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.

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.

We wrote a book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
real-life book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

Let’s be grief friends.

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

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

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

Click here to leave a Comment
  1. Donna  March 18, 2024 at 8:20 am Reply

    I feel guilty that I didn’t help my son more. I knew he was an addict. He died in a car accident. I believe he was going to the liquor store. I don’t know for sure if he fell asleep at the wheel. He was driving too fast or he was trying to avoid an animal. And that’s why he hit the tree…the guilt over not saving him from his addiction is going to kill me

    3
  2. Joe Roots  January 31, 2024 at 1:33 pm Reply

    In the journey of life, the elderly are our living libraries. Spending time with them is not just a gesture of kindness; it’s an opportunity to learn and connect.

    3
  3. Kim  January 30, 2024 at 11:29 pm Reply

    My brother died on December 8, 2023. He was an alcoholic for nearly 40 years. The last 10 years I didn’t know where he was living or if he was still alive. I feel guilty that I didn’t try to find him. Maybe it would’ve been different and I could have helped him. I hope he knows I loved him even though I couldn’t let him in my life any more.

    3
  4. Kayla  January 23, 2024 at 1:49 pm Reply

    My partner was killed in a road rage accident in Dec 12, 2023. He was only 35 years old and leaves behind 4 children age 2, 4, 12, 14. Unfortunately him and I separated 2 months prior due to some issues in our relationship. We were together for 10 years and we had just been talking about get back together but then I received the horrible phone call. This guilt I feel every day is slowly killing me. I feel guilty about EVERYTHING from not being there when he passed, to getting to hear our kids laugh and play, to not being able to save him and for leaving 2 months early because I keep thinking maybe just maybe if I was still there this wouldn’t have happened..And I am not sure how to move past the major guilt I ever. It consumes my every thought.

    5
    • Litsa  January 23, 2024 at 4:59 pm Reply

      I am so sorry Kayla – guilt is such a trick emotion in grief. This article or this episode of our podcast talk more about it and might be some support. But ultimately talking to a therapist would probably be a big support in helping you process.

  5. Alyssa  January 23, 2024 at 3:37 am Reply

    Just a couple of days ago my grandfather died in a house fire in the middle of the night. My grandparents raised me and we always had a really tight bond like I couldn’t go more than a week without seeing them. Now, I KNOW I was supposed to be in the fire with him, I was on my way to his house and everything. Nothing major happened to stop me. I can’t even describe why for the first time in YEARS I didn’t go to his house. All I know is that I fought myself for over 4 hours and I didn’t even have a reason for why I shouldn’t go and I really wanted to. After I found out about the fire I knew it was my fault he died because if I had just gone to his house like I planned, he would’ve made it out. I literally have no idea if I’m even capable of getting through this and I’m no stranger to tragic death, but this time I had the opportunity to change the outcome and I didn’t. I would have rather died trying to help him out of that house than to have to live with the fact I did nothing and he died because of it. I feel absolutely useless and like I let him down. I’m trying to deal with the guilt and everything else, like losing my home and all of his and my already late grandmothers stuff that they worked so hard for, pictures I had of them, even a childhood pet. I literally feel like I’m drowning.

    1
    • Litsa  January 31, 2024 at 10:48 am Reply

      Oh Alyssa, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and the immense guilt that you feel. Though I know saying it was not your fault will do little to assuage your guilt and belief, but please try to consider our brain’s natural pull toward negativity bias. We would often rather tell the story that puts us at fault rather than sit with the uncomfortably possibility that the world can be a painful and chaotic place over which we have less control than we believe. We’ll never know what might have happened if you had been there. You’re right that he might have survived. But it is also quite possible that, in that case, you may both not have survived – we simply can’t know. Though you have told the story that you were supposed to be there, I could just as easily imagine making sense of why you were not there was because you weren’t suppose to be there.

      1
  6. Courtney  December 13, 2023 at 8:02 pm Reply

    I found my dad (only 58) dead in his home in a recliner, surrounded by alcohol bottles and cigarette butts.
    This was after feeling a heaviness that I had not heard from him in a couple of weeks and it was unlike him to text or try to call at least once a week.
    I’m feeling immense guilt because of the darkness I felt in his home and i did not know how bad things had gotten.
    My dad was alone, and I was the only family member that spoke to him after many years of burned bridges.
    But… I let life and its busyness keep me from returning every text or call, and kept me from visiting him.
    I knew it was wrong, but I knew that I didn’t want to see him like that either. I am playing out scenarios where I could have made a difference in the way he was living or my role in keeping him from being so lonely and depressed.
    My heart is physically aching and the regret and pain of not being able to turn back time is making me feel helpless.

    4
    • Litsa  December 22, 2023 at 6:19 am Reply

      Courtney – I am so sorry for your dad’s death and all the immense regret you are feeling. There is no easy answer to living with the weight of guilt, but I hope you can find ways to show yourself some compassion. There are a few tools you can try that might be helpful. The first is to imagine that it was your best friend who was in the position you are – imagine she faced the same situation with her father, both before and after his death, that you have. If she was feeling the way you are, what would you tell her? What would you do to help her feel cared for? Another idea is to write yourself a letter FROM your dad about your guilt. If he knew how you were feeling now, what would he tell you? He’s not here for you to make direct amends, but what would he say if you were trying to make a living amends? The last suggestion I have is to consider ‘living amends’ – we have an article here you might find helpful – https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-grief-living-amends/

      1
    • mc  January 9, 2024 at 8:26 am Reply

      Hi Courtney,

      I just lost my mom 5 days ago. She had a bad cancer for 3 years and fell sick again in December for a couple weeks, but I chose work over staying home to be with her. I didn’t realize that what was going on with her would cost her life. I also was very temperamental with her. Now I am living with guilt and regret.

