Having a hard time with guilt.

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My dad had a life insurance policy worth $50,000 but he missed some payments and lost it. A couple years ago he got paperwork saying he'd missed payment and he'd need to pay a certain amount to keep it. He didn't do that wanting to go through his check books to make sure they were correct. We kept sending monthly payments. He'd get letters but not open them. He wanted to save it for me. I wrote the bills once a month for him. I asked him to call them and see what the deal was. He didn't. Then he gets paperwork that he has to fill out paperwork to re-instate the insurance. He doesn't want to fill it out truthfully b/c he's a quad. He fills it out truthfully finally after a year. and he's denied. Now all i hear is how if we had been more on top of things he'd still have it. He wanted the $ to go towards his family. We have since got a couple small policies 10,000 and a 20,000 but its not enough. I feel so bad anymore like i should have done more. He's not getting any better and he swears he has skin cancer but won't go to the doctor b/c he doesn't have enough life insurance and once they say its cancer he will have to put that down. He wanted me to take life insurance out on him a year ago. I didn't bc i wasn't sure that was right. I guess is have to help with things when he passes.

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JeanneGibbs, Does cashing in life insurance policies "lose" the value that's built up in them? Whole Life policies?
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If Dad has nothing to pass on, I assume he may need Medicaid if his health gets worse. He would have to cash in insurance policies and use them for his own care first. (A small amount for funeral expenses would be allowed.) Does that make you feel any better?

When I first joined this site I used to try to talk people out of feeling guilty. I've learned that that is seldom possible. Feeling guilty goes with caregiving. If it is not one thing it will be another. You wish you had insisted Dad take care of his policy. Dad likes to tell you that it is your fault, because that relieves some of his guilt feelings. (That doesn't make it true.)

The important thing about caregiver guilt is not to let it interfere with your best judgement. Push it to the background. Go about doing what you can do now, for example about preparing for his funeral, and don't let guilt get in your way.

If it is any consolation for Dad, very, very few people of modest means and chronic illnesses are able to leave anything to family. As the population lives longer, they have to provide for themselves longer. There isn't often much leftover to pass down. Sad? Sure. But hardly your fault.
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Have you seen a therapist lately to deal with this guilt trip to help you get free of it and move on with your own life?
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He makes you feel bad because you work and got married? That is mean.
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Thanks for your comments!! wow Singinway sending you a hug! sounds like you have alot to deal with! I've tried to get him to hire a organizer, housekeeper, etc. He won't let anyone but me help him with is paperwork. He is fully capable mind wise but has issues with this hands. He makes time to buy things from auction houses then have his medical aides pick them up. If he can do that i ask myself why or why couldn't he call the insurance company before it was too late. He says he wants to wait to ask me questions. i helped pay his mom's bills (gma's) before she passed and work full time. Its true igloo572 He wanted to leave it for his grandkids. Since he doesn't have anything to leave them. I guess i can't let go that its my fault i let it fall through the cracks. Now i feel so bad as his health declines that he had something to pass on and now he doesn't and its making him sad. He doesn't say it outright but he makes me feel that its my fault b/c i work and got married.
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Sounds like dad wants to do something so he isn't thought of as a "burden". The lie insurance is over & done, & has to move on with. Everybody has reason to feel foolish but it's the past. What I'd suggest is that you go and start doing the footwork to find a funeral & burial policy for him - get lots of details and costs on all aspects - location, casket, flowers, music, remembrance cards. Prices can run from 3K to 20K. Then you calmly discuss with dad and let him decide what he wants to do & within his budget. He can then be assured that something positive is done and you are a part of it all, so no surprises. In a way, it's as good as a life insurance policy but he can decide how to have it!
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Of course we let things go. Pieces of paper being so vital and having such huge consequences, is just not real to us when we are ministering to their bodies and keeping them alive! My elder's needs are so urgent, all my time is going to daily solving new problems which arise as soon as the previous one is resolved -- and ALL of them emergencies -- bowel blockage, urinary tract infections, eye infection, swelled feet, pneumonia, infected pressure sore...there is never a "normal day!" Try finding a bookkeeper (less expensive than an accountant) who may have some advice, and could handle paperwork for you. I had to do that, as I had let some things go that were sad losses. I now pay a bookkeeper $35 an hour which is more than I make at my regular job (I'm not paid for caregiving), but he accomplishes in an hour what it would take me four hours to do. For your father, try reassuring him continually, that the family is ok, that his legacy is about more than money. That he has been a good provider, and got you all to adulthood, and that what everyone wants most for him, is peace of mind. Bless you.
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