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He lasted two months, but during that time I didn't talk to him about dying. I look back and SO much wish that I had talked about ...more. He didn't talk much because he was so weak, but I could have said more. I'm so sorry and am having a hard time forgiving myself for not doing more. Maybe I was in denial thinking that he would beat this thing again. He knew it was the end. The nurses knew it was the end. I don't know what I was thinking. Tiptoeing around the subject like it wasn't happening. He lasted longer than they predicted, of course. He was such a strong guy. I should have loved him more. I'm so sorry. I know this wasn't a question. Sorry about that too. I had to tell someone.

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Everyday8: Why is it we don't give ourselves enough credit for the great things we do, and instead focus on that we feel we didn't do enough? We're odd creatures, aren't we?

When your husband came home, you both expected to be together for about a week. He was with you for two months! Give yourself great credit that your husband was with you for much longer and under such a terrible strain.

I am so sorry for your great loss. Be good to yourself. You deserve it. {hug}
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Everyday8: You're very welcome, dear lady. Please know that at any time you can come back to this forum for the wonderful people (better than me, most certainly) for support and a hug or two.

Psalm 34:18

" The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. "
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Hugs...many hugs to all of you wonderful people. The conflict, of course, is with my heart and my brain. The love and reinforcement you all are sending to me caresses my heart with an understanding that I DID do all I could.... for the 37 years we were married and for the last 6 of those years that he was not well physically. He did keep his mental faculties throughout those 6 years and we often laughed about how I needed him to help me remember things. How fortunate we were to have this. I will (am) starting to "stop" dwelling on those last moments and to congratulate us on the many years of memories we had. I still cry (a lot) but for happier reasons. I miss our life, the way it was before he became ill and I miss what it could have been, had he not become ill. I'm not quite convinced I did okay during the end stages, but I was definitely overwhelmed by what was happening without the luxury of time to adjust. I was certainly not alone as you all have shared. He loved me beyond words and my being there with him was enough (I hope). Thanks to ALL of you for your support. It was the support I needed and will continue to need. Big hugs to all of you.
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I am so sorry to hear this. I have not posted in a while because my caregiving was, unfortunately, over a few months ago, but I was back after looking around to recommend caregiving sites to someone else and saw your post and wanted to respond (I know it's been about a week since the last reply, but the post is still showing up on the first page for me).

I did the same. We had little information from doctors and it wasn't until near the end that someone finally told us definitively that my mother was dying, and soon-- though we knew it was probably the case, I didn't want to talk as if it was because we weren't sure (and then the end came faster than we expected). And I didn't want to upset her. And I thought we had time (but she, too, was not entirely with-it in the last few weeks because of hepatic encephalopathy, so conversations that might have happened had she remained completely lucid, did not-- everything from talking about her dying to talking about exactly what she wanted for a funeral). Does all of this sound familiar?

I, also, struggle with it. But, I don't allow myself to beat myself up over it (or try not to; if I tell you that you can simply tell yourself not to feel guilty and that works, that you don't sometimes have to practically grab yourself by the collar and shake yourself and even then you doubt, I'd be lying), and you shouldn't, either. Hindsight is always 20/20, as you know. You thought you were doing the best you could at the time. Now you do not feel that is the case, but there is honestly nothing you can change by feeling guilty about it now; it will only make you feel bad. You took care of your husband and you were there right to the end. And perhaps he did not think you did anything wrong at all. 

As others have said, no matter what you had done, you will always be able to think of something you didn't do, or didn't do "right," or didn't do well enough, or didn't do enough of. Always. I can feel guilty about things as small as "I forgot to bring my mom a bottle of soda she wanted while she was still able to drink it" (the one I brought after she no longer wanted to eat/drink is still in my fridge), or "I shouldn't have held her so hard to the low-sodium diet the doctor wanted her on and should've let her eat whatever the hell she wanted if we'd known she had so little time left" or as big as "I should've done whatever it took to let her come home to die rather than pushing her into a nursing home because we couldn't afford extensive home care aides and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of her myself"-- or, yes, "I should've asked her if she wanted to talk about it because she probably was afraid and did want to talk but didn't want to upset me by bringing it up" and a million other things that I, as my friend would say, "shoulda, woulda, coulda" (in a way that means he thinks worrying about these things after the fact doesn't help).