      1
  7. Noll  October 8, 2023 at 7:34 pm Reply

    I lost my partner of four years in May. He was 26, as am I. He was (is) the one person that I would feel safest with, and he gave me a lot of ‘wow’ moments. We had a lot planned for a future – house, family, moving counties.
    We had been travelling together on a break from work. My younger brother flew out to join us for a couple of days. I was feeling under a bit of pressure (my own) to make the few days memorable for him, and to keep our budget going.
    My partner had been feeling a little frustrated that day – he was stressed about money, and feeling like he wasn’t progressing in a career the way other people were. All three of us went out for a couple of drinks that night, and I was trying to keep it to a minimum so we could get up the next day and go to the gym (my partner always found the gym as a good outlet, and I thought it would be something good for us all to do).
    While we were out, I could tell that my partner was feeling a little off – we had been playing a crossword game, and he felt like he wasn’t as capable of finding answers as we were. I was annoyed with him at the time, because I was trying to make sure that my brother could enjoy the small part of the (3 month) trip he was joining.
    In my annoyance, I was short with my partner. I didn’t show him the affection i normally would, because I would normally be more private with it, and I didn’t want my brother to feel like a third wheel.
    We left the pub, and we all walked back to a hostel we were staying at. I walked next to my brother, and my partner followed behind. We made dinner at the hostel and I didn’t speak with my partner – I’m not sure why, I think I was feeling stressed at managing two people’s needs and I couldn’t give any of myself to either of them.
    My partner said he was going for a walk, and I let him go without talking with him. An hour later, I went to look for him. I knew he would have gone back to the pub, BC he was feeling quite frustrated, and sometimes found having a drink to help feel less stressed.
    I spoke with him outside the pub, and we talked about how I was annoyed that I felt I had to choose who I was catering for, and I felt like we had a responsibility to look after my younger brother while he was joining us for the few days, and we would go back to our normal affectionate selves in a few days. He spoke about feeling like a ‘dummy’ because others were getting ahead with life, jobs etc and he felt left behind. I was still feeling upset, but I wanted him to know how much I believed in him, and how smart I thought he was. We walked back to the hostel. He spoke about wanting to cry, and wanting to always protect me. I told him that he could cry, but he felt like he couldn’t, because he didn’t want to be seen as weaker. We hugged and kissed and he spoke about wanting more affection. When we kissed, he had said that he was missing that over the past couple of days, and he wanted me to save him some cuddles for later. He said he loved me so much, and he would see me later, and we could talk about all the other stuff in the morning. He wanted to return to the pub to have one more drink, and he would be back. I watched him walk back.
    I returned to the hostel and woke in the middle of the night without him. I was worried at that stage and woke again every hour until 7am. I called his brother at that time, BC I thought maybe he might have spoken to him.
    My partner was missing for 3 days, and a lot of his family came out to help with the search. We found him in the water 3 days later. We are still wondering about what happened, but know that there was an altercation at the pub, and my partner didn’t have his glasses he needed that night.
    It has been incredibly incredibly difficult to manage the grief since.
    I have felt a lot of guilt for the time leading up to his death, because I felt like I could have shown him a little more understanding and affection, even a few more hugs that day, to show him that his feelings were valid, and that I didn’t dismiss them. I wonder if he would have felt more heard, and not felt like he needed to have a drink to feel more relaxed, and in turn would not have been in the situation that led to his death. A lot of the guilt is related to the fact that I knew him so so well, and I feel like I could have acted in a better way, so I could still be here with him, and so he knew that I was there for him when he felt frustrated.

    4
  8. Chelsea  September 2, 2023 at 9:49 pm Reply

    My mother messaged me on Sunday night saying she had a headache for the last 3 days, pain across her forehead that was worse with standing. She has chronic migraines , so even though I’m an ER nurse and should know better, I simply brushed it off with “no clue what could be causing that, maybe drink some more water”
    The next day my sister found her dead, she had a brain aneurysm that ruptured.
    I feel so guilty that I just brushed off her comment instead of asking her more follow up comments and doing more research. I then would have been able to tell her it could be an aneurysm and she should go to the emerg right then. I could have saved her life .

    11
  9. Jamie  June 5, 2023 at 9:10 pm Reply

    I lost my best friend in March 2022. It’s a complicated situation as we both were married but very unhappy in our marriages. The fact is we never really told each other how we felt but I think he knew that I loved him. I on the other hand will never know if he had feelings for me as he said we were just friends with benefits & emotions scared him. He did say some things that made me think he cared about me but he worked with my husband & I think he thought we could never be together although I know I could’ve made it happen. I had a vision of his death 6 weeks before it happened & I told him. He acted like he knew something was gonna happen to & wasn’t worried about it. I think he wasn’t being honest with me about a lot of things & im since finding out that he had an alcohol problem & possibly a drug problem. He started hanging around with the wrong people. I feel like I could’ve helped him if only he had opened up to me but instead he pushed me away a few weeks before he died saying he had to let his wife come back (they were separated) because she was blackmailing him. I never asked why but I have so many regrets now & I will always wonder if he loved me or if he had no feelings towards me & it really hurts. The pain is just unbearable. It has taught me to never leave anything unsaid but I think if I had of told him that I loved him he would’ve pushed me further away. I think he didn’t want me to say it.

    4
  10. freddy  May 16, 2023 at 12:51 pm Reply

    I have this new friend of mine that is experiencing grieving. The worst part is that his father died on his birthday. As a friend of him what can I do to help him out.

    • Dani  May 25, 2023 at 7:39 am Reply

      I really love the book “signs” by Laura Lynne, there’s a chapter in which a mother’s son dies by suicide on her birthday. Maybe not the same story as your friend but the chapter talks about how in that specific case the son did it as a way for his mom to never forget him and for them to share a bond. The mom changed her “birthday” date and renamed that day for her son instead. Sharing as maybe your friend will resonate with the book and that story. Sending love and energy 💚

    • Dee  January 20, 2024 at 12:15 am Reply

      I lost my husband 12/20/23. He had been sick for a year. He lost 80 lbs and was weak due to being in kidney failure. I work full time but the morning before he passed, I called in because my husband was real bad that morning. He said he was glad I was staying with him that day because he didn’t think he could handle being “abandoned”. He was resting in his lift chair and I was looking at my phone. I heard a noise and looked up and he was breathing rapidly, eyes wide open looking toward the wall. I jumped up and said I’m calling 911. (He had refused to go to the hospital several times that day) By the time EMS got there, my husband was gone. I feel guilty because if I hadn’t been on my phone, maybe I could have gotten him help quicker. Rationally I know the outcome would have been the same. I just feel like I should have been watching him more closely. He started the breathing fast at 8:15 pm, EMS got there 30 minutes later. I don’t know how to deal with the guilt I feel.

      3
  11. Rafael  April 28, 2023 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I lost my brother in 2005. It was a sudden unexpected death that shocked our entire family as he was only 53. He and I were 8 years apart, me being younger and we never had a great relationship. We had argued a few weeks before he died (an argument that I initiated) and barely talked up that time of his death. I remember a vivid dream with him after he died in which he was walking with another person in deep conversation and I was standing to his side. He never looked at me to acknowledge I was there but just waved his hand in a sort of hello gesture. I have always felt some guilt in our broken relationship and have accepted half the blame in our stubbornness and different personalities. Recently I had a vivid dream in which I argued with him about the mess he had made in our room and he exclaimed “You’ve always been ashamed of me”, it was then that I said something like “But you’re my brother” and I started crying as we seemed to hug at that moment. I woke up immediately feeling that maybe we were finally making up. I always wished we had been closer and that I had been more understanding and compassionate. That dream really left an impression on me.

    4
  12. Linda Eastman  April 24, 2023 at 12:19 am Reply

    My beloved son died two months ago. He was 34 years old. He died from liver failure due to chronic alcoholism. The last 10 years of his life were characterized by unemployment, denial, and determination that he was going to do things HIS way. As his mom, I tried every way I could think of to get him to stop drinking. My guilt comes from wondering if I could have done more. Maybe I wasn’t attentive enough when he was in high school and college (but I was!). I don’t know when or where he went off the rails. My grief is raw and unrelenting. I am so sad. I miss him so much. There was so much GOOD in him. Our family will never be whole again.

