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Anyone Dealing With Guilt?

Guest msatwood

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Guest msatwood

Hi there..

I am new to this wonderful forum. My 81 yr old mom is dying...hospice thinks about 2 more weeks. My dad died 18 months ago...Hospice thought about 2 weeks left for him, but he checked out after 48 hrs. All TOO fast...ALL TOO SUDDEN. I have lost my husband, best girlfriend, father and soon my mom....all in the last 5 years. I am exhausted. I have an older out-of-town brother who is no help, and my sister is disabled, so I have been the emotional rock of the family...as well as power of atty and all that goes with it. Thankfully we have help for mom at her home...she wants to stay there...and 24 hr care is now with her plus Hospice nurse visits everyday. So for all of that...I am grateful. My problem is I am feeling fear this time...more so than with my dad's death. And I want to just run away....sometimes. I try to get over to see her every other day or so...but selfishly, I am so tired and emotional, I can't do it EVERY day. I call in at least 4-5 times a day, and talk to her if she is lucid...and to check on the aids to see what they might need...but I'm feeling overwhelmed. I have Epstien Barr, chronic fatigue, which flares up upon alot of stress...so I am TRYING this time to honor my own health by NOT being there every night after I work. Does anyone else out there struggle with guilt and pre-emptive grief? I am lucky that my folks were the BEST parents...and we all have nothing unsaid....unconditional love is really what we are about. But the thought of having NO parents now scares me....................and it scares me each time I see her a bit thinner and worse....any advise would be sooo appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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I know exactly how you are feeling, my mother was in the hospital for the last month before she died. She starved herself to death and I was doing my best to get up there three times a day to try and feed her. She went down hill so drastically once she was admitted - she was fairly lucid the day I took her in, but the home she was living in wouldnt have her any longer. They phoned me and said they thought she had had a stroke. Her doctor met us in ER and suggested we admit her until a more suitable place could be found. They all assured me it would only be for a week or 2 at the most. The hospital couldnt handle her, she was still very mobile, so they tied her into a chair and into her bed. I beged them to let her walk around. They wouldnt listen, and I felt I should be able to make them listen. I felt I had failed her, given her a death sentence.

After a week she stopped eating. I was working, had my house, my pool, my pets, and couldnt always find the energy to go see her.

When I did go she refused to eat and spit the food out anyhow. Many many times I left there crying, completely exhausted, not knowing what to do. My sister and brother didnt come see her at all. I phoned and told them she was dying and they should come, they still didnt.

The day she died I drove past the hospital at noon and thought "I cant do it, I NEED to take one lunch to myself, just to sit and do nothing". I had been running from client appointment to appointment all morning, and decided to go up at dinner, and skip the lunch hour.

She died at 1:00 pm. I felt awful, at first, thinking "I could have gone" but then common sense set in and I can now say "I did my best and mom didnt expect more". We, all of us, are only human, and we can only do so much. We are of no use to anyone if we drive ourselves into the ground to the point of where we are sick ourselves. You are doing your best and God doesnt ask for me. Dont feel guilty - your mother doesnt want you to sacrifise your whole life to take care of her. I would never want my children to do that for me. I would rest easier and feel better knowing they were out doing things, and enjoying themselves - I would never want to become a burden, not to that extent.

My happiness if I were dying would be knowing they are out in the sunshine, doing things, feeling happy and healthy and not tied to me at the expense of their own lives -

My mother knew I was putting off moving to China in order to stay and take care of her and be with her until she died and she urged me many times while she was still lucid to "just go and not put my life on hold for her". I made the choice to do stay and for that I am glad but I am sure your mother feels the same.

Its scary when you have lost everyone - being all alone is a very scary thing. Be brave, be strong, and stay well so you do have inner strengths to draw on when you need them the most.

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  • 3 weeks later...

msatwood, I felt so for you while reading your post. It is awfully hard on us to lose so many people in such a short time.

When my dear husband was battling cancer, I grieved for several months before he died. I was hearing what the drs were telling us and he wasn't. So I would grieve silently when with him and sometimes would go walk or someplace alone so I could cry out loud.

There were times when all the care giving and having to do so much did get me down both physically and mentally. I do not feel guilt though, not for not doing enough - I did all I could and not for being the one left behind. I miss him more than I can put into words and carrying on without him is difficult some days. Dying is a part of living, and I felt like I had to accept that.

Hospice has some really good booklets that helped me a lot. When we signed up for hospice I thought we would be with them for months, instead it was only a little over 2 weeks. My dear husband was so tired and he had fought so hard, I think once he realised there was no more treatment to be had to get rid of the cancer, he let go. He quit eating the last week, I would offer but did not push. I realised he was dying quickly and tried to keep him comfortable and let him know again how much he was loved and how much he would be missed. But I let him go and I do not feel guilty.

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  • 1 month later...

I feel guilty sometimes. I too have lost a lot of loved ones over the past 7 years. I have lost over ten people in the last 7 years and it has been a real struggle... and I am only 20 years old. My cousins death was one of the three hardest deaths for me. We were 14 he was four days into his freshman year of highschool I was about a month into mine.. when he took his life. I was devistated because we were the same age and I felt really guilty about all the things I am able to do now that he will never get the chance to do like going to college, dating, getting a real job, one day getting married and having a family.. and growing old. I also lost my grandpa to cancer. He was special to me because we shared our birthday together and we were really close. I feel guilty every year on my birthday because even though its a happy time.. I feel so sad because he isn't here with me anymore. I also lost my grandma to cancer and I was really close with her as well. I really miss her a lot. So yes I have felt guilty like all of you. I think everyone who experiences death will feel that way at some point in time. Thanks for sharing your story and if you ever need to talk I like the rest of us am here for you.


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  • 4 months later...


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