And for everything I didn't do? There were things I DID do, things that some other people wouldn't do, things I hope meant something to my mom and I hope she saw exactly what they were and understood it meant how much I cared for her. I'm sure you have those things too, whether they're small or large. Remember them, whenever you think of the things you feel you didn't do. Everything balances out and for every way you think you failed him, think of the things you did that were wonderful.


(And like Davina, I first learned this "there is nothing you can change by chastising yourself" lesson from a cat.)
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Sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother a week ago and I can relate with what your saying, but I know we all do our best and our love ones know we tried our best and hardest.
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Call the hospice and ask to talk to someone from the hospice,  they should be able to listen to you and begin to help you sort through your grief.  Never say you did the wrong thing.  You did what was right in the moment (and you had so few) .  Don't beat yourself up for what you didn't do.  Remember all you did do and the love you had.  It sounds like you are short changing yourself on the love quotient.
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You regret not talking more about the impending death? Some would prefer it that way. If you had, you would most likely be writing the same post, except that you 'shouldn't' have talked about it. As others have said, no matter how we handle things, we never think it's right, or enough and just rehash the 'what ifs'. The bottom line is there is no practice or right/wrong, it just is and you have to believe that you are human and did the best you could, and find peace with that.
((Hugs))
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So sorry for your loss, everyone grieves and reacts differently.  Please don't think that there is a right or a wrong way to do things.  Peace.
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There is nothing for you to regret or struggle with, your husband passed in a gentle manner surrounded by his wife and good care. He received way more than many people receive on their death bed. People who are dying no longer care about the stuff that drives us when we are not dying and well and fit. The brain and body is getting ready for death. Just being there is all they need. There really is not much to say but let the moments pass. You don’t need to say anything to the dying because their spirit is already with you, they already know how you feel. If you were good to them while alive as best as you could there is no need for regret. I personally believe when someone is dying they are already in good hands from the spirit world, no one dies alone even when it seems like it. There are spiritual caregivers on the other side. In addition, you were too much in shock trying to process everything to be of help, that is what hospice is for to help families not just the person dying. They should have helped you in that regard. You should never feel guilty because you didn’t talk about it. Your husband would not want to see you like this, the more you struggle the more sadness your passed over loved ones feel. Slowly let all this go and start honoring your husband by living your life and being grateful that you were able to be in each other’s life.

My story: My father died suddenly, stop breathing, was on life support and declared brain dead a few days after. During that time I just held his hand, kissed his face and made sure he wasn’t cold. At night I would sleep in the chair by him watching the lights and hum from the monitors. It was peaceful like father and daughter time. I didn’t say much, but nothing really needed to be said because all my life I always told my dad I loved him and was always there. I was just happy I could be there to watch over him like he was their in the waiting room when I was born.

Some hospice nurses call the dying process ‘birthing into spirit’.

Showing someone you love them throughout a meaningful relationship is all that is required. The death process is just that a process, it doesn’t define a relationship, it’s the living that does.