    13
  13. Melody  April 16, 2023 at 2:13 am Reply

    I had a brother who I lost to cancer and he was only 35 years old. When my brother started Chemo and got sicker, my family wasn’t giving him the support and understanding he needed. I didn’t visit as much as I should since I wasn’t living in the same state as my family. The only person who was consistently there for him was my dad. My stepmother along with half sister were jealous of the attention my brother received from my dad, so they didn’t help my dad take care of him, but instead made him feel like he wasn’t really sick and made him feel so upset. I regret that I wasn’t there to stand up to them when he was too sick to do it. I also, regret not being there to give him the support he needed because I believe he needed more than he got at home. I feel that I failed to protect him because I wasn’t strong enough to be there for him although he was there for me when I was a child getting bullied. In this case the bullies were my own family members. I could have done more, but I didn’t and now he is gone. I have a hard time forgiving myself for that and I wish I could apologize to him for letting him down. I know he would forgive me because that is the kind of person he was, but the trouble is finding a way to forgive myself.

    10
  14. Teresa  March 8, 2023 at 1:01 am Reply

    When I was 19 (I’m 39 now), I got pregnant and my son’s father got deported during my pregnancy. I cut off contact with him to “punish” him (who the hell did I think I was?). I changed my number immediately so that he could not contact me, and months turned to years. Every day I thought about him and about 10 years ago I began trying to locate him (unsuccessfully). I submitted FOIAs to Immigration. Tried to hire private investigators but was instantly turned away because his name was too common. Last week, I opened a Facebook account to give it another go and stumbled on his page. Yes! Let me finally tell him how I’ve been looking for him! How my son is his spitting image and is the greatest kid, well, technically adult, I could’ve ever asked for. Well, I realize there are no new posts since 2018. I go through his friends list and reach out to his sister. She says he passed away a few years ago. She says he always tried to find us but they weren’t able to locate me either.

    For a minute I experienced joy of seeing him finally and thinking “here he is! Send friend request! Apologize and catch up!”.

    All my life as a single mother I always regretted having cut him off, and I paid those consequences. I always blamed myself because it WAS my fault we lost contact. So there’s no need to say “it’s not your fault”. It totally was my fault.

    What do I do, though? How can I handle this? How can I cope with this regret? How can I tell someone that I cannot speak with “I’m sorry”? Rhetorical questions.

    Seeing his pictures after years of having no picture to show my son, I was reminded of why I fell in love with him. Handsome, my son’s twin.

    The bright side is that I was finally able to at least show my son pictures and say “this was your father”.

    My son knows my story and weirdly/interestingly enough, insists I’m being too hard on myself and that I shouldn’t wish to go back because things are the way they were supposed to be. I appreciate the sentiment but it’s not acceptable to me.

    Just, why? Why? Why was I so stupid? Why did my immaturity have to have such a horrible price to pay for it? Why did it have to be 18 years of me looking for him, just to find him last week, only to realize he has passed? Why?

    I believe the truth is, only time will allow me to slightly heal from my hurt and pain.

    3
  15. Angeigh Voiles  February 23, 2023 at 8:54 pm Reply

    I spent about 14 weeks of her last weeks with my mom and aunt in a hospital. We had highs and lows. Even at one point she was coming home on a Monday and I got that horrible call she might not make it 2 hours if she wouldn’t have went on a ventilator. I thought her decision was a blessing till we had to watch the 3 day process of her coming off. I do NOT wish that on anyone! We did however get through this and back into rehab and in the middle of rehab she had a backslide with her lungs and breathing. We had considered transporting to a bigger hospital for treatment ( had she became stable) . That never happened, she continued over the next few days to get worse and then without all the horrific details she became distraught and repeated over 12 hours I was trying to kill her, save me, help me please. I finally broke and called my aunt early morning for help. She had super strength, almost throwing herself off her bed. Shaking, crying, scared and confused I yelled at her( mom stop, please let us help you, I love you and I would never do anything to hurt you). Although we had to restrain her with mitts to keep her safe. The cries she let out and the things she said will haunt me likely forever. We placed her on hospice in the hospital and she passed not a full 24 hours later. I fear her last memory was us restraining her and her thinking we were really trying to hurt her. Although we had many weeks prior of sad, happy, funny and real conversations I can not get the last nights events out of my mind. I know they say they don’t remember this or even feel pain but her tears were real and in that moment she truly believed my aunt and I were hurting her. We never left her, we talked to her, prayed for her and us. We told her who was there to see her and told her how much she was loved and silently spoke in her ear it was ok to go. We know she is ready and tired and we have each other to lean on and we would be ok eventually. We told her how great of a mom and sister she was and to rest and find her peace with Jesus. I believe she heard us speaking to her but I can’t get past that night where she believed I was hurting her and a snapped at her- thinking that would snap her back and she would realize. Obviously it did not or I would t be writing this… I need to see the beauty in the beast within that moment, that 1 moment has took away from the 14 weeks that we all shared that I will treasure forever, even though the outcome was her still passing.
    Sincerely,
    Angie

    4
  16. Jonathan W  January 24, 2023 at 5:37 am Reply

    I’m consumed by guilt after the death of my dad. Five weeks on the pain is getting worse not better. I know that I deserve to feel guilty because I am guilty of not caring for him well enough in the last months of his life. He had Parkinson’s disease and he needed far more help than I gave him. I did tell him I loved him. I did spend time with him in the nine months he was bedbound, but not nearly enough. He was a beautiful caring man with me all of my life and he deserved better.
    Whilst everything I’ve read about dealing with guilt makes sense I’m nowhere near any thoughts of self-forgiveness and I can’t see how i ever could be. If I had a religion I’d be praying constantly but I think that’s the easy and dishonest way out. I have to be accountable. I have to pay the price for my failings. That’s the only way I can deal with the terrible thoughts racing constantly through my head.
    I never thought I was a bad person but now I know I am. To fail your parent in their hour of greatest need is unforgivable.

    20
    • Litsa  February 4, 2023 at 4:12 am Reply

      Jonathan, I am so sorry for your father’s death and for the guilt you feel. Learning to live with guilt is often about not eliminating the guilt, but learning to live and move forward with it. We have guilt to signal that we wish to do something differently in the future. Though you can’t change the things you regret now, you can consider how that guilt will inform the person you are moving forward. And though that is not a direct amends to your father, it can serve as a ‘living amends’. Though I know self-forgiveness may seem unimaginable at the moment, please keep in mind that forgiveness does not mean denying wrongdoing. In fact, if you were letting yourself off the hook for what you’d done/not done, then there would be no reason to forgive yourself! Forgiveness is about extending yourself compassion, however underserved, so that the anger and self-blame you feel doesn’t continue to expand the harm as a form of self-punishment, but one that fails to allow you to use your guilt and regret as something that can propel you to move forward in a way that honors your father and his memory.

