I feel guilty because I wanted Mom to die so I could live my life.

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My Mom passed recently. She had a mass in her lung that was not compatible with life. I had taken care of her for 8 years and enjoyed 80% of the time. Our family put her on hospice and decided to stop all treatment and let nature take it's course. My Mom wanted it that way and had a living will and advance directive.
I feel guilt because one of the reasons I wanted to stop treatment is because I wanted my life back. She was suffering and so was I and it was killing us both. I was terrified that my family was leaving me alone with my mother and I would be left alone to wait for her to die. Those were definitely not all the reasons we stopped life support but those reasons were there and I feel guilty for them.
She died three months ago and these feelings just surfaced and took ahold of me. I feel like it was a little monster that was trying to come out but I wouldn't let it. It's out now and maybe it needed to come out. I just have to figure out how deal with it from here.
I don't regret that my Mom died. We got to say goodbye and she lived a great life and really a great end. I just feel bad that wouldn't allow the end to linger because I couldn't handle it.


This is the web address for an article that might help. I know what you mean about feeling guilty. When my dad died in April because he wouldn't let me take him to the doctor when he was sick I wasn't sad that it was over. I still take care of my mom but Dad was miserable and didn't want to be here. He'd been saying for years that he would only be living for a few more years. I felt relief that it was over. He was out of pain and didn't have to live with me anymore. I still felt guilty that I was glad it was over. The reality is he didn't want to be here and caregiving is overwhelming. You didn't want her dead you wanted the stress related to caregiving to be over. If she had been healthy and could enjoy life you wouldn't have wanted to lose her I'm sure.
You can't beat yourself up over this. It's hard to do what we do. You did more than most people would have. You just wanted the pain to stop. It's natural! Guilt is only helpful if it helps to correct something we are doing or did wrong. You didn't do anything to her you did your best. She wanted it to end. It would have been unkind to make the pain continue when she wanted to stop the treatment. She probably was waiting for all of you (her loving family) to come to the place where you were ready to let go.
Don't beat yourself up over this. You did very well by your mother and quite naturally it was scary to think that you would be the one to watch her die and it is heartbreaking to watch your mother (or dad or other loved one) suffer. You didn't kill her. You made sure she had care. I know one family where a manipulative daughter wanted her father to die and tricked him into going into a hospice instead of getting the surgery and chemo the doctor said would remove his cancer. It is people like that who are evil. You are no monster.
It's only in recent years that our culture has developed such twisted and phobic ideas about the end of life. Dying quickly and painlessly when there's no possibility for any real quality of life is something we all wish for. It's so commonplace now for the healthcare industry to 'have their way' with us at the end of our lives that we have started thinking that's 'normal'; that we have to go through a prolonged, desperate (expensive) struggle before we die.
It's almost impossible to be regret-free when a loved one dies. We all wish we did something differently once it becomes too late, but please don't have regrets about the timing of your mom's death. Nature (and/or God, depending upon your beliefs) needs to be honored as was done in the past. At the end of one's life, the focus should be on a good and peaceful ending, not on cruel and torturous clinging.
I know exactly how you feel. My mom is still here with me but some days I wish she weren't. Neither one of us have a life. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. She can't be left alone and doesn't want to get out of the house. I feel guilty because I think it would be better for it to just be over. People tell me how great I am for taking care of my mom and when they tell me this I feel worse because of the way I really feel deep inside. I want my life back. Reading what others feel makes me realize that these feelings are normal. If our mothers were not sick we wouldn't feel like this. Thanks for sharing your feelings!
My mom just died on the 21st of June 2012.She had been ill for 17 years.She had come to live with me for the last five years.She had dementia,high blood pressure,diabetes,congestive heart failure,anemia,thyroid issues.She lived with me and i did the best i could(preparing her meals,doctors appt,etc)I had no moral support from family.I was her primary caregiver for five years.The doctors said she could not come home to live with me because it would be to much for me to care for her alone and she could not travel and live with other siblings.She died in hospice.Because of her dementia she could not make the right decisions for her own medical care.She stopped eating,drinking and taking her meds.Now that i am all alone i feel bad because i feel i did not do enough for her and i could not save her.I know i did not cause her death but i wish that i would have had the power to heal her and have her with me for many years to come.I am going through the beginning stages of grief and i know it will tkae time to come to grips with the loss.
