Caregiver Guilt

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My father passed away from colon cancer more than a year ago. His cancer diagnosis, which came 4-5 months earlier was especially hard to take. In his last 2 months, he was admitted to complex terminal care in hospital. Although I visited him often (2-3 times a week), I still feel I should have visited him more. Taking off work however, was not an option. For my late mother, who passed away nearly 5 years ago, she too was admitted to hospital and then transferred to a nursing home for her final 2 months. I visited her even less...partly because I didn't think she would pass away so soon after her diagnosis. For both my parents, I feel guilt over this and wonder how others deal with this guilt after their loved one has passed.


I wish I had the words to lift the guilt away for you. What I can tell you is not to dwell on what you think you did not do, or should have done. It cannot be changed. Stay in the present and remember what you did, there smiles, good times and the love. I am sure you parents do not want you to feel this way. You did the best that you possible could in a difficult situation. Your parents know this and would not expect more. Give yourself a break. Breath and take care of yourself. Let us know how your are.
As they say hindsight is 20/20. We do the best we can 'at the time' and so often we do it WITH NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL. The 'if onlys' are a part of grief and a part of life. You are grieving. But eventually you will gain perspective that TIME allows. You will forgive yourself and move forward. Hope you find peace soon. This site and posts will help.
Thank you very much!
As we live and grow and learn things naturally we can look back on past behavior and wish we could improve it. We know better now! We are older and wiser. We have more mature priorities.

Use what you have learned to move forward, not to beat up a past self who was only doing what seemed reasonable at the time. Spend your energy being a caring friend and loving relative to the people in your life now. Don't waste it in guilt about what you cannot change.

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