      It is also important to remember that you relationship with your dad was so much more than the end of his life. So often we focus on the times we failed someone or did/said something that we regret. But a relationship is made up of thousands of moments over a lifetime. Your relationship with your dad is the sum of all of those moments. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with this guilt, please consider speaking with a grief counselor or therapist. It can be incredibly helpful to talk through this with another person as you navigate your path forward.

      5
    • kerrirae62@gmail.com  May 28, 2023 at 7:29 am Reply

      I totally understand your guilt. My dad died in 2020. I have so much guilt that I didn’t do enough , I don’t sleep, I dream about him. I try to think he would not want me feeling so much guilt & everyone says to me ”you were so good to him” but I wish I was more helpful.

      2
    • revathyn6@gmail.com  July 3, 2023 at 11:29 pm Reply

      I so resonate with this. I have lost both my parents, my mother just two years ago. I was caregiver for both but yet I had made so many errors in their care especially my mother. These were essentially medical errors but which I failed to protect my parents from. They suffered immensely as a result. I am filled with overwhelming guilt which has accumulated over the years. I only wanted to be a good daughter and I failed totally. As you mentioned I am holding myself accountable for my failures and mistakes. My parents deserved better. I too am unable to forgive myself. This consumes me 24 hours of every day and is unbearable.

      4
  17. Laura Belts  January 5, 2023 at 5:54 pm Reply

    I split up with my ex-boyfriend a year ago, he had had a challenging up bringing which had caused him to be a very sad adult, the drug abuse was bad but we got through it together and he was sober while we were together, however I was no longer happy in our relationship so we split up. We remained good friends after I moved out but he got back into drugs really badly and I just watched him get worse and worse, I’d try and help by going round to help him clean when he couldn’t, I called him one day and he told me he no longer wanted to be here, I stayed on the phone with him for a while but that was the last time I heard his voice. Desperate and alone. He didn’t die of a suicide but he later died from organ failure from extended substance abuse, all alone in his room. I will never not feel guilty about not doing more to support him, doing more after our phone call and not breaking his heart to begin with. He was always such a kind soul and I wish I helped him

    4
    • Meg  February 11, 2023 at 1:56 pm Reply

      Laura, it sounds to me like you did a lot to help him… a lot of things you weren’t obligated to do but that you did anyway, because you cared about him and you wanted to help him because you knew he was suffering. I broke my boyfriends heart, without intention at all, while he had terminal cancer. I regret many things I said, but I did nothing to actively harm him. Some of my words were cruel out of negligence, not intention to hurt. But that was the last time I saw him. He sent me some emails and we made some peace but the ending wasn’t what our relationship deserved. I am looking for ways to live with this guilt and regret, knowing more about myself now than I did then but not being able to change the past. The thing is, you’re not responsible for your ex boyfriends feelings. You never were. And you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s feelings either. I’m not responsible for my boyfriends feelings. Only he was. And it is tragic that you and I did what was best for us, and that it hurt them. But we are allowed to do what’s best for us, and we cannot control how they experience that. I’m so very sorry for what you’re feeling and that he died. I really am. And I identify with your feelings you described – and it made me see that you don’t deserve to feel so guilty and neither do I. We did a lot to love those men well at the time we did, and we never meant to hurt them, and we couldn’t control when or why or how they died. You didn’t kill him. His organ failure killed him. I didn’t kill mine, his brain cancer killed him. And I don’t think at all that either of them would want us to spend our lives punishing ourselves. Wouldn’t they rather we enjoy the life they are no longer able to? Sending hugs to you ♥️

  18. Willa  November 25, 2022 at 9:14 am Reply

    This was very helpful! Thank you! I am reading every article linked in here because these insights are so needed and good.

  19. TJ  November 5, 2022 at 6:11 pm Reply

    My mum died, I feel so guilty that I was working all summer, I was going to move mum in with us and to spend a lot more time with her when I finished these extra jobs, however before I finished these extra jobs she got poorly and never really recovered. Hospitals were horrible to her!!! They put her death down to old age firstly. Then secondly, it was depression. COPD worsening, heart disease. I blame myself that she died, even though it was probably her time!! I need help !!

    1
    • Litsa  February 4, 2023 at 4:25 am Reply

      TJ, I am so sorry for your mom’s death and the guilt that you feel. So often we use what they call ‘hindsight bias’ when we look back and our choice. This means that we use what we know now to judge the decisions we made in the past. But in the past we didn’t know what we know now and this bias is often very unfair to our past selves. It sounds as though you loved your mum and had a loving and caring plan for her to move in with you. Had you known her health would decline, you may have made decisions differently. But we cannot predict the future. Something else we do often in guilt is use ‘counterfactual thinking’. This means we go back and imagine if we had done one thing differently that everything would have been okay. In reality, we have no way to know how things would have turned out. If your mum’s health worsened, even if she had been living with you at the time there is a good chance that would not have changed the outcome of the situation. I say all of this not to try to talk you out of your guilt and regret – those are your feelings to work through in the time and way that you can. But I do hope that with the benefit of some time and distance and these considerations about hindsight bias and counterfactual thinking that you may be able to give yourself a bit more self-compassion for the decisions you made. From the perspective of someone outside the situation, it sounds as though you loved your mum and you were doing the best you could with what you knew and had at the time.

      Guilt is such an helpful issue to talk through with a therapist or grief counselor. If you contact your local hospice (even if your mum didn’t die in hospice) they often offer grief counseling services or can give you the contact of local grief counselors in your area. If you have trouble locating someone, please feel free to message us for assistance looking for someone.

  20. ane  September 23, 2022 at 12:52 am Reply

    in February 2021. I (20) lost my mami (73). we were a single parent household so my mother was always working and my mami was my caregiver growing up. so much so she would get ‘angry’ at me when I called her grandmother – she’d said “I wiped your butt too many times, you call me mami!”. my mother is also an unmedicated schizophrenic, so whenever she had her psychotic breaks at home it was mostly just me and my mami sticking through it together. my mami was very much the rigid catholic type, and since I really only knew her during my angsty teenage years – we didn’t really mix well at times. i Get a little ping in my heart when I think of all of our stupid fights, because I didn’t clean the dishes or something.

