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Feeling a lot of guilt


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My mother passed away yesterday morning, & I'm feeling not only devastated, emotionally drained/shocked, but tremendously guilty. She was an amazing woman who had been sick since before I was born. About two years ago she had a bone marrow transplant, & unfortunately developed Graft vs Host Disease. She fought so hard to get her life back, but GvHD is a very, very ugly disease & won out in the end. 

My aunt flew my sisters & I out to decide if we should continue the aggressive treatment or put her in hospice. As her medical power of attorney (I'm the oldest & I didn't know I was power of attorney until a week before this as my mother never talked to me about her wishes & her will is lost somewhere in storage) I had the biggest say, but I insisted my sisters voice their opinion because they're her kids too. 

Ultimately the decision was to send her home to my grandparents where all her things were, with a great hospice. I kept it together until I had to sign the DNR form. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I couldn't not sign it. The GvHD had rendered her blind, her body had stopped digesting food, her kidneys were failing, a stroke caused by a rare bacteria had rendered her paralyzed, barely coherent, & her body was all bloated from steroids & her skin was bruised, cracked, & bleeding in places. Earlier that day when I had my alone time with her & said everything I felt I needed to, she asked me to help her. It killed me to do it, but I signed it. 

I had to leave the next morning to come home out-of-state to tend to my sick one year old & his dad, & got the call early Saturday morning after having an extremely vivid dream where she told me she loved me (& I truly believe it was her spirit reaching out to me). She was surrounded by my sisters & the love of people who knew her, listening to her favorite music. Not hooked up to machines or in any pain.

I keep telling myself she wanted it this way, reminding myself of all the times during the past two days she told one of my sisters (who was in denial & didn't want her to leave the hospital) she wanted to move on, of my own experience of her begging me to help her because she was in so much pain & suffering. That she was trapped in that sick body & she had reached her limit. 

Despite all of this, I feel so much guilt & it's tearing me apart. I know I didn't kill my mom or anything, but I still feel like she died because of me. Like maybe I should've convinced my family she had a fighting chance. But then I remember that the doctors said she'd be paralyzed, bedridden, & blind her entire life with her mental capacity even possibly worse & that my mother never would've wanted to live a life like that. 

Sorry this is so long. I miss my mom so much & we lost her so quickly. It just sucks & hurts so very much.

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I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your mother, my dear. You sound like such a loving and devoted daughter ~ and the very kind of daughter I would expect to feel guilty in the wake of the momentous decision you made. You put your mother's needs above your own, and your decision to end her suffering was a most selfless act of love. You traded her pain and suffering for your own. I invite you to read this article, in hopes that it will speak to your hurting heart: Guilt In The Wake of A Parent's Death  

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I am so sorry for your loss.  To sign a DNR form is the hardest thing in the world, but you put your mother's wishes and comfort ahead of your own, which is the best thing you could do.  None of us want to lose our mom, it's hard (I lost mine 3 1/2 years ago), no matter when or how it occurs.  I wish you the best as you make your way through this.

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Don’t apologize for this tenderhearted post.  My heartfelt condolences for your loss.  I hope that your little one and his dad are feeling better.  Your feelings are very normal as is when we lose someone we LOVE!  I’m so glad you had the experience of being close to your mom and I know it was very difficult to honor her request but it was her decision.  One of my closest friends had a similar experience with her mom.  She said she felt her mom saying she was trapped in her body and she was ready to go.  It was difficult for her but today, when I see her, she has peace in her heart.  She knows that her mom is finally at rest and it was nothing she could have done differently.  I hope that you get into grief counseling and allow yourself to process what has happened.  I’m grateful that GOD gave your family a special time of good-bye and that your mom was so loved.  Praying for all of you. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.  

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