I wish you healing and hope you will try to stop struggling it will only make you sick.
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everyday8: Dear lady, please do not beat yourself up any more than you've already done. You were a wonderful support system to your husband. Now any one of us could go through "the What ifs?," "the Should ofs, "the If onlys," but that kind if mindset will just eat at us and will not allow us to move forward, as difficult as that seems at this moment in time. Please know that you were a wonderful wife and did everything correctly. If you need help, seek it through a counselor who may give you short-term anti-anxiety med(s). God bless and comfort you!
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This article on dealing with regrets may be helpful as you work through this. You cannot change the past but you can use the experience to be a better you and to help others in his memory.
www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/smarter-living/6-steps-to-turn-regret-into-self-improvement.html
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Sounds like you’re going through the same thing I am right now. It’s like everybody knows what is going on but me. But trust me, he knows how much you love him as he’s looking down upon you.
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Don’t beat yourself up. We all have regrets but you did what you could at the time. Hopefully just writing your comments helped relieve your guilt. Would talking to a favorite photo help?
Hugs
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We all do the best we can in the moment. It sounds like your husband was unable or didn't want to talk more about those things either. In time, hopefully you will not beat yourself up about this. I think all of us who love someone deeply are left holding the bag of regrets...but all we can do is learn from it and use what we learn as we go forward. Perhaps the hospice you used offers counseling or a support group that you might find comfort in? Take care.
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you did he best you felt you could at the time.   ..You said you were sorry in your nice note....Now if you wanted to you could tell God you are sorry.
If you do that the feelings might well still remain.  What to do about that?
I try to separate how I feel from what I do in tough situations.

At bottom your side of the street is clean. Own that conviction. 

You did what you could..  God Himself does not hold you for any wrong doing.
(My opinion is that you did no wrongdoing.)
It may well take time to get you feelings to align with the conviction that your side of the street is clean.  
Grace + Peace to you,

Bob in North Carolina
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I still have guilt over living my life like nothing changed while my mother was declining and facing the reality of her situation. There are so many things that need to be done just to provide comfort care for them that I think you defer to that. Yes, there is some denial there. I, too, wish I had talked with her about dying. I sat with her in silence, as talking was hard for her, and I thought she might bring up the topic but I don't think she wanted to burden me with her fears. I wish I had hugged her a lot more despite the oxygen equipment.
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Maybe your husband didn't want to talk about his death--some people don't. Seems like he would have said something if he wanted to talk despite being weak.

Not being an end of life specialist, you couldn't have done everything perfectly. You did most things right so try to make note of what you feel you missed and use it if there is a next time.

I've never lost a husband, but my cat just died. He must have been in pain because he didn't want to be touched at all and spent most of his time in his furry tunnel bed. After he died I was wracked with guilt that I didn't freshen his bed or talk to him more as he lay there. I did make a mental note of the things I should have done so that I'll be better for the next pet who dies. I buried this kitty in a patch of woods, then planted a dogwood tree and peony bush next to him and scattered several packets of wildflowers. There's a garden where there was nothing before and that helps a little.