    but it wasn’t always bad. my mami was SO funny, charismatic, and loved to talked to people. being an Ecuador immigrant, she never really learned how to speak English but that didn’t stop her from giving someone else a piece of her mind or from trying to banter with them. she also loved to dance! whenever I played songs from the 50s, she’d get up and do her little dance. she never failed to retell me how she would be the only person who knew the words to Elvis’ songs in Ecuador. she loved retelling stories of her past, especially her late husband (my grandfather). her recounts of their story just sound like any classic love story – she was the beaut every man wanted, but my grandfather, with his charm and gentleman-ness, was the only man to be able to sway her [that’s another thing, my mami did not take anyone’s shit!! she was fierce, and apparently even with the men she turned down]. years down the line, they have 3 children – my mother being one of them – and my uncle on the way. one day, all of the family is driving in my grandfather’s pick up truck. a bigger car, somewhat of a semi-truck, runs a red light and is about to t-bone the side where my mami and uncles/mother were. my grandfather, being a good father/husband/man, swerves quickly enough so that his side is hit instead. he passes away instantly, and my pregnant mami is left conscious with 3 children under 5 to deal with the situation. if I had a dime for every time she re-told me this story I think I be rich enough to have been able to give her the life she deserved. anyways, being a single parent of 4 in a third world country, she knows what she needs to do. she marries another man for financial support and has dreams of coming to America. her immigration is processed, and then so come along my mother and uncles. like most immigrants, she worked full time to help us stay afloat. we moved down south several years later for her health and at this point she retired, so she stayed at home most days. one of the things I knew I had to do growing up was to build a good career to then build generational wealth and give back to my family. many times I would dream about being able to take my mom and mami out to travel the world, or even their home country. another guilt of mine is that although I wasn’t close to these kinds of riches, I definitely felt some sort of financial freedom when I first attended university. I received a large financial aid refund for living costs, but since I was living with my mom and grandmother at the time who insisted I give little to nothing, I either blew it away on clothes, food, weed, and my expensive first apartment that I moved into November 2020. before this move, my beef with mami had grown. when I moved and saw her a month later, I was genuinely so happy to be in her presence and it left me relieved that there was this space between us now. around the end of December, we had a meet up with my sister and this was also a very heartwarming memory. my sister acknowledged this by saying something along the lines of, “this was a really nice time, and will be a good last memory if something were to happen to mami”. my immediate thought was “psh she’s not going to pass away for a while, she’ll live another decade or so to enjoy the fruits of her labor and its effect on her grandchildren (my sister and I – pharmacist and software developer, respectively). I thought this very naively, while my sister suspected something was coming soon – my mami was not in the best of health, and we were in a midst of a pandemic. two weeks later, around New Years, my mom and mami both contracted covid. they would not let me see them during this time, I was only able to come by and drop off food and water. this may have been one of my biggest mistakes though. you see, my mami was a bit of a naturopathic individual and did not believe in going to the hospital for COVID. There is always that chance that I could have convinced her to have gone, or maybe just be by her while she was sick. I really would not have mind having COVID if it meant more time with mami. My mom soon returned to work, but my mami was getting worse and refusing to be admitted. on Jan 20th she calls my mom and is getting the time wrong – I mean hours wrong. my mom finally calls 911 and they come by. remember, my mami is fierce and sticks by her opinions or judgment. so she is fighting these poor paramedics while gravely ill with COVID. my mom tells me that one of her last requests were to pay her credit card bills on time – a high reason for my unrest and continuous grieving – she deserved so much more….during this night, I am on a first date with my current boyfriend which lasts until midnight. I don’t see any of these notifications until we break paths and it devastates me. of course we are all in denial that she will pass or anything, but my sister, being a clinical pharmacist knew from the start. her oxygen levels were so low, any lower and she would have passed away on her bed that night. she was conscious for a day at the hospital until they incubated her and I believe she went brain dead. what kills me is that on the day that she was incubated, she sent me a selfie of all the medical gear on her. I think I deleted the picture, but this image will never get out of my head. it haunts me when I think about it. when we decided to pull the plug, it was just my mom and I there to say goodbye. but it wasn’t really a goodbye, she was unconscious, distorted (one of the therapies done was basically inverting her body to relieve lung pressure, it caused severe face sores), and we could only look through the glass. I am a classic avoidant, so when we were there, all I could do was stare. I even went on my phone on social media to dissociate myself from what was happening. few weeks ago we were all snapping pictures happy, and now I am looking at my brain dead mami on her death bed through a glass window. it was so fucked up. my mom insisted that we put a phone through and the nurse was nice enough to leave her phone in there. my mom said plenty of things, whereas all I could muster out was an ‘I love you’. when they pulled the plug we stared at her heartbeat decrease down to a flat line. very few things will kill you and eat you in the insides like seeing a loved one pass away like that. when my mom and I left the hospital, I went straight back to my apartment to hang out with my boyfriend. I’d shoot myself in the foot to rewind and go back home with my mom that day. while I lost my second mother/parent and grandmother, she lost her mother and best friend – someone who hasn’t been apart from for most of her 40 something years of living. this whole timeline gives me PTSD, and I have not been able to speak to someone about it, although I should. I immediately start crying at the first words of speaking of my mami, but I want to be able to retell stories about her like she always did for my grandfather. in this way, she still lives.

    my mom and I have grown much closer since as well, which is an upside. her schizophrenia is surely a disability, but I am quite used to it and at the end she is my hardworking mom. we check in with each other at least 3 times day on the phone. I think about my mami and I genuinely do not know how I would react if my mother passed away soon too. something inside you dies when your abuelita passes, but when I think of happiness, or sunshine, the color yellow, I think of my mom. I won’t be able to live with myself if all of that goes away. I am just so scared of losing those that I loved, I originally lost my dad when I was 10, and that is a whole another grieve-guilt post in it of itself. while I wait for the funds to receive therapy, I try my best to help my mom and continue on my studies. if I couldn’t give my mami and mom a good last decade of financial freedom and stress-free, I am sure as hell going to try as hard to provide the best for my mom. it hurts, it hurts so much to think of my mami. but by mimicking her attitude and directness, and recreating the strong love she had for my mom, I hope to keep her alive. thank you for reading this all if you’re down to this point – it is almost 1 am and I skipped out on calculus homework the past hour and a half because I have never let this amount of pain and grief out, so thank you..

    1
  21. Liam  August 24, 2022 at 2:51 pm Reply

    I found out that my cat was dying at the start of this month and that I’d eventually have to make the call to put him down. He was losing weight, getting bloated, losing control of his bowels, and having trouble with his back legs. But he was still moving around. Still trying to steal my food and go places he wasn’t supposed to. Still living. I was waiting for him to show me he was ready.

    2 days ago, my housemates sat me down and told me his bowel problems were becoming unsanitary. That he needed to be put down. I’m bad at conflict, so I agreed.

    Yesterday, I made the appointment, asked some friends to come with me for support, and tried to enjoy a last day with him. He still seemed so lively, especially once we got to the vet. He was rubbing up against everyone, scarfing down food, and trying to explore. It was like he was trying to prove that he was ok.
    “Look, dad, I’m still ok! Please don’t do it!”

    I still put him down.

    I feel like I betrayed him. I had him for over half my life. He got me through so much, including my deepest depression. But I feel like I failed him. I stayed up late last night on a suicide hotline because I was scared to wake up this morning without him. Because I felt like I had just murdered the last person who needed me.

    I did sleep, but I’ve been hurting all day today. Everything is reminding me of him and I don’t know what to do about it.