I understand how you feel. My mom was miserable, before she found out how sick she was and now she is more miserable after the dx. She not a nice person, but thinks she is. She is only 68, but even her siblings who are trying to assist from afar are thinking too that it would best for her to slip away peacefully. She really has no hope for her Lung Cancer situation.
bandolierbabe, I believe your ACTIONS were all that mattered in the case of your mom. Are you sure you just didn't want 'it' to end? Just wanted to be done with 'it'? I mean you weren't gonna put a pillow over your mom's face right? Don't confuse the difference between wanting the whole ordeal to just be over, and wishing your mother would die. To me, it's like being in traffic and wishing you could just ram the stupid car in front of you because it's going so stinkin' slow. You're NOT gonna really ram it, but you just 'wish' you could. You did right by your mom, and more importantly SHE wanted it that way, so stop beating yourself up. My mom died last year of cancer and believe me, we were ALL glad 'it' was over. Including my wonderful mom, who I have been assured by God Himself via the Bible, I will see her again.♥
My mom is 94, just got out of the hospital from her third or fourth fall this year. She has become more and more needy and hates to be alone. I have tried and tried, and spent a lot of time with her, taken her out as much as I can when she was well, and just tried to do my best. But she has never been able to understand anything. Being with her is like being on another planet. Her favorite thing to say is how she is dumb and stupid. She never worked a day in her life and growing up was let's face it, a terrible mother. My sister has always been a back stabber, and now she is the primary care taker for my mom, so I refuse to go over there. I've been spending a lot of time recently feeling guilty and just letting go of all of my family, as though my mother is already dead. I don't know what to do, but since my family has always been abusive to me, I don't want to share any intense emotional situations with them and have been staying away. But I feel really guilty as my mom probably thinks I'm a bad person too. She recently told me at the hospital when we had a moment alone, that my siblings say I'm a bad woman, although I've never done anything to them, but just try to stay away from them all together. They have never spoken to me, for most of my life. I've been alone and on my own pretty much for my entire life, except for the few times, I begged my mother and convinced her for help on rare occasion. But she, (my mother), has always fed me and every one of her children with negative messages. I almost can't wait for my mother to die so I can be free of my family all together. I guess I'm in the process of freeing myself all together before my mom's death, because I just don't want to be close with any of them. There was a lot of alcoholism and crazy behavior growing up and I was alone as a little girl in the middle of it, ignored by my mother, who only bitched at me, and everyone else was unsupportive - never there for me, so I learned to be alone in the first place, so it seems natural to separate myself from them in emotional times. I'm 52 and I've been trying to run away from home and wanting desperately to get out of my parents home since I was 12. Ha! I'm having to move in with my 26 year old son, because I'm out of a job and going back to school full time. I offered to move in and take care of my mom, but my older brother told me he would beat me up and throw me out, and that I was not welcome to live with my mom.. He asked me to stay there two nights out of the week, but I said that I needed to have internet since all my homework is on the internet and I am already paying for it at my apt, and couldn't pay for it at her house too. He put his hand on my head quite strongly, and told me, that my mom would not shell out money for my internet, and that I could pay it for myself, while at the same time guilting me about not wanting to spend the night there twice a week. I feel like I just need to get a job at night, continue going to school during the day....I'm trying to change my life's course and just let go of my family. My mom is going to die anyways and there's nothing I can do about it. She knows I love her and I know she loves me and if she was 1/2 way able to see the truth of matter of fact of survival of my life, she would know and support me to take care of myself. She has the care she needs and since my siblings block things for me, I just need to let go of the whole situation. I have no control over it, and its just more than I can handle, because I'm starting over and need to take care of myself in order to survive myself. Am I ok? Any thoughts?
I guess I just can't go to a place of such vulnerability with my enemies. My family doesn't care about me. It's all fake and so I feel like I can't give my love to my mother because she herself has never taken care of me emotionally. Its not intentional, but my mother was not a good mother to me, so I don't feel too regretful and my family has always been distant from me, so I kind of feel okay in just letting it go. In the end we are in our own road, path, alone.
God decides. Regardless.

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