Don't be too hard on yourself--hope you feel better soon.
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Dear Everyday 8,
I had the exact situation. Once they sent him home so I could care for him I concentrated only on that, I was so grateful. In all our 42 years plus of marriage I think we
we both knew and just hung on to the moments we had. I have since talked to him, privately of course, letting him know our devotion to each other need not be explained. I'm very sorry for your loss. It's okay. They know. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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Sorry for your loss, my mom died last year and I was stuck with every emotion I had ever had all in a short amount of time. I wanted help and my brother and sister, who I usually lean on was dealing with their own emotions. And my boyfriend just died 6 months prior to my mom. I was hit back to back. There is a book called Grief Recovery Handbook, by John James and Russell Friedman. John came to writing this book when his child died suddenly. Russell came to writing this book when he got a divorce, and filed bankruptcy all at once. I got the book and also took a 8 or 9 week class on grief recovery that uses this book in the class. I came to realize I could never repay my mom for the love, the gifts of teaching me how to stand on my own two feet, caregiving for me when I couldn't, etc., etc., this was about hurting and loss and learning how to move forward. The world does'nt stop because someone you love with everything you got dies. It keeps going, bills have to be paid, kids have to get to school, husbands have got to go to work, you have to keep on functioning. This class and book helped me. I send love and light to you. May God bless you and your family and the journey they are on.
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Sorry for your loss. Two things to keep in mind: presumably you have never had to walk this path before, so you can't rely on experience to guide you and there are no rule books. And secondly, your husband lived considerably longer than expected, so you had no idea the "path" would be this long. The fact that you are writing on this forum shows that you were concerned and did all you possibly could. You couldn't read your husband's mind, so you could only go by what he said and did as your guide.
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The main thing Here, dear, Is you were his Life Support and You were there to The End.
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Hello, Caring for a spouse at the end of their life is a Herculean task for which no one is prepared. After my husband died I tortured myself for months (years?) wishing I had done more, said more, played more music, asked him more about his wishes and what he was experiencing, etc etc etc. It seems to be a normal aspect of grief to look back at those final weeks and evaluate the care we provided, and to recognize our shortcomings and imperfections. But just as you loved and forgave your husband for his less than perfect moments, you must also forgive yourself. Acknowledge that it was an extremely trying time, and that you did the best you possibly could have done with the resources that you had at that time. I learned to focus on what I DID do rather than what I (for whatever reason) did not, and to stop woulda coulda shoulda-ing. Talking to close friends about my regrets helped me refocus away from what I perceived as my shortcomings, and take credit for the loving care I DID provide. I hope this helps you find peace. Kate S. Indianapolis
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I appreciate you sharing your deepest feelings as I can relate completely. My mother had "rallied" back several times when they told us this was it so I took fore granted the time thinking she would beat this again. When I did realize this was the time, she was so medicated to avoid pain and not being able to eat/drink, I could only talk to her and hope she heard. I have struggled to the point of not wanting to live due to guilt of things said, not said or things not done. I moved her across state lines to live with me so I could care for her at my home as my siblings were moving her into a nursing home as she had become bed ridden. At the time, I was exhausted and felt I was doing my best. Many have told me how great of a son I was and that they wouldn't have changed their mothers diapers but I still feel I fell short to the standards I set for myself (and maybe it was an unrealistic bar that I set). I have confided in my pastor, and he said I need to allow myself to be human and that none are perfect (only Jesus who I believe in). When we are not in the moment of emotion and exhaustion, hind sight always looks different but we don't have that luxury and it is human nature to question if we did everything just right at that moment in time. I have even heard someone say, we make this a pity party for ourselves when we hold onto any guilt and is far from what our loved one would want and we don't want to hurt them by clinging to the sadness. This is still a work in progress for me and I hope these words from everyone help you. I have children and sometimes think if I don't get a grip on this, I will down the road regret wasted time lost with them and once again go through this cycle of regret.
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I too have had myself in instances where I didnt know if i was right about things. I have had 2 husbands die.I took care of them both.I made sure they were saved and I know that the lord has forgiven me anything that i didnt do right. Talk to him about it and ask him to lift the hurt from your heart. You did the Right thing by bring him Home. Know That !
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First you are not alone in not talking about dying.
Even when we talk here it is often Mom "passed"...I "lost" my husband....
When you are a child it might have been..We had to put the dog "to sleep"
My Husband never wanted to talk about getting a Will done When I would talk about when I die I want to be cremated..he would tell me that he did not want to talk about that, he never expressed to me about his wishes. (I found out from his sister he wanted to be buried next to his mom!)
So not talking about this is very common. So do not be hard on yourself. Do not be guilty about it.
You can use this as a lesson though. Talk to your kids. What are your wishes. What do you want done medically, do you have a Will done, do you have POA for Health and Finances, do you have a plan for long term care? these are all things that you need to discuss and none are pleasant as they all are planning on your death. there is a document called Five Wishes that covers a lot of this information.
The other call you need to make is to the Hospice that cared for your husband. They will offer you a Bereavement Support Group. You should attend you will get a lot of information and most important you will discover you are not alone. And if that Bereavement support group is not enough go to another.