    I should have given him more of my time. I should have taken him to get checked up sooner. I should have been more diligent on cleanliness. I should have argued with my housemates. I should have found another solution. I should have cancelled when I saw how he was acting. Anything. I just want my cat back.

    11
    • Litsa  September 12, 2022 at 3:37 pm Reply

      Liam – I am so sorry for how you are feeling. Please know that there is so often guilt after making the decision – whether because someone feels they didn’t wait long enough or they waited for too long. It is so hard to find the “right” time because there is no “right” time. It sounds like you loved your cat well for many years and were doing your best to try to keep him from suffering. That is loving and compassionate. I hope you can give yourself a bit of compassion.

      6
    • Srl  October 20, 2022 at 4:48 pm Reply

      I am so sorry this happened to you ,you have no idea how hard I cried when you were describing your cat’s last moments ,my God the flash backs most have been killing you , well at least you are having them about your own cat ,I started having them about random stray cats I chose to walk by , I live in a third world country that can’t even take care of it’s own poeple let alone animals, so yeah you can imagine the kind of life cats have on the streets in here , there are some few active rescue groups but they got no funding and literally begging or shaming poeple to help , population control is out of the window cause no one will perform surgery on a random cat for free , how I know all this and more ,cause of my grand plan of building a cat empire in the future when I am a conglomerate that have been sustaining me this last few months every time I do nothing about a stray cat specifically the injured, either cause I live an a two room apartment and can barely feed my self ,I looked up any shelters in a 60 km radius around me to volunteer and actually do something about this feeling, none found , one of the recent cats I tried to help with the little resources I got ,was a tiny kitten I treated of diarrhea over a couple of days but didn’t notice the ring worm until I and my whole family got infected and then school come back to hunt me, so I decided to take him to the girls dorms where there is at least no cars ,plenty of food and sun light ,and other cats for company, it seemed like the best decision at that time , I checked on him every one in a while , the last time I saw him ,he seemed lethargic and didn’t seem to gain much weight, I knew something was wrong but I had class in less then 5 mints so i dismiss it as that being his nap time , I returned the other day with food and plans to bath him ,maybe it will help with the ring worm ,and yeah I found him dead , which I believe to this day is the best thing that could ever happen to him , there was no possible future of him getting adapted and cared for ,we don’t do that here believe me tried every adoption site and announce , so why live the life of misery like his peers just to die slowly of an infected car accident wound , and this is just one , and there are hundreds just in my area , the moment I try to help one ,ten others appear, and I am like on what basics do this one get help while the other don’t, I just don’t know what to do anymore , that’s what I am thinking about 24 h a day lately and I have to make a conscious effort to actually think about my screwed up life and the exam I have in two days that I might blow , I keep tracking cats with my eyes subconsciously and reacting badly to every moew ,I feel like throwing up every time I ignore one and honestly if suicide wasn’t prohibited by my own religion ( Islam btw and thank God for that ) I would have offed my self a long time ago , so basically while your guilt might be devastating at least it’s reasonable and can be worked on with time ( and I am not minimizing it by any means ) and I think you would felt the same way even if he was dying that just what happens when given the decision of choosing when to end his life , mine is crazy and weird to the point of hoping I could be the most selfish coldhearted human being of earth , can someone tell me how to do that ?

      • Litsa  February 4, 2023 at 4:47 am

        Srl, I am so sorry for the guilt you feel. I imagine it must be so hard to see animals suffering and you are certainly not a selfish or coldhearted person, but rather someone who has the heart and compassion to care about (and care for) animals even when your own resources are limited. I am glad that your religion helps you in moments that you are thinking of hurting yourself, but please know that there is always additional support to be found. Here is a comprehensive list of hotlines all over the world: https://blog.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines/

        I know when we see animals suffering that this can be little consolation in the face of their pain, but please try to remember that these cats are animals who existed to live in the wild before humans domesticated them. Because we know these animals so well, seeing them in our homes and in adorable internet videos, often we forget that we as humans are responsible for them. This does not mean seeing them suffer will ever not bring us pain, but often we feel more responsible for them than we would squirrels, mice, racoons, or other animals that we don’t think of as family pets. We often are used to seeing them as we see them in our homes or in videos, so though in the wild they may be thinner or not as clean and well-kept, this does not always mean they are suffering in the way that we assume they are. Sometimes the simple look more like their natural, wild state than we are used it. It sounds as though you are an incredibly caring person and I know that seeing these animals will never be easy, but please try to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. You will not be able to take care of others – humans or cats – if you are not being kind and caring to yourself first. And if you are still struggling with this guilt, please consider talking with a counselor or a trusted friend or spiritual advisor from your faith community.

    • Kelsey  November 20, 2022 at 10:28 pm Reply

      Oh Liam, my heart ached for you when I read this. I hope since your original post you have found it in you to forgive yourself. I recently had to say goodbye to my elderly cat, my best friend. One can torture themselves with the “what ifs”. The way you speak of your cat, it is obvious that you loved him very very much. Animals, and cats in particular, can be very good at hiding their pain. Perhaps you saved him weeks or months of decline/suffering. <3

      2
  22. Kelly  July 30, 2022 at 12:14 am Reply

    My Dad tested positive for Covid 11/9/2021. He was not treated with any medications and was told to go home and if he got worse to go to the hospital. Mind you my parents lived at 8000 feet in elevation, where there is a lack of oxygen. It wasn’t a good idea. But I didn’t think of the lack of oxygen up at their home and thought my Dad could fight this on his own. I thought if he got sicker he or my mom would tell me. We didn’t know who to go to, to get him the medications he needed. We live in a small country town so it’s kinda limited. Finally found a doctor out of state who prescribed him ivermectin and many other things. That was about a week after testing positive. He was getting sicker. My Dad took the medicine but it was making him sick so he stopped taking it. I texted him on the 15th to ask how he was doing and he responded with “near death”. I thought he was joking, because that’s how he spoke sometimes. What I didn’t know was that he was telling me that he was dying. So my stupid ass didn’t think anything of it and went on with my day. Then on the 18th my mom called me and said my Dad wasn’t doing good and asked if she should take him to the hospital. I asked what his oxygen was and she told me it was in the 70’s. I about died. I told her we needed to get him to the hospital asap. They met me in town and I drove them to the hospital. There he was put on oxygen and hooked up to all kinds of meds. He started with a nasal cannula then ended up on bipap. He kept getting worse. On the 23rd I saw how tired he was and I knew he was going to die if we didn’t do something different. Previously my Dad requested not to be intubated. I respected his wish, but on the 23rd he looked me in the eyes and said Kelly I’m tired. I tried not to cry and told him “I know Dad”. I told him that the only way we possibly had a chance to make it was to intubate while he still had some strength. He agreed and choose to do so. I then called all the family so they could come see him. I didn’t give him enough time to say goodbye to everyone 😢. I robbed him of that. I didn’t realize it would be the last time he saw them and they saw him. That evening they intubated and he was flown to a different state with an available ICU bed. I followed him there as I promised him I would. They wouldn’t let me see him for a week. But I called everyday to tell him he was doing great and to keep being strong. He had a great first doctor. My Dad was getting better. When I got to see him his stats were improved and they were hoping to trach by the upcoming Monday. Things were great. Then shift changed and I got the worst doctor. Something about him just didn’t sit well with me. He was all about himself and didn’t care about the patients. It was so obvious. He didn’t wear clean clothes. He was always dirty. He told me he’s done this stuff for 30 years blah blah blah. But Covid has only been around for 2? So how do you know what your doing. Anyway, when it came to that Monday I wanted my Dad trached and this Doctor told me that it would be better to extubate. I knew my Dad wasn’t ready and needed to be trached and then weened. I had to make the decision of whether to trach or extubate. I didn’t want to cause my Dad more harm by cutting a hole in his neck, but yet I knew that extubation wasn’t a good option either. I didn’t trust my gut feeling and went with what the doctor said. They extubated my Dad and everything went to shit. Things got worse and worse every time that guy touched my Dad. I requested to not have him treat my Dad but the hospital told me that wasn’t an option? It was mind blowing. I fought as hard as I could to recover my Dad but the doctor kept fighting me. It got so bad that I had to make the horrible decision to just let him go😭.

