking the nurse for more and then going to bed. I would have done everything to make this undone:( I feel totally devastated and don’t know how I ever will be able to forgive myself.I took away her goodbyes and probably the last two days of her life.

  105. Karin  December 19, 2017 at 6:11 am Reply

    Hi everyone, I’m posting this from Sweden so please excuse my sometimes broken English.. I carry loads of guilt because of the way my beloved Mom died.
    Here’s my story..in 2013 my beloved Mother passed away suffering from pneumonia. She lived in a nursing home since a second stroke paralized her in 1998. The last night I was sitting by her bedside for some hours watching her breathe very hard and fast, no pauses. She was totally awake and alerte and the hard breathing had been going on for about 5 hours. Finally I rang the nurse and she came and gave my Mom 7.5 mg of Morphine and 5 mg of Stesolide( I don’t know the word for this relaxing meds in English). After about 30 minutes I rang again in some kind of panic because I didn’t think it eased the breathing that much. I was a fool thinking the meds would change and help my Mom’s breathing, but I did hope it would… it was so stressful to see her breatha like that.
    The nurse came again and I asked if she could have some more.. How I hate myself for this!!! The nurse said yes and gave her another injection and despite of what I thought and hoped for this seem to make her breathing more labored.
    The hardest thing to carry is that I saw that Mom didn’t want that second injection, but I was trying to ease her discomfort and was determined to save her!
    I was in such denial, my brother and I had spoken to the doctor and the chief nurse earlier that day and asked them to try and save her, and we got some hope up, maybe there was a little chance she might live through this! Having had a sick Mother for 25 years, it was almost impossible to understand that this was it-she was going to die. Anyway, being in such a state of denial I went to bed thinking tomorrow was another day and we would try and save her. She died an hour after I went to bed and left her with a girl who worked there.. I torture myself every day for asking the nurse for more and then going to bed. I would have done everything to make this undone:( I feel totally devastated and don’t know how I ever will be able to forgive myself.I took away her goodbyes and probably the last two days of her life.

  106. Patricia Kaschalk  December 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm Reply

    My beloved, who suffered from alcoholism, passed away lasat spring. He was an incredibly talented, open hearted, generous spirited man. The drinking made regular employment difficult and caused conflict with my family. I threw him out of my house five years ago, making it clear that I could not live with him and the drinking, but we remained close friends. He loved me more than anyone has ever loved me but I held him at bay, afraid he would come back and we would be back in the same mess. When he developed clear signs of cirrhosis he finally sought medical care but it was too late. I told him to come back, and he did, but wanted to see his family out of state for a while. He went there and never returned. I am tortured by my inability to have accepted him and the related difficulties his illness entailed. He died alone and tried to call me when he was dying but my phone was not working. We never got to say good-bye or pick up from where we had left off. This is a tough lesson for me and I suspect I will pay for it in heartbreak until my dying day.

  107. Patricia Kaschalk  December 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm Reply

    My beloved, who suffered from alcoholism, passed away lasat spring. He was an incredibly talented, open hearted, generous spirited man. The drinking made regular employment difficult and caused conflict with my family. I threw him out of my house five years ago, making it clear that I could not live with him and the drinking, but we remained close friends. He loved me more than anyone has ever loved me but I held him at bay, afraid he would come back and we would be back in the same mess. When he developed clear signs of cirrhosis he finally sought medical care but it was too late. I told him to come back, and he did, but wanted to see his family out of state for a while. He went there and never returned. I am tortured by my inability to have accepted him and the related difficulties his illness entailed. He died alone and tried to call me when he was dying but my phone was not working. We never got to say good-bye or pick up from where we had left off. This is a tough lesson for me and I suspect I will pay for it in heartbreak until my dying day.

    • Susan  February 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm Reply

      I am going through the same thing now. My fiancé and I were together 6 years and I left him because of his drinking. Otherwise he was a wonderful man who I loved more than I’d ever loved any man and who loved me more than anyone has ever loved me. We were apart about a year and half, but talking on occasion. I was also afraid to let him back in my life. I am heartbroken and filled with guilt. Im a nurse and I’m sure if I had stayed with him, I could have saved him. I am overwhelmed with sadness, guilt and regret.

  108. Seema  October 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I lost my father last week. Ten days before that, he felt really ill while being in the park with my mom so i took him to the doctor. We were fearing that it might be a heartattack. I was sooo relieved when the doctor said it was a severe stomach flu. When after a week he still didnt get better, i took him to our personal gp. He looked him over and said he was under stress (my parents had just moved half way across the world to be with me and my kids. So they could take care of the grandchildren, pick them up from school, be there during holidays and sickness…now that my father was retired. It took us more than a year to get the paperwork in order). That the trouble he was having in breathing was due to hyperventilation caused by stress…Again i was relieved and just laughed away my fathers concern, telling him it was all in his head. In the end he had a fatal cardiac arrest that just ended everything. He got up to go to the toilet and just dropped dead. I called the ambulace, they tried to revive him, managed to get his heart beating again after 8min but it was all too late. I held his hand untill half an hour later he flatlined…
    My guilt is killing me. If i had just taken him more seriously, put him in the car and just driven him to the hospital. He was in a strange country with a strange language. He was my responsibility. He came here for me and now he will go back as ashes in a container. Every time i see and hear my mother cry, my heart breaks. Her anguish over loosing her life partner of 49 years is heartbreaking. She has not once blamed me but i know that had i done something more my father could still have been alive. So i know my guilt is very rational. I just dont know how I will be able to live with it.

  109. Seema  October 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I lost my father last week. Ten days before that, he felt really ill while being in the park with my mom so i took him to the doctor. We were fearing that it might be a heartattack. I was sooo relieved when the doctor said it was a severe stomach flu. When after a week he still didnt get better, i took him to our personal gp. He looked him over and said he was under stress (my parents had just moved half way across the world to be with me and my kids. So they could take care of the grandchildren, pick them up from school, be there during holidays and sickness…now that my father was retired. It took us more than a year to get the paperwork in order). That the trouble he was having in breathing was due to hyperventilation caused by stress…Again i was relieved and just laughed away my fathers concern, telling him it was all in his head. In the end he had a fatal cardiac arrest that just ended everything. He got up to go to the toilet and just dropped dead. I called the ambulace, they tried to revive him, managed to get his heart beating again after 8min but it was all too late. I held his hand untill half an hour later he flatlined…
    My guilt is killing me. If i had just taken him more seriously, put him in the car and just driven him to the hospital. He was in a strange country with a strange language. He was my responsibility. He came here for me and now he will go back as ashes in a container. Every time i see and hear my mother cry, my heart breaks. Her anguish over loosing her life partner of 49 years is heartbreaking. She has not once blamed me but i know that had i done something more my father could still have been alive. So i know my guilt is very rational. I just dont know how I will be able to live with it.

  110. Jean Randles  October 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm Reply

    My cousin commited suicide i believe her father was sexually abusing her, i feel so guilty because i was always putting off visiting her (i have social anxiety) so i didnt even know she had passed till years later, i knew he was odd and did tell my grandma that he touched my bum but i never dreamed what he was doin to her id only heard rumors, but she was drinking heavy and goin out late at night so it gives me comfort to know i was there for her when she needed me and she could talk to me, she did often say she missed my mum and wanted to be with her but i never dreamed she would commit suicide she had a boyfriend but a nice house and adorable little boy, but i believe he was abusive i went to the house once and he complained, but i so wish i ignored him amd turned up anyway, but like your post says we cannot change the past but we can learn from it and i do take comfort knowing i can be there when someone else needs me and i can know that whatever happens it is out of my control but if i prevent something then thats great

  111. Jean Randles  October 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm Reply

    My cousin commited suicide i believe her father was sexually abusing her, i feel so guilty because i was always putting off visiting her (i have social anxiety) so i didnt even know she had passed till years later, i knew he was odd and did tell my grandma that he touched my bum but i never dreamed what he was doin to her id only heard rumors, but she was drinking heavy and goin out late at night so it gives me comfort to know i was there for her when she needed me and she could talk to me, she did often say she missed my mum and wanted to be with her but i never dreamed she would commit suicide she had a boyfriend but a nice house and adorable little boy, but i believe he was abusive i went to the house once and he complained, but i so wish i ignored him amd turned up anyway, but like your post says we cannot change the past but we can learn from it and i do take comfort knowing i can be there when someone else needs me and i can know that whatever happens it is out of my control but if i prevent something then thats great

