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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.

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Don't feel guilty...you did the best you could for her. Its normal to feel like that with anything in life when its hard...you have days where you wish you could walk away, days when you cope and days when you just wish it would stop....be proud of the compassion and care you showed xxx
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Nobody ever knows how long their parents will live, or their own lives. If we knew, we might not take care of them....we might think its too much time or work, or not enough of my own life left. I'm pretty sure there's tbose that caretake for 20 years, and die themselves within the following month.
There's never any guarantees. No one can see the future. We can't waste any time now, feeling guilty. Just spend each hour wisely.....
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Bandolierbabe, it sounds like your mother make her own decision about how she would live and not prolong her life. It wasn't up to you. Her time was decided by someone other than you.

When a loved one has lost their quality of life and they are in pain, have a terminal medical condition, are not thriving and unable to live in peace within their body, I don't see it as my right to insist they continue to breath for my peace of mind. I will do anything in my power to bring my loved one comfort, pain relief , support and assistance, but I don't see any merit in prolonging their illness against their wishes.

I think that spending a lot of time in assisted living facilities and rest homes gives you a different perspective on this issue. You become much better acquainted with our mortality and it's not as horrific as we are taught by society.
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Hello: I'm going through my own struggles with my 91 y/o mother now, she has Dementia and I'm the one who cares for her in my home. My siblings in Mexico had totally abandoned us and I stopped sending letters asking them to help, this should be voluntary, I shouldn't have to ask for it.
I'm 63y/o, I have a husband, daughters and grandchildren and I enjoy so much being a part of their lives and activities. She "lives" in an upstairs bedroom with a bathroom very close by, she still is able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom on her own and but, when I go out and leave her alone for a couple of hours, I do feel guilty about it. She is illegally here but we don't ask for any help from the government, we take care of all of her doctors visits, food, medications, personal care, etc. but we can't afford to hire a nurse or take her to a nursing home, so it's me alone who looks after her. I do not enjoy having her here, how can I? she can't converse, she doesn't like to go out, she gets to upset when we take her out, all she likes is to watch movies and cartoons. I guess it's true that, when we get older, we become children again.
I know that one day she will die, sometimes I totally look forward to that day, other days I just feel very sorry for her. I have come to terms with my siblings lack of responsibility and compassion, I can't waste my time with them anymore.
I also believe, (and I know some will disagree with me) that it's not fair that older children have to care for aging parents that can't care for themselves. No one asks to be born, when you become a parent, it's your responsibility to care for your children, that is the natural thing to do but, it's sometimes very unfair that, because of all of the advances in the field of Geriatrics, people are "living" longer, most time crappy lives, having to depend on others to care for them, and most of us would rather put our elderly, sick parents in a nursing home but that is also so very unfair to them, because in some cases, this helpless people are abused and neglected. I hate to see this commercials on tv. that talk about this paradise of places "A Place for Mom" or what ever, this are places that profit from people who refuse to care for an elderly parent in their homes, maybe because they can't or, most likely, wont.
We don't know what we will do when the time comes, we can't afford to put her in a Hospice or Hospital, so I guess she will die here in our home.
We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
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I have read all of the previous post and they were all good. I am caring for my 81 year old mom, I love my mom but I don't think she ever love ex me. She suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's and my family do very little for her, they say that I am spending all of her money but my light and gas are running all day while I am at work because her other children were leaving her alone in her house. I pray to God every day all day because she. An remember all the names of her. Holden who told me to out her in a nursing home but she don't know who I am. I thank God for my youngest son because he takes good care of my mom for me while I work and he takes her to her doctors appointment. I told him to 10/27/14 that God is going to really bless him for all he does. Can you all pray for us cause we really don't have a life other than church. My prayer has been to God don't let her suffer to long. A servant of God.
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I feel your guilt too. I don't know how much of wanting my life back factored into my decisions for mom's care. She wanted DNR and I went along with it. If I had it to do over, I would have over-ridden the DNR. Hospice was horrible. Will pray for you.
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Guilty feelings are but normal especially during the stages wherein you are starting to feel sorry about the things that you should have and shouldn’t have done in your lives. This is pretty normal to everyone else especially if it involves losing someone in the process.
So you unintentionally wished for your Mother to die. Think of the reasons that lead you to feel this towards your Mom. Sometimes we end up acquiring these feelings because of certain factors. Let me enumerate the things that you might have experienced and insert a few reasons on why you felt such.
1. You felt alone during the whole ordeal. You felt that you had not one else to turn to during the times when you feel weak for your mom.
This is normal for someone who is left with the sole responsibility of taking care of a parent in their later age or a parent with a disease. Does your Mom have the financial capability to sustain her medical needs? Does she have insurance? If she doesn’t have, were you the one who had to shoulder all the expenses? Did your partner support you during this period? Where your siblings there helping you along the way. Sometimes, we cannot really handle certain kinds of responsibilities alone. The burden was too hard for you to carry on your own that’s why you ended up wishing for a better situation, a situation wherein your troubles and worries would go away, in this case, your Mom,
2. You missed having a normal life and actually having a life.
I can easily conclude that you have tried your best to be with your Mom during these trying times and you had no one to help you around during the process. You had to endure working and spending the rest of your time with your Mom just to take care of her. Initially, you would really feel that you’re missing out a life that you should be having because you’re taking care of your Mom. But as the years pass, you’ll see yourself being thankful because you chose to be with your Mom during those times when she needed you the most. Just like the way you needed her beside you when you had your heart broken for the first time or when you had a hard time sleeping because of thunder and lightning.
3. You love your mom. Period
Yes you might have wished for your Mom’s death and you may have actually felt relieved when she did. But in reality, that was just the practical side in you. The child in you wanted to see your Mom healthy. Lively and enjoying a fun life together with you and your other siblings. It was hard for you to see your Mom weak and almost dying. And now you feel guilty for the times you wished that she was dead. This is simply because you love her, and you were sorry for not being strong enough just when she needed you to be. But as you have said, 80% of all those times you spend with your Mom during the last days of your life were happy. She is in a better right place right now. Eventually you’ll be able to move on from this lost. But again, as long as the guilt feeling is inside of you, it simply means that you’re sorry for feeling that towards your Mom, which is a good sign, because it shows that you love her.
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You've faced the reality of a part of the painful thought process that went into your decision-making. I'll tell you what. Many people never voice those thoughts. You are a stronger woman today than you were.

Could you have saved her? Or, had you ALL not made the decision you did, would you have kept her here out of love and caused her more suffering? When we love someone with all of our hearts, that not what we wish for them. We want them to go. For them. For us. For our families.

If you had been able to wave a magic wand and cure mom, take away her pain, give her more years of quality life, you would have waved and waved and waved. But you couldn't, and you knew that.

You are not the first person to silently say, "OMG, please take her!!!" And you aren't the first person to be relieved to know the end is getting near. A death watch is a horribly painful experience.

I'm happy for you AND for your mom that she is in a better place. Put your guilt away. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

The old line for a poem is true: Life is for the living.
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God decides. Regardless.
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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.
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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?
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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.♥
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Why-you-secretly-want-elderly-parent-to-die-139321.htm
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.
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