    I feel that I failed my Dad. I didn’t trust my gut feelings and my own knowledge. I fucked up. I honestly feel I ended my Dads life when I could have saved him if I would have done what I initially felt was right for him. Then I too had to make that final decision to let him go. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself. I have to live with this everyday. My Dad trusted me and I 😞 FAILED…. I loved my Dad so so much. All I wanted to do was save him and bring him home.

    I’d rather just be with my Dad. I’ve apologized to him over and over. I apologized to my mom for fucking up. I feel horrible. I hate feeling this everyday. I wake up thinking of it and go to sleep thinking of it. I just want to let go.

    3
    • Revathy  March 1, 2024 at 1:01 am Reply

      To Kelly, I am not sure if you will read this. I feel so sorry for your loss and for the guilt that you are going through. I am not sure if now two years later you are feeling any better. If I could share, I have a similar sense of guilt and shame. My father died 13 years ago and my mother 3 years ago. I was caregiver for both of them. Unfortunately both received poor medical care, especially my mother where medical mistakes were made. I listened to ill advise from doctors even when my own instincts and gut feelings were telling me otherwise. My parents suffered as a result and passed away largely due to the serious medical errors. Till today I am unable to forgive myself for failing to protect my parents and to keep them safe and not suffer. I contributed to their deaths. My parents trusted me and I failed them totally. Just as you describe, I am tormented by this profound guilt and the regrets that it is impossible to find peace and any sense of happiness. I share this just to say that you are not alone in facing guilt.

  23. Amy  July 7, 2022 at 11:55 am Reply

    I was cleaning the floor and left the broom and dustpan in the hallway as I was going to finish in a few minutes. In the mean time my mom tripped over it and broke her femur which resulted in a long recovery and having to cancel a trip she was looking forward to. I feel so bad and I keep going over all the things I that coulda been different or ways it could have been prevented. The guilt is a lot.

    4
  24. TLeigh  July 1, 2022 at 5:32 pm Reply

    My grandfather passed away in May and I feel guilty about it. I can’t cope with it. My grandmother (his wife) went into the hospital the week before he passed, and I told him “oh you can come stay with us” not thinking anything of it, and then hours later he called us over there ready to come stay with us, and when he realized that I was only saying it to be nice, the look on his face was just pure “I give up.” – I know in my heart that is the moment he gave up. I can’t take it back and it is killing me. I feel like I made him give and I made him pass away the following week. I feel like it is all my fault.
    He waited for my grandmother to come home (she came home on a Wednesday) and then he passed away Friday night. I feel so bad though. I cannot cope with this.

    14
  25. Lisa  May 30, 2022 at 8:16 am Reply

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

    4
  26. Anon  May 21, 2022 at 11:16 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And then the friend requests stopped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4
    • Litsa  May 26, 2022 at 8:04 am Reply

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

      2
      • Sophie  August 14, 2022 at 10:21 pm

        I live with my family in law. I have a deep relationship with my brothers in law, that I consider like my own brothers. 5 months ago they adopted three beautiful kittens. They’re adorable, and kind, they never hurt anyone, despite how much the kids can be rough playing with them. They’re adventurous, and curious, and full of love. But the family didn’t really know how to take care of them. I have lived my entire life with cats, and for that reason, they were looking up to me and listening to my advises. But the other cats I have always lived in the same place, a friendly and safe neighborhood. Because of that, I thought treating a cat well was letting him breathe, giving him love but also freedom, because my other cats always loved so much going outside and discovering.

        My family in law refused to let them outside, they were scared anything would happen. Not only to the cats, but to anyone in the family. They were against me and my boyfriend traveling as well. I thought they were just exaggerating, and that they were wrong. At first, they wanted to keep the cats in a tiny box in a corner. Me and my boyfriend convinced them to let them free around the house. After a few months, we also convinced them to let them outside in the garden. The cats weren’t forced outside, they had been looking through the windows for months. My boyfriend didn’t know how to take care of cats either and was just listening to me. My family in law didn’t like the idea but agreed. For months the kitties were fine, and really loved taking the sun outside. I just wanted them to be happy. Three days ago, two of them got out. A little later, we heard barkings outside. We knew there were dogs in the neighborhood, but they had never came near our garden. We went to search for the cats but it was too late. We found one injured, and one dead. I still have the traumatic images in my head, and I don’t think they’ll ever leave me. There were so many things I could have done that night to prevent this. I could have searched for them sooner. I could have thought about the dogs earlier. I could have listened to my family in law. I could have prevented the cats to go outside. I caused their death, and I caused so much pain. I loved this cat so very much, she was only 6 months old. And my family in law loved her so much too. They will never forgive me for it, it’s too late. I have destroyed everything I had built here. I don’t belong here anymore. I have hurt an innocent beautiful cat, and I have hurt people who mattered to me. I have destroyed my life here. And there is nothing, nothing that would ever change that. I don’t know what to do anymore. I deserve so much worse. I’m sorry.

        1
    • Kate  January 8, 2023 at 8:12 pm Reply

      I read your story and felt the weight of that burden in your words.

      It is definitely part of the healing to feel heard and from my perspective you are in no way supposed to hold the burden of someone else’s mental health. I can imagine it was scary. He cyber stalked you – I have had this from an individual for 20+ years.
      You were and are 100% correct to have held your boundaries. It was a shame he didn’t have a close circle of family etc around him to guide him.