  112. GeeDee  September 5, 2017 at 5:08 pm Reply

    Guilt,,wow,,I lost the love of my Life a Few Months Ago, He had just. gotten off of work,, took a Sower,, Laid down (On the Couch) and was watching TV,, Me and our Son and Daughter were putting Pizza in the oven and all of a Sudden he Jumped up off the Couch saying his Stomach hurt and he was Hot, I said Hot? the Central Air is on I’m usually Hot,, whats wrong with your Stomach Our son said “Can you breath”? ,,he said No!,, we told him “Let’s go to the hospital” he said “I don’t want t go to the Hospital”,,,,,Call 911!,, Don’t call 911,, well,, Let’s Go!,, No,, I’m Fine,,he Goes,, into another Room Bent over Holding his Stomach,,,,then (For me) everything,, goes into Slow Motion,, he goes into the “Back Bedroom”,,bent Over in Pain,,(Refusing to go to the Car so we can take him to the ER),,,, He comes out,, walking past all of us ,,”STRAIGHT UP”,, as if her was’n’t in “ANY PAIN” any more,, so instead of him heading towards the Door to go to the Hospital I Say,,,”Let’s Go”! Instead he heads to the Bathroom Door,, so I ask him “where are you Going”? He says,, “Where do you think I’m Going, To The Bathroom”,, and Closes the Door,, all the while he’s in there,, We are asking Him if he’s Okay,, and He’s telling us through the Door “I’m Okay”!,, I’m Hollering “Let’s Go”! He’s Hollering through the Door,,”I’m Coming!, ,Wait A Minute!,,Don’t Call an Ambulance well we did anyway,, but He’s stead telling us “I’m Fine”,,I called Other People,, as wll,, and the Ambulance took forever coming,, but to make a long story short,,it got Quiet in the Bathroom we opened the door and he was Unconscious,,,that’ when the Slow motion effect Hit,,,when the Paramedic finally arrived it turned out he was having a “Heart Attack” I didn’t know a symptom was a Stomach ache,,,however,, when he came out the Back room walking straight and Painless,, I thought he had a stomach Bug,, ,, I knew,,(I knew) he was leaving, me,, I can’t shake the GUILT of feeling like Had I forced him out the door the MOMENT he said he couldn’t Breathe,, he would still be here,,,Had I not been in a Daze,, i could have done something Had I known CPR,, I could have saved him had I stopped talking through the door and taken him,, to the ER,, So Many other things came to mind,, after the Paramedics arrived 10 minutes later,, they said his Hands were Cold we got into the Ambulance I watched through the little Window through the Front Seat,, and saw them Jab him in the Heart,, which told me his heart Stopped,, I knew I was losing Him,,Yes He Passed away,, I Can’t get over this I can’t Function,, I’m Lost,, I Love Him so Much,,I Pray,, I’m Just at a Loss,,I’m Sick,,God Help Me

  113. nadz  August 30, 2017 at 10:57 pm Reply

    my husband died over two months ago, when he died we were living apart. i blame myself everyday for his death, if i had let him move back in the house he would be alive. i cry all the time i should have taken him back, he told me he was in danger and i didn’t act, don’t know how to live with myself.

    • Tj  November 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm Reply

      Hi. Sorry you lost someone special. I wondered if I could ask how you are doing? I have just lost my husband, we were living apart too, although I knew I wanted to take him back. I don’t know how I can ever live with myself, I wasn’t there for him when he needed me. It hurts so much

    • Joy  November 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm Reply

      Nadz..your situation is somewhat like mine . I wanted my husband to go into a nursing home because he was terminally ill.I was so angry. We had only been married 6 months when he got cancer. Continuos doctor trips for over 3 years. He was passive about my outbursts. The he finally just shut me out when he did go into a rehab place, ofcourse I am now feeling guilty and horrible even though I did many good things in taking care of him.
      The guilt I feel since his death is overwhelming.

    • Pat  December 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm Reply

      NADZ, I suspect we are having similar suffering….i threw my beloved out of the house five years ago. I always loved him but the drinking caused a lot of trouble between us. We remained friends, but this spring, he died of cirrhosis. Now I wonder if the stress of being nearly homeless contributed to his death and wish to God I could have learned to love him as he was.

  114. Jagriti Chawla  August 27, 2017 at 11:58 am Reply

    I lost my mom a week ago..she was suffering from pneumonia whose symptoms did go undiagnosed. She was having fever since a few days and genearl fatigue. The doctor diagnosed it to be a general viral fever and prescribed. A week after her condition worsened and she was diagnosed with pneumonia and it could not be controlled. She dies a day later due to sepsis. I feel guilty of not taking her to the hospital earlier. Though she didn’t have any serious symptoms earlier but I feel like I should have digged into the cause and offered her better medical help. She was everything to me. I lost my dad when I was 2 yrs old and since then she has done every possible thing for me. I loved her a lot and can’t imagine my life without. But what I feel like is that due to me being less vigilant and having missed her symptoms, I jus lost her. She went away in a day, being fine a day B4. She just went away so suddenly. I feel hell guily of not being able to do anything to save her life. I miss her a lot. I couldn’t do anything for my mom.:( Somebody please try to take this regret of me. I seriously don’t want this life.i don’t want to live but then I have to live for my brother whom I can’t give another shock by ending my life. I don’t want to live without my mom.

    • Dana Todd  December 12, 2018 at 12:15 am Reply

      Your story is my story, almost to a tee. My mom also ended up dying from septic shock because i did not recognize that she had a UTI. I was just wondering how you’ve been doing? I’m still dealing with the same guilt, in fact, is seems to be getting worse instead of better. My mom died in may 2017.
      I hope you’re doing ok. I must wanted you to know your circumstances are very similar to mine, so you’re not alone.

      • Suzanne  May 7, 2019 at 5:47 pm

        Hi Dana and the person that you responded to… my mom has the same situation. I always wondered if the antibiotics given wasn’t the right one for her.

        She didn’t have real symptoms yet she dies the next day. I’m trying to understand how this is possible??

  115. Kara  August 13, 2017 at 3:07 am Reply

    My brother died. Natural causes. He was 34 years old. What is “natural” about that? A few months before his death he admitted to using drugs again after years of being clean.

    That is my 1st moment.

    The 1st moment i regret. I carry the guilt and regret with me 100% of the time. I wish i had of responded better. Calmly. Instead i went vicious. I wanted to hurt him. In my rage i saw only red. After more than one hurtful comment i hung up the phone. My plan was to walk the 3 blocks down tl his house and punch him. Hard. In face. He had other plans. By the time i got down the street the police and ambulance were there. My sister had called them after my brother cut himself when i hung up on him.

    I shouldve talked to him. Told him that admitting it was huge and we could work on this. I should have been the support he needed.

    Fast forward a few months and he had landed himself in jail. Still using, thousands of miles away from home now. No longer 3 blocks down.

    The last words my brother heard from me were cold. He called collect from jail and i accepted the charges. He asked if our mom was there. I was silent then said “yup” and handed the phone over.

    Thats the 2nd. The 2nd regret that weights me down. Physically pushes me to the ground by times.

    I couldn’t have told him i loved him? Thats i was mad as hell but that i loved him? Was being so cold more of a statement?! I look back and im sickened by the person i was.

    I live constantly wondering if i had of reacted differently in the first scenario if maybe, just maybe, the butterfly effect of that decision couldve avoided the 2nd scenario all together.

    I know that logically thats not how the world works. But that logical thought doesnt help me at 4am when the pain of guilt and regret are front row center with no daytime distractions to cloud them.

    I am trying to learn from it though. I am always trying to breathe and think before reacting. Im just sorry i hadnt started sooner.

    • Gayle  January 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm Reply

      Hi Kara

      I feel like I’m in the same boat now, my sister was an alcoholic. Last time I seen her was nearly 5 years ago although I would always try and speak or get her help but she would deny it or cause an argument with me to the point of me ending up in therapy with it all. She died on Christmas day possibly thinking I hated her when I loved her so much, the guilt is eating me away. How have you been coping?

  116. Dooga  July 13, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply

    I have the best dogs in the world, I didn’t even want to look at dogs when my girlfriend would ask me to go to a pet store. I ended up getting a pair with her. We had puppies from them, and we kept two. One I delivered. One convinced me to keep her the night before she was to be sold. She laid in me, had this look in her eye that was deep and meaningful. I decided to keep her. So I had four dogs . this special girl then conceived and perhaps changed. She seemed more lethargic, distended even. I put it down to a normal change since she was adult, and slowing down like her mom. About a year later she conceived again, then a third time. There was only six months between litters on the third time. She seemed normal but on the eighth week, when the puppies were just weaned, she stopped eating. I brought her to the vet for what seemed like liver failure. I didn’t realize until later after how sick she was, whether it was pregnancy or drinking pool water. I had her in emergency care for five days. I think the vet just kept her knowing she would decline. I took her to another vet as she was now in pain, and euthanasia was recommended. The new emergency care facility had more drugs, a surgeon. They did a plasma transfusion, and drugs. They told me she was worsening, there was nothing I could do. They refused to do surgery, saying she had a five percent chance. I spent the afternoon with her, and euthanized her. She was only six. I feel like I caused the illness, band ultimately took the life of my soulmate. I can’t seem to shake the guilt, I tell myself she lives on in her puppies. That life isn’t fair. But I should have picked up on her symptoms. That maybeb I should have tried a feeding tube and rest.. Holistic medicine. I find it hard to live with myself. It’s now three days later. I feel completely responsible, but I will ensure her babies have babies, I think that’s ultimatelly what life is about. I rationalize. I still feel broken and guilty

    • Jim  March 3, 2018 at 12:43 am Reply

      Don’t post about animals on here! It’s not the same as losing a human you ignorant ass, wake up!

