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Will The Guilt Ever Go Away?

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I can remember it all as if it were thismorning.

I took my mom to the hospial because she was not feeling well, & not able to keep food in her system.

It was a thursday afternoon, 1:15. Tht Dr. looked at her, & due to the circumstances he decided she should stay there for a few days to get rehydrated & then she could go home.

I had 2 children at home, so I stayed till my sister got there at 8:45pm & then went home.

I sent my kids to school the next morning, & went straight to the hospital where i spent the whole day at my moms side.

She was so sick all I could do was hold her hands in mine & tell her how much I love her.

She would look at me & say "don't worry Tootie I will everything will be ok".

Little did I know at that time she was preparing herself for death.

You need to understand that she had chrones, & cholitis, rhumitoid arthuritis, had one leg amputated & was going to have to have the other one taken too. And as bad as all of that sounds, her health was ok other than that.

You see I was NOT taking my mom to the hospital to die, I was taking her there to get well so I could take her home with me again & continue to take care of her as she had me for all of those years.

Saturday mom looked better & she even ate. Wow that was great we all (even the Dr.) were very pleased with her progress.

The Dr. told me that if she kept up this well I would be able to take her home on Monday.

Saturday went on well & most of my 9 brothers & sisters came to see her, along with many of their children & even their children.

I sent them all home, & spent a few more hours holding onto my mom befrore I too went home at 3:00am.

I was going to take a shower & get a couple of hours of sleep before I went back to her.

It was 4:03 am when I got the call that I should contact all of my family, because mom was going down hill fast.

I made it to the hospital by 4:15 & was the 1st one there. Mom took my hand & said "Tootie I have to go".

I held her & all I could do was cry. My family then started to arrive, I however did not leave her side.

Little did I know that those words were the last ones my mother would ever say.

At 5:07 am Sunday morning, she squeesed my hand looked into my eyes & shook her head as if to say goodbye tootie I love you . Like she needed my approval to go. I have her the biggest hug & kiss I ever had & told her mommy it is ok to go so you will not have to suffer any more. She closed her eyes never to awaken again.

I held her dead body in my arms & cried & screamed for about an hour. I told her I was so sorry I brought her to the hospital & I did not mean for her to die. I told everyone in the room how sorry I was for taking their mom, & grandma away. My family finally had to pry me off of her & my wonderful husband carried me to the car & took me home.

The next few days are all a blur. I went through the motions not knowing what I was doing or how I would be able to go on without my mom for the rest of my life.

I still to this day say goodnight to my mom every night as if she were right there with me.

I am so sorry that I took her to the hospital to die. I thought I was going to make her better.

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Hi tootie,

After reading your post, I wanted to reply and let you know that I truly do understand how you feel......and I don't know if the guilt will really go away....it has been exactly 9 months today for me.....

I was my mom's caregiver even though she lived a day's travel away by plane from me. We talked many times each day, emailed, phone, etc...and my husband and I kept flying back and forth taking as much time off as we could to help her and take care of her......I wanted more than anything in the world to stay with her full time. So I was planning to take a big chunk of time off.....We went for a week and helped her set up hospice care and had figured that we had about 1-2 months with her left. We left on a Saturday am around 5:30.....she was up and was joking around with us....feeling pretty good overall.....we said goodbye but not the "real" goodbye....then we got in the cab and I couldn't stop crying for hours....I just had this weird feeling but I kept pushing away the doubt....we were flying back the next Thursday and I would be talking to her everyday many times.....my sister came to stay with her (they didn't have a great relationship but she was filling in for me....and my mom was ok with it....because she was counting the days until I came back)....I talked to her on the phone that night, the next day and then on Monday my sister said she wasn't really able to talk on the phone too long....so we had a few conversations and she kept asking when I was going to be back.....when I got there on Thursday she was conscious but just coming in and out of it....she told me she loved me...it was muffled and slurred but I know that's what she said...she knew I was there....and that was the last thing that we said to each other.....my brothers arrived on Friday and she was already in a coma....and she died on Saturday am at 4:08 a.m......I was with her....I didn't leave her side....I slept next to her bed.....I took care of her.....I know she was at peace....I know that she didn't struggle....I know I took care of her and I know she knew I was there.....but I can't.....absolutely can't shake the guilt.....why did I leave that Saturday....why didn't I stay....why wasn't I with her those last few days....why didn't I make it better for her....take care of her.....I let stupid everyday things get in the way....my job would have waited.....but I thought we had more time.....there are many more details I remember and will never forget.....I really do try everyday to get past the guilt but I can't.....

I don't have any words of wisdom to make you feel better.....I just wanted to share my heartfelt understanding with you and let you know that I pray you can make peace with your feelings.....trust in the love you had for your mom and that she loved you with her whole being.....she never would blame you for taking care of her and doing what you needed to for her health. You are not to blame for taking her to hospital and did not hasten her death.....it was her time and she was with you and that's why she was able to let go....she was at peace and it didn't matter where she was because she was at home with you.

Wishing you peace

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  • 3 weeks later...

tootie, I just read what you posted after i e-mailed you. i'm so sorry. I'm sure you know in your heart that you're mother blames you for nothing!!!! Neither does you're family or you're children. You need to tell yourself that exact thing ever day and mabey one day you will truly beleive it! And then mabey you can stop blaming yourself. But who am I to give you advice on anything. i just wanted you to know that I found this and read it. and I see now you really know where I'm coming from.

Good Luck!! I wish for you a peace of mind. kelly

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Thank you for your kind words. They really mean a lot to me.

I came to this site feeling as if I was the only one who was going through this hell. I have since found that it is definatly here for a reason. It has helped me a lot to deal with my feelings.

Thank you again.

respectfully yours,


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I am so glad I stumbled onto this message board.

I understand about the guilt. My mother died Jan. 29 and I loved, still love, her beyond words. We were very close. She was very old and her death was inevitable, but it hit us hard.

I have guilt too. Horrible, painful guilt because I failed to get her to the doctor for symptoms of the preventable illness that killed her. If I had taken her to the doctor, I asked myself a thousand times, would she have lived longer? Would she have had an easier death?

The truth is, I will never know the answers to those questions.

But I learned something about my guilt last night when I met for the first time with a grieving support group offered through our local hospice. We grievers all had guilt. We all felt we'd let the person we loved down. The counselor helped me a lot by letting me see that my self-judgment and my guilt were something familiar I put on myself because I was not yet ready to face the unknown--life without my mother and life with unanswered questions.

In other words, it was easier for me to beat myself up than to face my unknown life without my mother.

Once this became clear to me, it has been easier to for me to understand that I have to work on letting go of the guilt.

This has helped me to write this down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All...guilt seems to be the topic of these last few posts...I have a ton of it...hmmm...where does one begin? My mother's life was not really anything special, except to me. I wanted desparately to have a good relationship with my mother but we were very different you see because she had a chemical dependence on prescription drugs and alcohol and I wanted to be with her and help her but I was the one with the problem....

I ended up having a neighbor who seemed to be very respectable and seemed to like the same things as my mother (minus the drugs) and he seemed like he had his life together. He also looked like Sean Connery, same dimple and blue eyes...anyhow, I introduced them. At first they really seemed to hit it off; then my mother moved in with him (right next door), then weird things started happening and before I knew it they got married and shortly after that, they were both deceased, my mom 9 months after him. If only I had not introduced them........................I should have kept my nose out of it. I will never try to play matchmaker ever again. I console myself with the thought that at least they both had some happiness, but the cost seems too great to bear sometimes.

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