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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  4. Kim  May 10, 2021 at 10:41 am Reply

    Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I am in the same boat 😭

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Laloni  March 30, 2021 at 8:20 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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  21. John  March 16, 2021 at 5:16 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    just lost my wife. this site looks really helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Matt

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      • Mani  January 27, 2021 at 1:19 pm

        Matt,

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

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      • Renee  February 25, 2021 at 5:09 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • Rosie  February 6, 2021 at 12:25 pm

        Hi Anna,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • IsabelleS  January 4, 2021 at 1:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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  39. Casey  December 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • Vashtie  January 21, 2021 at 5:15 am

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

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

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

    3
    • IsabelleS  November 19, 2020 at 11:20 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 11:22 am

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

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  47. 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.

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    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  49. 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

  50. 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.

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

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

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

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

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  52. 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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    • 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

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      • 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.

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    • 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.

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  53. 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.

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    • 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

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  54. 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?

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

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

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  55. 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.,

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  56. 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.

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  57. 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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  58. 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/

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  59. 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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  60. 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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  61. 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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  62. 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.

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  63. 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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  64. 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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      • Lee  November 26, 2020 at 12:28 am

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

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  65. 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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  66. 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 ??

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  67. 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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  68. 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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  69. 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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  70. 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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    • Angel  November 5, 2020 at 9:27 am Reply

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

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  71. 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.

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

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

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  73. 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.

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    • 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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  74. 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.

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

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

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  75. 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.

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  76. 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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  77. 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.

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    • 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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  78. 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.

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    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  80. 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.

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  81. 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.

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    • 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!!!

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    • 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.

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

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

  82. 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.

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  83. 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.

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    • 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.

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  84. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  85. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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 ❤️

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  86. 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…

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  87. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  88. 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.

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    • 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.

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  89. 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.

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  90. 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

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  91. 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.

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

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

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  92. 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.

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  93. 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.

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    • 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) ???

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  94. 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.

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  95. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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      • Cristina  May 16, 2021 at 4:12 am

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

  96. 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

  97. 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. .

  98. 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.

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    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  101. 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.

  102. 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.

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    • 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.

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  103. 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.

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  104. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Walter,

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

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

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

  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. 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?

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. 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..

    1
    • 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.

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  112. 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.’

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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

  116. 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

  117. 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!

  118. 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. 🙁

  119. 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.

  120. 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

  121. 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

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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

  125. 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.

  126. 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?!?!

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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…..

  133. 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…..

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

  144. 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

  145. 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!

  146. 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.

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  147. 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 .

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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

  157. 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

  158. 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

  159. 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.

  160. 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 f