      • Kristen  November 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm

        Hey, Jim – It’s way more ignorant to respond with nastiness to someone who is grieving and feeling guilty. It seems to me this site was designed to help people deal with complex and painful emotions brought on by loss. You don’t get to determine whose grief is valid or what constitutes an important loss.

  117. Katherine Colon  June 9, 2017 at 2:23 am Reply

    Hello.
    I know that most of these posts are about losing loved ones. Mine is different. I am 15 years old. I have lived most of my life feeling useless and sorry because of personal issues. To help with that, I begged my parents for a puppy. I was about 12 years old when I wanted that puppy. I eventually “manipulated ” my mom into getting me that puppy. My dad was in jail and he said no. I got that puppy. I finally was happy. That summer. I left to NJ for 2 months leaving Max (my dog) with my mom. I didn’t train him and soon he became aggressive. My parents promised to give him a chance to put him in training. They lied. I had him for 2 years and we moved to an apartment. Max was around 70lb. He got loose and scratched a little boy. My parents made me give him to a shelter and they killed him.

    Everybody says it’s not my fault. That my parents should have never gotten a puppy. But I chose to leave for 2 months and not train him. I chose to get the puppy in the first place. I have this huge guilt that I killed my dog. I can finally talk about him without crying. But I can’t sleep and I can’t eat. And at the same time I sleep all day and I overeat. He is everywhere and I miss him. He helped me with anxiety and depression and I betrayed him. He did a lot for me and I repayed him by giving him to a shelter. How do I deal with this guilt? This feeling of grief? How do I make it go away?

    • Tricia  June 10, 2017 at 9:08 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry your dog died. Yes he is an animal but the bonds we humans create with them can be so intense and the loss we feel when they go is painful, just like when people do. I know others have told you not to feel guilty, but I have to reiterate it as well. This is really just a very unfortunate situation and none of it is your fault. You’re 15 years old and your parents should have offered better guidance on getting the dog trained. Honestly I don’t like the way they handled this situation at all, but you can’t go on blaming them or yourself either. And keep in mind sometimes even the most well behaved animals snap outside of anything anyone did or did not do.

      Also, don’t try and get rid of the bad grieving feelings, it will only make you feel worse. Acknowledge them and sit with the uncomfortableness for awhile and soon you’ll see that you’re ok and you’ll start to process things. It would be very helpful for you to talk to someone as well like a therapist, or Minister or an adult family friend maybe?

  118. MAUREEN FAHY  May 4, 2017 at 4:53 am Reply

    My 28 year old son died 8 months ago from an overdose while in a sober living house. I feel tremendous guilt about the fact that i did not use my retirement ira to put him into a higher quality treatment program instead of relying on insurance which only covered 28 days of treatment and then this sub par sober living house that was unstructured and unsupervised. I did not think of my ira until after he died
    I realize not that there are much better places that he could have gone to if i had only done the research and paid for them out of pocket. This guilt consumes me more than the fact that he is gone. I had thought all sober living homes were the same, but now know they are not.

    • TJS  November 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm Reply

      Dear Friend,
      This I know first hand. Please don’t have guilt. My loved one who passed had been in a treatment center. Had been clean and then used one last time, ending her life. She tried to take the vivitrol shot and couldn’t take it. Our family tried everything there was to save her from this terrible disease. I call it a disease because it alters your brain and they eat sleep and breathe it. She also tried everything she could do to beat it. We miss her greatly. I know your pain and I pray that you will be able to forgive yourself. Remember you did try to help the only way you knew how. It’s not about the money or that you should have tried something else. You did try. After death we have 20/20 vision . You now have many more answers or things that you could have tried, but it’s because you know the outcome. That’s unfair to you, because you would have done anything to save your son. Please pray to God that he will comfort you. Jesus is my savior and I know he will help you .
      There have been many people who go into treatment to use the very day they get out. I researched everywhere to find a cure and you know I found one 1 month after my child passed. The answer is simple sodium ascorbate crystals . Purchased at a health food store for about $15.00. It blocks the opiate receptors and the person can’t get high and they loose the desire to use. God I wish we had that time back that we both could have used this to help our loved ones. Maybe this post will help someone else.

  119. Kathrina  January 19, 2017 at 7:17 pm Reply

    I lost my husband last year 2016. my whole world turned upside down. I feel guilty when i go out and have fun or social with friends .Especially when i get back home and i wake up feeling like i did something wrong…

  120. me  January 5, 2017 at 7:25 am Reply

    Hi –
    In your post, the word “overreacting” caught my eye. Actually, it’s more like the word gave me a hard kick in the butt. I feel SEVERE guilt, anguish, regret, sadness, etc., because when my sick, cancer-ridden husband wanted me to spend more time with him, I thought he was overreacting or feeling sorry for himself. I loved him, still do, and always will, but I’ve gotta say that even when his health was excellent, he could be possessive, controlling, childish, self-pitying, and defensive. So when he got very sick and wanted me to spend more time with him at the hospital, I thought he was just feeling sorry for himself. When he called from the hospital and said, “Please be here. I’m dying”, I thought he was overreacting. I feel like the biggest jackass that ever walked this earth. Recently I went for mammogram—I’m hoping that the results are very bad, that the hospital will tell me that I have cancer. This way, I’ll be able to join him. I don’t want to exist without him. He was so self-pitying for so many years—how the hell was I supposed to know that this time, the situation was for real? Anyway, dear, you are not alone. You are very much in my thoughts.

  121. F. Nio  January 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm Reply

    Hello

    My English teacher passed away about 1 week ago. It such a shame that I never visited him and went to his funeral. Now it’s too late. I will never get to see him again. His grieve and guilty feeling still haunting me and it’s hard to for me to forgive myself for being such an ignorant.

    I met him about 20 years ago when I was a kid. He taught me and my siblings English. In order to make more money, he sold food near the church that he attended with his wife and his van.

    I always and still remember a particular food that he used to make for me… a potato pasta. He was like a father for me and his departure was too much for me…

    Maybe if only I got to see him even just for a while, I wouldn’t be haunted by this grieve and guilty feeling. The cause of his death was prostate cancer…

    My mom told me about this and she said that he was ready to face his end. I thought my mom was joking with me or maybe she was overreacting.

    On 27th December, I got a news from my mom that he already passed away. I was a bit shock, not really a big deal I told to myself… as the time goes on, those memories started to appear slowly… one by one… I couldn’t handle it anymore.. tears started to fall from my eyes… I didn’t enjoy my new year because I was still in agony.

    I started to blame myself… why I didn’t come to visit him? I had plenty of time and why I decided to ignore him? I was too busy with myself. I never thought it would happen. I thought he would recover and back to his daily life.

    I still remember the last time I saw him. He was walking on the bridge and I was driving. Wanted to call him but I was driving… so it’s very unlikely to say hello to him. Maybe I could have said hello to him. If that happened, that would be the last time he saw me and the last time I saw him smiled and hear his voice. I still remember the shirt that he was wearing.

    Now… it is too late for everything. Too bloody late. The moment when my mom informed me about his death, I thought he had been buried but during the new year, my mom told me that he was still there. Oh man… if only I decided to go there… it just like… miscommunication. My mom went to his funeral on 26th December and she informed me about his death on 27th December. Probably he was buried on 28th.

    Some people might think… “oh he was a teacher and he wouldn’t teach you if you didn’t pay him money”.
    Nothing wrong if people think like that… it’s not just knowledge and money… it’s MEMORIES. Something that money cannot buy. I still remember his face, his smile, songs that he used to sing when he was teaching us. Even he played magic trick on us.

    I willing to trade my tomorrow just for 1 hour or maybe 5 minutes to spend with him… I knew it wouldn’t happen and I cannot turn back the time.

    If only I got to spend at least 5 minutes with him… Maybe I wouldn’t be suffering like this. I am still holding my tears as I am writing this.

    Goodbye

  122. Tejas  September 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm Reply

    My father passed away on 10th September. He had chronic bronchitis for quite sometime now. He was undergoing treatment for the same. He was feeling discomfort for the past 10 days. He used to get tired even after walking 10 steps. There was a complete misjudgement in our understanding of his problems. We continued his treatment with his bronchitis doctor. He passed away due to cardiac arrest in hospital. He was my father as well as my mother. He gave me double the love. My mother has schizophrenia. I am really feeling guilty that I failed him as a son. I should have consulted alternate doctor and should have taken a second opinion We had time we could have given him better treatment. I didnt do 1 percent of what he did for me. Now I really want to take good care of my mom. She is the only one left in my life. He was a really good human being and did everything for everyone but noone could do anything for him especially me. I feel guilty please help me

  123. Cam  September 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm Reply

    I’m ( I was the caretaker, of my Dad ) still struggling and suffering from a lot of guilt of having to make the decision of taking my dear Dad of life support, and even agreeing to let them operate on him .. after the horrible events.