      I wish you all the best for your life. Learn to love yourself as I try to and heal your traumas with the grace you offer others. 💫

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

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

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

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

    9
    • Litsa  April 29, 2022 at 4:07 am Reply

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

      6
    • BN  May 7, 2022 at 7:20 pm Reply

      Guilt is a feeling that drags us down the most. I am in the same situation. Maybe if I had done things differently, the outcome would have been different. We would still be sitting together holding hands. The bottom line is, when we think like this we are giving ourselves too much credit. We don’t decide the day and time of our passing. That was never in our hands. Nothing and no one can change the time. So grieve my cogreiver, but without guilt. We just run out of time sometimes. That is what happened to us. Cry and be sad. Nothing wrong with that. We will have to learn with grief. This a life we are given for the time being. Can’t change that. Not in our hands.

      5
    • Jim  February 4, 2023 at 3:33 am Reply

      My wife also passed away I didn’t even know that she had COVID until after she died. She had no fever and she didn’t have that bad of a cough,. I gave her dinner and dessert a little later and about an hour before she died she drank about a half a cup of peppermint tea I could hear her breathing about a half hour before she passed away it sounded like she was snoring, I got up to use the washroom about a half hour later and it didn’t sound like she was breathing I checked closer and she had stopped breathing so I phoned 911 and they told me to do chest compression when the paramedics got there they said there was nothing they could do. I still feel guilty that I didn’t call an ambulance earlier she died on the 2nd of January 2023

      1
  28. Marina  April 19, 2022 at 6:51 am Reply

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

    2
  29. Xuxa  April 17, 2022 at 5:55 am Reply

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

    2
  30. Jessica  April 13, 2022 at 1:42 am Reply

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

    9
  31. Leslie LeBlanc  April 2, 2022 at 12:58 pm Reply

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

    11
    • Jim  January 28, 2023 at 9:27 pm Reply

      My wife also passed away I didn’t even know that she had COVID until after she died. She had no fever and she didn’t have that bad of a cough,. I gave her dinner and dessert a little later and about an hour before she died she drank about a half a cup of peppermint tea I could hear her breathing about a half hour before she passed away it sounded like she was snoring, I got up to use the washroom about a half hour later and it didn’t sound like she was breathing I checked closer and she had stopped breathing so I phoned 911 and they told me to do chest compression when the paramedics got there they said there was nothing they could do. I still feel guilty that I didn’t call an ambulance earlier she died on the 2nd of January 2023

      2
  32. Lauren Tschantz  March 29, 2022 at 1:04 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1
  33. Tahlia  March 13, 2022 at 4:14 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    12
  35. Tonya  March 4, 2022 at 11:56 pm Reply

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

    5
  36. Ed  February 17, 2022 at 4:19 pm Reply

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

    10
    • Litsa  February 21, 2022 at 4:21 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

      2
      • Manj  March 19, 2022 at 8:05 pm

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

        6
  38. Billie  February 10, 2022 at 1:24 am Reply

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

    8
  39. Becky  January 25, 2022 at 4:23 pm Reply

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

    4
  40. Melissa  January 13, 2022 at 12:40 am Reply

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

    5
    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 10:39 pm Reply

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

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

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

      5
  41. Mari  December 30, 2021 at 2:18 am Reply

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

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

    2
  42. Bill  December 27, 2021 at 10:57 pm Reply

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

    4
    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 9:49 pm Reply

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

      3
  43. Tyson  December 18, 2021 at 12:14 pm Reply

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

    4
    • Litsa  December 20, 2021 at 6:51 am Reply

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

      6
  44. Kayla  December 9, 2021 at 12:33 am Reply

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

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

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

    1
    • Kisa_Nao  January 9, 2022 at 4:23 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Lottsa lottsa Love,
      Kisa

      2
  46. Sondra Camp  November 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

    1
    • Litsa  January 23, 2022 at 9:25 pm Reply

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

      1
  48. Kevin Bell  November 8, 2021 at 5:02 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1
    • Litsa  November 2, 2021 at 11:23 am Reply

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

      2
      • Elle  November 3, 2021 at 1:30 pm

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

      • Litsa  November 30, 2021 at 7:13 pm

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

        1
    • horodver  November 18, 2021 at 5:09 pm Reply

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

      1
      • Litsa  December 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Tonya  March 5, 2022 at 12:33 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    5
  53. Danette  September 16, 2021 at 1:20 pm Reply

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

    6
  54. Nicole  September 12, 2021 at 9:27 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

      1
    • Anne  October 16, 2021 at 11:27 am Reply

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

      2
  56. Sophia  September 3, 2021 at 9:18 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

    9
  58. Lucinda McGuire  August 22, 2021 at 1:24 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

      Loving her mom is a gift too.

      Be gentle with yourself Lys.

      Beth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    7
    • Bonnie  October 15, 2021 at 4:07 pm Reply

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

      3
  66. Jasper  July 9, 2021 at 12:33 pm Reply

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

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

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

      Dear Man,

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

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

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

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

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

    4
    • Cheryl  July 3, 2021 at 7:59 pm Reply

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

      7
  69. C  June 26, 2021 at 11:49 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I’m so sorry for your loss 🙏🏼

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

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

  70. 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.

    5
    • Sam  June 25, 2021 at 7:23 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

      • Michael  July 8, 2021 at 6:07 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Dear Julie,

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

        2
      • Litsa  September 14, 2021 at 7:44 am

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

        1
    • kay  June 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm Reply

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

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

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

        1
  73. 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.

    7
    • kay  June 22, 2021 at 5:58 pm Reply

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

      1
  74. 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 ❤️

    8
    • lynne  August 3, 2021 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Hi Anne,

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

      2
  75. Rick Robertson  May 5, 2021 at 12:18 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I am in the same boat 😭

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    5
  83. 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

    4
  84. 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.

    10
    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      3
  87. 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.

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

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

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

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

        1
  88. 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.

    15
  89. 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.

    11
  90. John  March 16, 2021 at 5:16 pm Reply

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

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

    8
  91. 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.

    7
  92. Michelle Hollar  February 28, 2021 at 5:27 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    just lost my wife. this site looks really helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2
  102. Vashtie  January 21, 2021 at 5:59 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Matt

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

        Matt,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Hi Anna,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1
  108. 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.

    5
    • IsabelleS  December 14, 2020 at 12:04 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2
  115. 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.

    7
    • IsabelleS  November 10, 2020 at 10:55 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1
  118. 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

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

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

    1
  120. 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

    2
    • Garry  September 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm Reply

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

      1
  121. 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.

    2
    • Karen  September 10, 2020 at 9:39 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1
  125. 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

    16
    • 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.

      3
  126. Lucy  August 11, 2020 at 4:44 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4
  129. 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!

    10
  130. Monica W  June 22, 2020 at 11:26 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Dear Cathy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      10
      • 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.

        2
  134. 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 🙁

    8
  135. Jana Kisner  May 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I’m so sorry for not writing you Auntie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      3
  141. 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.

    4
    • Meltem  November 30, 2020 at 10:28 am Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2
  143. 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.

    4