    He had been in the hospital for pneumonia, and it seemed like he was recovering quite well, the Doctors said and then suddenly, one morning I called the hospital to ask how he was doing, and the nurse said he didn’t look so good and they are giving him extra oxygen.. ( I was on my way to a furniture store with my Mom, to find a more proper table for my Dad ). I always visited him every morning and afternoon, usually. But just this morning I decided otherwise, stupidly. As I didn’t think that such horrible thing that followed would happen to him. Although, I thought twice about not going to store and rushing to him that morning as usual, but I didn’t.

    So, half way to the stupid store I got a call. It was the hospital and they told me my Dad got a bowel obstruction and rupture ( he chocked to death of his vomit ) and they resuscitated him and sucked all the fluid out of his lungs. I’ve never ever heard of such a thing could happen before. They told me he is in the intensive care section now. I broke into tears and made my way to the hospital. It was so horrific seeing him with tubes and all, not responding. That same night, they called us and suggested on cutting him open to maybe safe his life, as he suffered a ‘intestinal breakthrough’. I couldn’t think straight. Of course I wanted to safe his life and do all that could be done, but I also don’t wanted him to go through an operation in that fragile and critical stage now, and even make things worse. But then I decided they should go ahead. But afterwards there was no evidence found in the gut area. They told us it could have been ‘intestinal paralysis’.

    After only a few days the doctor told me he sees no hope cause of the lack of oxygen to his brain that happened, and that he is not really responding. Although, he is kinda breathing by his own, with little help from the tubes. And has twitches here and there, even when I gently brushed against his feet. It was devastating, and I didn’t know what to do, or not do. ( He as well had been dealing with beginning Dementia, among other health issue. ) So, the Doctor ( which I feel now, kinda talked/rushed me into taking him of life-support, said it would be the best/human thing to do. As well I think now, because my Dad was at an old age already.. they just don’t bother anymore, sadly. ) I was still in a state of shock and disbelief. I really thought that when we take him off life-support, that he might miraculously come fully back to life. I don’t know.. I didn’t knew nothing anymore… I mean, I didn’t wanted him to suffer.. and the doctor said it’s probably best to let it happen all “naturally”. As well, they didn’t even give him morphine or else … although, I was worried that he might be in pain. But the Doctors said, that one can see if someone is in pain. But how can you see if somehow is in pain, when he cannot respond/react and is paralyzed in a state of coma due to the events???

    Unfortunately, my Dad didn’t had any papers stating anything for or against life support. So, it was horrible seeing him either way.. after taking him from life-support, he kept breathing for 2 nights and then I wasn’t there the afternoon he stopped breathing. It’s all devastating and hard to believe, still.

    I’m feeling so much guilt and regret. Why did I listen to the doctors? Why didn’t I give him more time on life-support ( people stay on life-support for weeks/months )?
    Why didn’t I go to hospital on that morning and decided otherwise? What was he thinking? He must have felt scared and alone? He must have felt abandoned, not cared for? What were his last words, before all hell broke loose and he couldn’t speak or react anymore? It must have been so horrific for him vomiting and choking to death, then being resuscitated and in that state of coma and then still the operation.. ? Could he hear me, see me? And then just dying all by himself? Making the decision for him?

    I don’t think I ever get over all this. Especially thinking and feeling what he was going through!!! It breaks my heart and my soul.

    I’m so so sorry, for writing all this in detail. It’s a complicated story what all happened and I’m having a very complicated grief from all those horrific events, which occurred to my dear Dad.

    Thank you for anyone who reads through my long comment/story.

    And my heart goes out to all the loved ones we have lost. ♡

    Thank you.

    • Me  January 6, 2017 at 4:53 am Reply

      “What was he thinking? He must have felt scared and alone. He must have felt abandoned, not cared for.” I know EXACTLY what you’re going through. I know your pain, your feelings of guilt, your regrets. My best friend (my husband) recently passed away from cancer. He was a highly sociable person. He always loved being surrounded by people. But there came a point when his condition got so bad, they had to make him unconscious. They gave him pain medication through tubes, and he was unconscious, and his breathing was very laborious. One day I was in the room with him, just sitting by his side, while he was supposedly “unconscious”, when a nurse came in, and I asked if he could feel or hear anything at all, and she casually said, “Oh yes, he can probably still hear, even if he can’t reply.” I remember thinking to myself, “WHAT??? That means he might be aware of his current state, without being able to express his pain or his emotions!!” How frightening for anybody, but especially for a person who was always gregarious and expressive. How much like being trapped in a jail, where you’re the only person in the jail, and nobody knows you’re there. To think that he might have been consciously aware of his condition without being able to express his feelings—how absolutely dreadful. He’d had such a zest for life, and now to be in that position…. But anyway, he has since been cremated, and now he is a peace. Please don’t be hard on yourself. You did nothing wrong. You did nothing to deserve feeling shame or guilt. The fact that you cared enough to seek and find sites like this, and post your feelings, just proves that you are a good person, and that your loved one mattered to you very much. Please be good to yourself; you deserve it. You are in my thoughts.

  124. Pat  August 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm Reply

    Hi! My father died last month from complications of his lung cancer. He was admitted in the hospital due to sepsis and later found out that he had pneumonia. I am working as a nurse overseas and decided to go home because the doctor informed us that my father had only have 1 – 2 months to live. The doctor let us decide if we wanted intubation and CPR just in case he arrested. So I asked the doctor about the benefit of having him intubated knowing that he had 1-2 months more to live. My father had big lymph node wound on his neck that made him very hard to drink his pills. So I was thinking that if we had allowed intubation, would that cause him harm. So I decided to ask my father about intubation. He said no. He said that he already decided before not to have intubation. He knew that the prognosis is poor. He knew that if he was intubated, the outcome would be still the same. He said that we should just understand him. He said that he will just suffer if he was intubated. After what he said I cried and I asked him if he knew that in case he arrested without intubation, he will die. He answered back to me that he will eventually lead there. He was so calm. He did not cry which surprised me. So I signed the form No intubation and No CPR. What is the point of CPR if there is no intubation. Then he deteriorated the following days, from simple oxygen inhalation via nasal prong, he needed to use a CPAP. Then he reach the point where he could still have difficulty of breathing in spite of having a CPAP. On his last day, we were asked to move to another room because my father’s doctor would want him on telemetry. My father had a good sleep after having an attack of difficulty of breathing the previous day. When we were on our new room, he suddenly complained of difficulty of breathing. I can see him deteriorating as he as on a pulse oximeter. I called the doctor to assess him. They gave him diuretics with no relief. Then the on call doctor asked me if we were really decided not to have him intubated because on that very moment, intubation is the best option. I said no. I remembered what my father said about the intubation. Then my father was given sedative as what his palliative doctor charted in case he arrested to make him comfortable and not feel the hardship of breathing difficulty. Then his palliative and pain doctor arrived early morning and said that if she was the daughter of my father, she would have decided the same. That brought me comfort as it was really hard to decide that time and I was really confused. Then the doctor told me if I agree to give my father a pain medication called oxycodone without blood pressure precaution. She said that eventually, blood pressure will drop. So I thought that my father needed pain medication as he was experiencing pain in his hip and arm due to metastasis. I agreed as I wanted him comfortable as much as possible. Later that day, we positioned him on his bed and we accidentally moved his painful leg and that made his eyes opened a bit. I called him which he responded by opening his eyes further but he was still sedated from the first dose of sedative they gave. Then the nurse gave him an IV dose of oxycodone. I knew his blood pressure was low. But I just thought that since we moved his painful leg earlier, that pain medication would help him not to feel pain. After 20 minutes, my father’s vital signs deteriorated then he died. It was a shock. One of my relative asked if he needed a CPR. I said no. Looking at the fragile chest of my father, I know that performing CPR will only break his chest and would him harm. I said to them this is it. Then we all cried.

    A month after my father died, I have so many guilt feelings. This are my guilt feelings:

    1. If I did not ask my father about the intubation and I decided myself that he is for intubation, maybe he is still alive right now in ICU or a single room. Intubated but alive.

    2. I should have not agreed to give him pain medication without blood pressure pressure precaution, maybe he is still alive right now. I am not sure if that’s the cause his death.

    3. I should have not agreed to move him to other room. He was stable before the move. But I know that he would still experience another attack. But who knows?

    4. I did not spend time with him as I was working overseas. If I knew that he will die soon, I could have requested leave to spend it to him.

    5. When my father was deteriorating, I said thank you very much to him for all he sacrificed to us to make our live comfortable. But I regretted that I did not say how much I love him.

    6. I felt that I just gave up easily. When the doctor said that he would not live more than two months, I just agreed and just gave up that is why I decided to follow his wish not for intubation.

    7. He was the one who made way for me to be able to work and live with my family overseas to have a better life, but he did not really experienced the fruit of his labor.

    8. If we go out and have some fun with my family, I feel that I am not deserving of it. I feel that we are so happy but my father died suffering and disappointed.

    9. I feel that I am not a good nurse. Many of my patients commended me for giving them the best care but I felt that my decision on my father’s intubation was unacceptable.

    10. I give my best to give quality care to my patients overseas but when my father was sick with his cancer, I was not there. I really regretted it. I wish I could turn back time.

    Please send me your feedback. I want to read them. I want an honest feedback. Thank you very much for reading!

    Pat

    • Paula  August 31, 2016 at 9:05 pm Reply

      Pat-
      Your post is very poignant. I can tell that you are suffering greatly over this. I can only offer my opinion, but I believe that you are being too hard on yourself. With regards to the intubation of your father, he requested that he not be intubated. He believed that intubation would only buy him more time to suffer and he did not want that. You regret that you gave up too easily on him by allowing him to not be intubated, however suppose he had been intubated and then suffered for longer, you would have regretted that too. Unfortunately, we allow ourselves to believe that there is a right answer and a wrong answer in every situation and life is seldom that way.
      With regards to your work overseas, your father was most likely very proud of you and your work. You said he made it possible for you to do this work but that he did not get to experience the fruit of his labor. I believe that he did, through you. Your father made a great sacrifice for you out of his love for you. He did not do it for himself. Thus, he benefited greatly. He was happy for you.
      You wanted honest feedback, and I am giving you mine. Truly, I believe that you had done everything that you could and I hope that you can come to terms with this. Please be kind to yourself.

    • Jan  April 16, 2019 at 12:25 pm Reply

      We need more nurses like you, so please be happy- families need nurses with a heart and soul. It was left up to me to look after my mom and decide whether or not to get life support (breathing tube)- I did so but she suffered so – I spent 50 days by her side in the ICU and experienced a horror of mean nurses (and some good ones)- and doctors who yelled at me to “throw in the towel” cause my mom was elderly. with pneumonia. I will never know if I did the right thing- but if your dad said NO- respect his wishes.

  125. Tom  August 11, 2016 at 6:57 am Reply

    So happy to have found this site and section! Why isn’t there more information out there for people in this situation? I lost my Dad around 8 years ago in a way that left me feeling incredibly guilty and it almost destroyed me. Nobody seemed to be able to talk about the guilt, even therapists I went to.

    In my story, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, having been a lifelong heavy smoker and drinker. Despite being very angry at first, I was over the moon when he quite smoking as part of his treatment, and finally began to feel I was getting my Dad back, he was going to start acting sensibly.

    He came out of hospital after his first chemotherapy session and after about 3 days I went to see him one evening, really happy I could go and sit with him, and he seemed uncomfortable and out of sorts. I see myself as somebody who is exceptionally careful with health matters, most people would say I worry too much, but on this evening I wasn’t worried. Looking back it was so obvious he wasn’t OK and needed proper medical attention. My Mum was more concerned than me but not enough to insist my Dad went to hospital. I was happy to sit with him, get him a drink, get him some water for the night, tell him he was doing well. I was so happy to help him back from the bathroom when he felt weak, so I could put my arm round him. Went up to bed that night thinking I’d really helped him and been a good son.

    Then my Mum woke me early in the morning to say he was going back to hospital as he felt worse. I said good luck and wasn’t worried. Then got another call that he’d been taken to intensive care, and a few hours later another to say that he’d died of septic shock and kidney failure.

    The way this happened is unusual and I won’t go into the details. It’s just so tough to lose somebody the moment you finally felt you were getting closer to them. I think I let my guard down that one time as I felt we were finally getting closer and after smoking all his life he’d quit and he’d be OK.

    I have had genuinely happy times since then, but sometimes it comes back when I feel really depressed. It’s helpful to read others’ experiences. I feel for all you guys and hope you can move on!

  126. Candy  July 29, 2016 at 5:14 am Reply

    My husband recently passed away after a year-long fight with pancreatic cancer. The last month he was in hospice care at home pretty cognizant for about 20 days of that. The last seven days were the hardest because he would no longer respond to most stimuli. Up until his last day though he would respond slightly whenever I gave him a kiss on the side of the mouth. Even though I was holding his hand at the moment he passed I’m feeling extremely guilty now about not holding him in my arms 24/7 during that last week since I knew he could feel me in some way. I was in the room 99% of the time, and talking to him but not always touching him. I know it’s irrational at some level but I’m having a hard time coping. Also feel I should have found some way to keep him in his own bed instead of the twin hospital bed in the living room. I couldn’t sleep with him there. Too many should have would have could have.

    • Kerry  August 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm Reply

      Hi, Candy. From your post it sounds like you were an extremely caring and compassionate wife and did everything you humanly could do to make your loved one feel comfortable and loved while he was passing away. My father passed away in January, and I constantly reflect about all of the things I didn’t do and all of the time I wish I would’ve spent with him and I didn’t. I am starting to feel like it’s irrational and unhelpful to focus on this. It is comforting when people point out all that I did to help my dad, and all the time I did spend with him. While I understand our situations are different, I can’t help but relate to a sense of guilt that you must be feeling about not being perfect. The truth is that no one is, and when I think of what a great dad my father was, and how wonderful your husband must’ve been, I am thinking that we wish we could’ve been perfect for them because that’s what they deserved. I hope my words bring you a little comfort. God bless!

  127. Chloe  June 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm Reply

    I talked to my friend as soon as I caught her online, and she helped a ton. Later that day I spoke to my mom, but the thoughts I’d been having I just called ‘Dark Thoughts,’ And I don’t know if she caught on completely. She helped to, since I knew after that my sister wasn’t mad and was scared that she upset me. Im better now, but it’s usual for me to feel overly guilty for things, though this was much much worse then ever before, I’m better.

    • Litsa  June 25, 2016 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Ah, I am so glad to hear back from you and that you are doing better!! I hope you never have to go through anything even remotely like that experience or those feelings again, but if you do please always try to connect with others. It is amazing what a difference it can make just to get some support and perspective from someone else. Also, I don’t know if you have heard of it, but there is a really great site and community called “To Write Love On Her Arms” that deals with many of the crazy and complicated feelings that can come up around self-harm, suicide, etc that you might like. Take care and, again, I am so glad to know you are feeling better!

    • Sylvia Corbit  June 25, 2016 at 11:53 pm Reply

      So glad you are feeling better, Chloe, and talked with someone about your feelings. Can’t say how glad. Please always remember to do that!

  128. Tricia  June 23, 2016 at 12:20 am Reply

    I am so glad I came across this site. My dad died a little over a month ago from some sort of dementia related illness and the guilt I have over it is slowly eating away at me every day. I say “dementia related” because we still don’t know for sure what he had and his doctors I think were grasping at straws saying Altzheimer’s mixed with some form of Parkinson’s, maybe. I am convinced though his brain problems had more to do with a head injury he had a few years ago which could have brought a condition called hydrocephalous which, as it progresses, mimics severe dementia in almost every way. At the time of the injury none of us had ever heard of hydrocephalous and because he seemed to be healing we did not press for any follow up x rays and MRI’s. Long story short if this was his condition there were things we could have and should have done that may prevented his spiral in to insanity. My siblings and I convinced my mom to put him in a memory care unit which really escalated things with my dad, made him angry and scared and rapidly worsened his condition to where he was dead two months later.

    At the time he died I welcomed it due to his misery and me knowing he would not at all have wanted to live life this way. Of course I feel guilty over this too. I am functioning and slowly moving forward but I can’t seem to process this.

    Thanks for listening.

  129. Sylvia Corbit  June 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm Reply

    Oh Chloe. …my heart hurts for you. Please please please talk to your parents about what happened and how upset you are. Thank god all are safe, and you learned a frightening lesson. But DO NOT KEEP THESE FEELINGS TO YOURSELF! Yes, they are scary feelings and I understand them as well….but they can be like the monster under the bed. .without light they become bigger than life, but shine a flashlight or daylight and they retreat to something that can be dealt with.

  130. Chloe  June 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply

    Im 10 years old, about to turn 11 this July, and just a day ago I went swimming with my cousin, my niece, and my sister and almost killed my 1 year old niece. My sister had already said it would be better for her to just swim at the pool at out house in our backyard we had put up that day, but when my niece came to me when i held out my arms, I figured she wanted to get in, but of course she didn’t agree. I was in the deep end, (6 ft, i’m 5’2.) And I wanted to just hold her in it for a minute to see if she’d like it. I don’t know what I was thinking but I picked her up and lowered her to the water with me, but since I was on the edge where it was higher, and I was on the edge of the slope, And pounds weighed onto me, I lost my balance and slipped, using all of my strength to try and swim upward and grasp onto her tightly. I sank, and with my eyes wide open saw my niece go underwater with me, I heard my sister scream “You’ve got to be kidding me!” And run over to get her out of the water. I soon came up and heard her yell at me, “Not in the deep end!” And walk away yelling to my older cousin who showed up while we were there that “And this is why I can’t ever take her on vacation!” My niece cried for a little but cheered up and was as good and well as before the incident, meanwhile for nearly the rest of the time there I held back tears and stared at the wall of the pool, tons of suicide thoughts coming to my mind, but the knowledge i’d never do them staying. My cousin eventually got me cheered up and I played around with my niece a little longer once I got out of water. I was happy again, but the thought and the deep amount of guilt could never leave. The thoughts of wanting to die and that I deserved any pain and didn’t deserve any gifts for my birthday or even a birthday at all, and that I didn’t deserve any of the things I asked my mother for. (Like a phone, and for a subscription to a Loot Box.) When I awoke the next day, the feelings hit me hard, and I almost felt as if I had no emotions. I took multiple tests to see if it was Trauma, but none gave me an answer, only that I needed to put information for an answer, which I put a name and made a new email for it, but no response yet. Even if it was I don’t know what I’d do. I’m scared to tell my mom or dad because I’m scared of any trouble. As i’m writing this, I’m shaking and sobbing because of how around maybe 20 minutes ago the thought came to mind again, and I was home alone, so I started crying, and yes there has been more of those suicidal thoughts and everyones reaction to if I did them, since I got a pool yesterday, but of course I’ve named off myself all the reasons I could never do it, which were things like how my friends would react or feel, how my family would feel, how my niece would probably never know me as she grows up, and that I’d be to much of a wimp to do it. I know my sister isn’t to mad because while staring at the pool wall, my cousin thats about my age was talking with her, and she said she just wanted me to know not in the deep end and something else I can’t remember. My cousin(my age) then came and got me saying my sister wanted me. I swam over after going underwater so if any tears escaped they’d look like water, and she said to swim while I could, but I couldn’t because the water had turned freezing and I didn’t feel like moving. I know this is in everyway my fault and I can’t get over it. The info above hasn’t helped either, I tried to talk to my friend about it on skype but she won’t reply or get on skype. I do get happy and (of course) sad every once in awhile, but I also have those dead inside moments as well.

    • Litsa  June 21, 2016 at 10:43 pm Reply

      Chloe, it is really important that you talk to your parents right away and, if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, call a suicide hotline or 911 right away. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. I know talking to your parents may be scary for fear of trouble, but asking for help is not something you will be in trouble for. Please know that this site, and others like ours, don’t have someone here 24/7 to reply to comments. To get the support you need it is important that you talk to your parents, a suicide hotline, 911, or another adult your trust “in real life”. Please know you are not alone and many people clearly love and care about you and will want to help you.

  131. Emily  June 14, 2016 at 9:30 am Reply

    Last year when I was 17 I took care of my grandmother who was terminal with cancer. The cancer was all through her body by that point and nobody else in my family could/would take care of her so the job fell to me. I’m happy I had this time with her her last summer but now a year later I feel so guilty. I’m training to be a nurse and I had a little bit of experience at that point. She didn’t want full time hospice care so I was giving her medications and medically caring for her as well as doing the cleaning and cooking and sometimes grocery shopping. Towards early July she stopped eating some things like certain meats and my aunt and uncle blamed my cooking as the cause of her no longer wanting to eat. My grandmother told me that I cooked well though… I don’t know what to believe… and then my aunt also had issues about when I was giving my grandmother medication when I was just following the hospice agency’s orders. I feel so guilty and like I could have done more or even that if I wasn’t taking care of her she would have lasted a little longer. I don’t know what to think. Up to her last two weeks of life I was practically her sole caregiver. Family would come in once in a while to help and my grandfather was in failing health too at the time. I just haven’t been able to deal with this guilt and it is eating me up. It has gothen to the point that I have been refusing dates with my long distance boyfriend whom I almost never see because he could be spending time with his own grandmother who is in fair health. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know if this feeling is normal at all… I just feel sick thinking about last summer and I feel like I have failed her…

    • Eleanor  June 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply

      Emily,

      Obviously we don’t have an intimate knowledge of you, your grandmother, and your aunt or uncle or the circumstances of last summer. However I will say, based on your comment, that sometimes people (like your aunt and uncle) make themselves feel better for their own weaknesses by blaming, pointing fingers, and preying on the good nature of others. It seems entirely likely to me that they felt guilty about their own lack of involvement and instead of owning up to it, they came in and bossed you around so they could feel like they were doing something. Because you were in a vulnerable position and much younger than them and because you truly did take your job very seriously, you took their comments to heart. You did the best anyone could do with a very extraordinary situation. Frankly, I am angry on your behalf that they treated you this way when they should have been grateful that you made their lives easier.

      Now, I know that none of this takes away your guilt. Guilt is a normal response in grief and sometimes it’s funny in that it’s really resistant to logic. I would say that if you continue to find your guilt, thoughts, and memories getting in the way of your day-to-day life then perhaps you may walk to talk to a counselor about it, mostly because they ought to provide an objective ear and help you figure out a way to work through it.

      Eleanor

  132. Care for Your Parents  June 3, 2016 at 10:26 pm Reply

    My father needed me to care for him near the end of his life. What I told him was that he needed to care for himself. What I meant actually was that he needed to eat healthfully because he had a heart condition. But he wouldn’t do so, just ate a lot of junk and told me not to lecture him. I should have taken him into my home and cared for him. I remember how he looked at me near the end. In retrospect, he was depressed and needed someone to care. I was so stupid and self-involved. I’ll never forgive myself for what I said and didn’t do. That’s what I have to live with. I didn’t realize what he knew, that he was dying. If I had cared for him and he felt loved, I would be able to more easily accept his death. But I didn’t. My guilt is rational and haunts me every day. I’ll carry those regrets to my own grave.

    • Heather  November 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm Reply

      Hi I feel the same way about my Mom. I should have tried to make her more happy, taken her in with us instead of agreeing with her she needed her independance cause this suited me better. Why was I so selfish! If I had been kinder maybe she would have been happier and wanted to live longer. After a stroke in hospital she just went to sleep and never woke up. Did she decided that I was so horrible that she would rather just die then be around me? Everyone says “you did so much and should not feel guilty” I dont agree. They say try remember the good times I cant think of anytime when I was good. I failed as a daughter and now I am failing as mother / wife. Everyone would be better without me!

  133. Natalie Rich  May 24, 2016 at 11:09 pm Reply

    I’ve been wracked with guilt since my partner’s death, and I keep trying to talk about it, and people always brush it off and tell me I shouldn’t feel guilty. Thank you so much for this post. It really spoke to me. All I needed was validation…I recognize (sometimes) that my guilt is irrational, but it still haunts me. I look back and see the signs that may have signaled cardiac arrest. I see the symptoms she displayed, now that I’ve done the research and read everything I could find about sudden cardiac arrest, and I judge myself with the information I have NOW about the things I coulda done THEN. Connecting my guilt to the idea of control is immensely helpful. Thank you!

  134. Marc  May 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm Reply

    Guilt is a huge problem for me regarding my wife’s death last month on April 10th. Her doctor had put her on a new drug for her seizures which was not working. She also was having trouble sleeping so the doctor had her go to a sleep clinic for an overnight study. I was supposed to get there at 5:30am the next day to pick her up. After I dropped her off at the clinic I went to see a friend’s house I had never seen before and we had a couple of beers there. When I got home and went to bed I decided to get at least four hours sleep so I didn’t get up until 4:15am and then I got to the clinic at 5:45am. Since my wife’s seizure medication was not working I had been monitoring her when she showered. When I got there they led me to her bedroom but she was not there. They said she was in the bathroom. It was so early in the morning and I may have been a little bit hung over so I didn’t think to go to the bathroom at that point to check on her. After about 10 minutes I realized she had been in the bathroom too long. I went to find a technician and I asked if my wife was being monitored. I was told they don’t to that due to privacy. I asked for her to be checked on and was told I could do it. I went to the bathroom and knocked and got no answer and there was no noise from inside. So I opened the door and saw my wife’s naked dead body on the bathroom floor. She had had a seizure. If I was not late by 15 minutes and did not wait for 10 more in her room, I could of been there to save her life. I do not know I am going to live with this guilt. It was bad enough I didn’t push her enough to change her non working drug, but I chose to go to my friend’s house the night before and then chose be a little late to pick her up the next day. It may have cost my wife her life. She choked on her tongue and if I was there I would of known what to do to save her.

    • Litsa  May 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm Reply

      Oh Mark, I am so incredibly sorry for your wife’s death and for the incredible pain you feel. There is no easy answer to guilt – self forgiveness is long and sometimes complicated process. If you haven’t already, I would suggest you consider talking to a counselor who may be able to help you through this process. If you haven’t already, I would suggest you read our post on guilt vs regret. There is a nuanced but extremely important difference between the two that can be helpful in really teasing out what you are going feeling:

      https://www.whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-vs-regret-in-grief/

      You may also want to check out this post on self-forgiveness:
      https://www.whatsyourgrief.com/grief-and-forgiveness-part-two-12-tips-for-self-forgiveness/

      I hope you find some support on our site.

      • Litsa  May 23, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Ah, Marc!!! So sorry for the misspelling!

      • Marc  May 24, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        Thank You Litsa. I was seeing a therapist but didn’t like him and now I have started seeing a new one but I don’t like her either. Neither one seems trained in grief counseling. Neither one wanted to talk about my guilt, they both just said something like you cannot turn back the clock. I am now in search of a third therapist. I want one trained in grief counseling.
        This has been so hard, nothing I have ever felt as been like it.
        Thank you so much for the website, it has been extremely helpful to me. Please keep up the good work and thank you for the nice comments.
        I will check out the links you suggested.

  135. Dianne  May 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I feel guilty about my husband’s death. He was adopted as an infant. I keep thinking I should pushed more for him to get his adoption records from his adoptive parents so he could have found out if heart disease was genetic. He had high blood pressure and already had one heart attack before he met and married me, I believe. What if I had pushed more for him to take better care of himself. Ron died of a massive heart attack on January 1, 2016 at home. What if I could have done more to get him help.

    • Kerry  May 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Hi, Dianne. My father died of a heart attack the same day your husband died. I’m so very sorry for your loss. And mine. I find in dealing with my guilt over missing signs that he had heart issues (he also had cancer and was undergoing chemo), that while I’m coming to terms with it the best way I can there is no way to know if I could’ve done anything to save him. My dad was incredibly bright and stubborn. I couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. I am wondering if you too wonder if you could’ve made your husband do something like research his birth history more when in reality he was his own person who couldn’t be controlled by someone any way. And in reality that may have not changed things anyway. When I told my brother how guilty I was feeling, although he’s not as sensitive as me, he did make me feel better by saying that “when it’s someone’s time it’s their time.” Basically, although my brother is not a spiritual person, I think he was saying that God (or fate) is the one in control not us. I hope that you, me, and others out there who feel we could’ve done something to “save” our loved ones realize we all did the best we could at the time and there are certain things we can’t control.

      • Dianne  May 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Kerry,
        Like some of the other heart disease comments on here, Ron was having indigestion issues for a few months before his death. He worked too many hours at his job, also. I started a month after his death going to Griefshare.org group. I learned as you said that God had a definite day in mind for Ron but still sometimes i wonder if I could have given Ron a few more years if I had just pushed for him to investigate genetics alittle more. We had so little time and I miss him so much.

      • Kerry  May 24, 2016 at 10:48 pm

        Dianne,
        I understand where you are coming from. My dad also had what he called “gas” but now we realize it was his heart. I’m so regretful that I also thought it was gas at it seemed to pass with no consequence. I’m certain my dad would not want me to think I’m at fault for his death. Although I know that logically, I have such despair in my heart because I miss him so much. I’m so sorry for your loss and the guilt that you also feel. I’m hoping that this guilt that we all feel will pass so that we can focus on being better to ourselves

  136. Brad  May 6, 2016 at 11:48 pm Reply

    I’m very grateful to have found this site. After a 20 year struggle, four weeks ago, I lost my brother to a fatal heroin overdose.
    Through the years, I tried everything to help him, including getting him jobs, letting him live with me, clothing, food, taking him to 12 steps meetings (we did a 90 in 90), moral support, and friendship. Most of the rest of my family would have nothing to do with him. Through all of this, I struggled and dealt with my own addiction issues, depression, guilt, and codependency.
    Several months ago, after he lost our family home which he had inherited, he’d been living in a homeless shelter, and managing to stay clean. I saw him often in order to help him out when he needed it. I was always careful not to give him money, worried that he only buy drugs. He looked great- he’d even gained 30 lbs.
    Then, after finally getting him into a 90 day program, he was kicked out within a week for stealing. Shortly thereafter, he made it into another 28 day program. One Wednesday, two days before he was scheduled to be released, he unexpectedly appeared at my door , claiming to be out on a “day pass”. I took him to lunch to discuss his plans after rehab. He said the treatment center had lined him up with a job and a place to live, starting that Friday.
    The next day, he turned up again saying that he had been released early. I was very uneasy, annoyed, and frustrated, since I had just lost my job, and on top of his problems, I now had my own to deal with. Since he was estranged from the rest of our family, he was using me as his only support system.
    Very unsure what to do, I asked him what he needed. He said that he would be fine going back to the homeless shelter for a few days, but just needed a little cash to get by on, which I honestly thought would not be harmful, since he had been clean for several months, and I desperately wanted to believe he would stay that way.
    Once I sent him on his way, I felt horribly guilty and worried about giving him cash, but still thought I was doing the right thing. I received an email from him on Saturday, saying he was doing fine, but, unable to let go of the guilt, I responded by asking him to come back on Sunday to stay with me until his job and living arrangements were settled.
    I didn’t hear back from him, which was not unusual, since he didn’t have a phone, and would message me from the public library near where he was staying.
    Unfortunately, I would never hear from him again, since he overdosed the very Monday he was supposed to start a new life.
    I am now racked with guilt over giving him money, and not making him stay with me so that I could keep him safe.
    I’m overwhelmed and feel like I will never get over this; although, I know that I did truly love my brother profoundly, and tried to help him the best way I knew how, as imperfect as that may have been.
    Yes, I am haunted thoughts that I should have done some things differently, but I also know that I did the best I could at the time, and that hindsight is 20/20.

    • Litsa  May 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm Reply

      Oh Brad, I am so sorry. I know the pain of addiction on a family can be absolutely overwhelming and I am so sorry your brother lost his battle with the disease. Have you ever attended Nar-anon? If not, a Nar-anon group or GRASP (grief recovery after substance passing) group may be a good place to connect with others struggle with some of these same challenging emotions. It sounds like you did a tremendous amount for your brother, though I know that may feel like little consolation now. Please know that you are not at all alone and, as hard as it is, try to keep in mind that we sadly ultimately can do our best for others, but only having control over ourselves. I hope you continue to find our website of support.

      • Brad  May 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm

        Litsa, thank you for your invaluable response and kind words of consolation, which I found to be a tremendous comfort. In some strange way, objective feedback from individuals whom with I don’t have a personal history is most helpful at this time. I suppose that’s because, though they are absolutely well meaning and I’m appreciative, I’m incredulous of friends and relatives who I feel are simply telling me what I want to hear in an effort to make me feel better (just my perception, not necessarily reality).
        I will check out both the Nar-anon group and GRASP groups, and continue to find comfort in your excellent website and podcast.

  137. dude  April 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm Reply

    Six months ago I lost my mum to cjd,she was my best friend and it was so sudden. Our family has always been so close and we were all hurting bad. All dad kept talking about was wanting to be with her,every day he would say he was lonely without her and was going to kill himself. It was hard to listen to after just losing mum and he refused any sort of help. I still visited him most days but he was distant and depressed. Last Saturday he was found hanging from a tree and I feel I could have done so much more. This guilt is eating away at me. I wonder what he was thinking at that moment in time, did he feel alone and that no one cared. I have lost both my parents now and I feel alone…just like he must have.

    • Kelly  April 28, 2016 at 12:03 am Reply

      I felt compelled to respond to your post. This may seem odd coming from a stranger but know you are not alone. I think the people who have found this site have done so in search of some healing and connection (thats what brings me here). Maybe its because reading some blogs and listening to some pod casts has made me a tad emotional but I getting a heavy feeling in my heart whenever I hear (or read) someone who is dealing with so much sadness. And it may not mean much from me, but though you may feel alone, there are people here for you.

  138. Kerry  March 7, 2016 at 11:38 pm Reply

    I understand the guilt you feel, Carol, but please think about how much your brother loved you and would want you to have a happy life. It sounds like your brother gave you a reasonable answer and there would’ve been no reason to take him to the ER (he thought it was his collarbone, why wouldn’t you?) My father died on January 1st, and I too have this tremendous guilt that I could’ve done something more and that I also missed signs that he was having heart problems. He was diagnosed with an incurable but treatable cancer of the bone marrow (Multiple myeloma) a little over a year ago. He was in the hospital twice due to pneumonia, which is common with this disease because it affects the immune symptom. For several months he was out of the hospital and every time he went to the oncologist during the last months of his life, he would always say that the doctor said that his “numbers looked good.” Yet, he was so weak and frail at times. We attributed that to the cancer and chemo. During the last month of his life, he had bad gas attacks. I remember asking him a few days before he died, “Dad, are you sure it’s just gas?” He said that it was because when he took gas medicine he would feel better. He probably was having heart symptoms. There were other signs of heart disease, but my dad always attributed it to the cancer and chemo. So did I, or I just didn’t think these signs were serious. He died New Year’s Eve after he went to bed because of the “gas” pain. My dad was an amazing father. Yet, I feel like I failed him. He needed me to make sure he got the right medical care and I failed him. That’s the guilt I carry around daily. He fought so hard against the cancer, and in the end died of a heart attack. My family had plans for the future. My dad wanted us all to go on a cruise when he was feeling a little better. Sadly, we will never go on that cruise and my children will miss their amazing grandfather. Why didn’t I see the signs that my dad was dying? Or did I just ignore them because I wanted so badly for everything to be ok?

  139. Carol  March 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm Reply

    My brother died about a month ago of a heart attack. He was only 48. My Mum died just 3 months beforehand and I was clearing away some things from her house with my brother the week before he died. He told me he had been having a pain in his arm and it worried me – I said ‘Its not your heart is it?’. He said ‘No, its my collarbone (he broke his collarbone whilst horse riding years ago). He said he had pain there for years so that made me feel better; I thought it could not be serious. A week later he died of heart disease so I think the pains he felt were associated with his heart. I feel so guilty that I did not insist on taking him to hospital at the time. If I had he may still be here. I have felt like committing suicide since his death. I feel responsible. I was so close to him and I loved him so much but I let him down when he most really needed me. I don’t feel that I can ever live happily again. I don’t want to talk to anyone or go out and I don’t like myself anymore. I wish I had died instead of my brother – I feel I have died inside. I don’t feel that I will ever be able to laugh again or to enjoys holidays. Both my parents have passed on now but I keep thinking how disappointed they will be in me if they are up in heaven with my brother.

    1
    • Litsa  March 5, 2016 at 11:54 pm Reply

      Carol, if you are considering hurting yourself please seek help right away! You can walk into any emergency room or call 911 (if you are in the US). You can also call the suicide hotline in the US at 18002738255 or in the UK at 44 (0) 8457 90 90 90. If you are elsewhere just google suicide hotline and your country name.

      I am so sorry for all the loss you have experienced. Many on this site have been exactly where you are, feeling there is no hope. This is especially true so shortly after a death. Somehow though, people manage to move forward- one day at a time. Have you connected with a grief counselor or support group?

    • Rachel  August 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm Reply

      Hi Carol. My dad passed away in April. Last time I talked to him on the phone he also complained of chest pains and of feeling tired. Years ago he broke his ribs so he (and I) attributed the pain to it. As for the tiredness, he used to be frequently tired (for other reasons), but this time he said he felt “really tired”. He told me he had seen a doctor and all was apparently ok, but I sensed something wasn’t right with him. Thought about calling him again, then: “nah, he’s fine”. He died the day after of a heart attack. Now that some months have passed, what makes me feel worse is not what I failed to see, but thinking about how our relationship could have been better in so many ways. We all make mistakes and overlook things sometimes, but you loved your brother deeply and did all you did from a place of love. I wish I could say the same.

    • Jean  October 2, 2019 at 3:23 pm Reply

      Hello Carol,
      How are you doing?
      I really feel the way you do exactly.
      I am responsible for my mother’s death. My mother had a really crazy, con-artist helper. My brother wanted to fire her. I said no because I didn’t want to train someone else. I had no idea how malicious she was. She brought pneumonia to my mother’s apt. and my mother died. My brother and I are now sick with persistent pneumonia. It’s worse than cancer. It doesn’t go away.
      I just want to die. I feel so guilty and keep going over what happened.

  140. Jamie arnold  February 29, 2016 at 5:55 pm Reply

    My husband passed away 8 months ago after being diagnosed at six weeks. I was not there during his passing. He was 53. I had many problems during our marriage and there was no closure or words spoken to one another before his passing. The guilt I experience on a daily basis consumes me. I don’t know how to begin to start moving through it.

  141. JD  February 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm Reply

    My mother passed away a little over a month ago. She had been in and out of the hospital about 10 times in the last year. she had heart and lung issues as a result of smoking for 46 years. she had quit 5 years ago and I am so proud of her for that but the damage had been done. Last May, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy, chemo and radiation. My husband and I were also building our house and moved in in the middle of all of this with our 12 and 13 yr old children. I had a conversation with my mom a month before she passed, that I had to take care of myself and she had to take care of herself. I still visited her and would bring over groceries, soups, etc about once a week. We chatted on the phone and texted daily. The day after my last day of radiation, my mom called and said she had a stomach virus. I brought her some gingerale and broth, etc. She didn’t want me to come in the house because she didn’t want me to get sick. The next day she was in the ER. They released her and said it was a virus and it would last a few days. The day after that, I called her and she sounded very weak. I asked if she wanted me to come up and she said “no, that’s ok”. I called her back that night and thought she sounded better. The next day was my daughter’s birthday party and it was crazy at my house. I called her after the party and she had passed away home alone. Most likely cardiac arrest from being so weakened by the virus. I feel like I should have gone to see her or called earlier. I am so sorry that she was alone. I am not sure why I was not on higher alert and realized how life threatening the situation was. I also feel like I was a little distant over the last month. I think just worn out……

  142. Isa  February 24, 2016 at 8:52 am Reply

    My dad died unexpectedly a week ago. I had been ignoring his calls for three weeks. He was depressed and it was so hard for me to talk to him. I often got irritated, sad or pissed. I always answered every 3-4 weeks..but now I didn’t hacevthe chance too.. me and my be was gonna go visit him and mom this week, but he died before that.

    Many years ago we had an ok bond..then I moved about 500km away and I tried to live my life in my way. He often complained or got mad at me for not doing something he wanted me to do.. Last time I saw him in October 2015 I got really anxious around him. The last months before he died I think he was in a better mood but I still didnt take all of the calls. I had alot to do in my own life and it took energy from me to answer..at least I answered my mom’s text messages so he knew how I was doing.

    This feelings of regret and guilt is driving me crazy. I didn’t want it to end this way..I was gonna go see him..I didn’t answer his last calls because I was doing my own stupid stuff..surfing the internet and had dance lessons…my boyfriend told me today that he had been thinking how much better I was doing when I didn’t answer my dads calls…I have hade many panic attacks and anxiety the last couple of years..but now I was doing better. I just hope my guilt isn’t gonna eat me up..

    • Azalea j  September 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm Reply

      I have a similar story. I love my mom very much but she was often depressed and it was draining to talk to her when she was having a hard time. I ignored her calls for two weeks before she died of a stoke yesterday. I think she was calling to tell me she was excited about her new place. I’ve never felt such strong regret/ guilt in my life. I hope it will fade with time. I hope you are doing better as well.

  143. Annie  February 24, 2016 at 12:24 am Reply

    I have a lot of guilt over my brother’s suicide (ding ding we have a winner for deaths associated with guilt!). It has been about 6 months and I often find myself thinking about a specific time where he opened up to me about a death he was grieving but I was annoyed because he had been drinking (he was an alcoholic) and I had friends over and I was so tired of having to deal with him. I was 16 when that incident happened, I’m 19 now and I know I should have been there for him and not worried about what my friends were thinking while my brother was hurting so badly. I also feel guilt because during the summer before it happened I was out with my friends a lot of the time. He was my big brother and he needed me and I wasn’t there for him. He was only 25. We have two other siblings one older and one younger than him but it was always me and him. We had a special bond and I really feel like I let him down.

  144. Jason  December 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm Reply

    My father died suddenly this spring. 2 weeks before we spoke on the phone but it ended not on a very pleasant note. The night before he died I was going to call him but decided I didn’t want to bother him and I would call him the next day to apologize. I feel horribly guilty about the original conversation and then the subsequent not calling in time. now not having him around at Christmas time has me feeling depressed and guilty. It is starting to wear on me and my temper is short with my wife and kids, I am getting so depressed and it is hard to kick it. Reading this helped some as well as reading that it is normal and other people have feelings of guilt like this.

    • Litsa  January 2, 2016 at 11:11 pm Reply

      Jason, I am so sorry for your dad’s death and for the guilt you have been feeling. I am glad this post helped a little and I hope you find support in some of the other articles on this site. If you didn’t check in out already, you may want to take a look at this post on self-forgiveness and also this one on guilt vs regret.

  145. Jillian  December 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm Reply

    My mom died Jan-31-2014 from colon cancer. I have experienced much guilt since her death. The two that resurface the most are telling her it was okay to ‘go’ and that we would be okay without her, we were told by hospice that verbalizing this to our mom while she was “actively dying” would help her let go. I wish I now that I NEVER said this to my mom. Which leads to the my second biggest guilt : not telling her that I was dying inside, that my heart was being ripped out and that I was NOT okay on any level. If I could go back and change one thing it would be this. Screw being strong ” for your loved one” .
    Got Guilt ? Yes we do……..

    • Tina  February 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm Reply

      I feel that way too.. I was trying to be strong for him to let him know it was ok to go.. He asked me a month prior to please let him go and I couldn’t .. I knew I would die inside when he did.. So when he took a turn for the worst.. I told him we’d be ok, the kids would be ok… But I’m not and I knew I wouldn’t be…