Here are 3 sayings that I have taped to my mirror

Death Leaves a Heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Grief never ends
But it changes
It's a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith...
It is the price of LOVE

I sat with my anger long enough,
Until she told me her real name was grief.

And an ornament that was given to me hangs in my kitchen...
The card that was with it indicated it is a Native American saying

Perhaps they are not stars but rather openings in Heaven
where Love shines through.

There is no time line for grief, and the anger.
NEVER question your love for him, NEVER doubt, you did what you could when you could.
Forgive yourself knowing that you did the best you could.

(((HUGS)))
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I believe our loved ones’ spirits are always with us; the wisdom they imparted, the memories we carry. And so for me it can be helpful/comforting to continue “speaking” to them. It’s not too late to say any of those things you wish you had said. And just as when his dying body was with you, you may not hear anything back, but his spirit can still receive it. All of that said, look at all you DID do and give to him in those final months. You took him back to his home with hospice care, to make those final days the best they could be; so much better for him than a cold hospital. And the fact that you did NOT speak of or dwell on dying was probably itself a gift, and may have been what helped him to live as long as he did. You are an amazing, loving person. He is with you always. Wishing you comfort and peace.
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I believe once someone goes home for hospice they should enjoy every moment left. I personally wouldn’t want to bring up the topic until they did. There is already an unspoken knowledge that they are dying and that’s a lot to process for both of you emotionally. It’s so easy to look back on the past and beat ourselves up about what we could have done differently but in the end we did the best we could with at the time considering the shock and emotional state we were in at the time. Your husband knew how much you loved him and he would not want you to feel regret. I always try to think of what I would feel or think if i were the one in thier shoes.
Please forgive yourself. We’re human and all of us are imperfect. Your heart cannot heal from your grief if you don’t.
💕
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That must have been so hard, and still is. I believe he knew even though he might not have shown it. He may have been trying to smooth things over for YOU in his own way. It sounds to me as if you didn’t get closure, I’m so sorry. If he was a Christian you have God’s assurance, and your church family or counselor could help, or a regular counselor. You did what you thought was best at the time, but he knew and had accepted. It stinks being left here to cope with all the shoulda coulda. Prayers for you. Please reach out to someone face to face. Don’t let this eat you up. Hugs and ❤️
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Dear Everyday8,

Did he bring it up? Did you get the feeling that he wanted to talk about death but didn’t not to upset you?

Well, if he didn’t bring it up, despite the fact that it was known by both of you that he would go soon, maybe he just didn’t want to talk about it, don’t you think that could simply be the case?

And if he did want to bring it up but didn’t because he didn’t want to upset you, then I’m glad you let him protect you the only way he could at that point! Protect your loved one whichever way you can, specially for a husband, is very important. I’m glad that, if that was the case, you allowed him to be a protecting husband through the end.

And maybe he felt so bad, and likely was depressed, that it didn’t make any sense to him nor he had the emotional or physical strength to talk about a next chapter that was approaching either way, discussed or not.

The question should be: Where you there with him, by his side, making him feel loved during those two months God gave him? I have the feeling the answer is yes, and that is really the most valuable thing you could have done for him.
I don’t think him nor anyone else would have traded meaningful time with a loved one, for a conversation about death.

And lastly, please give him the gift of releasing yourself from your guilt (and I think it is unfounded guilt).

So many times in life we carry the burden of so many things that WE wish we had done, but not necessarily things that OUR LOVED ONE(S) would have wanted us to do or not do. It is a self imposition of a heavy guilt weight that originates in our emotional suffering, but not in our reality.
Please think things through and you will clearly see that at this point the best way you can honor him is forgiving yourself for all that you think you should have done, because your husband likely didn’t need what you didn’t do; what he needed, he got: Your love!

A hug and my prayers for your peace of mind and heart!

And as a disclaimer I didn’t read the other answers, just needed to share with you what I am pretty sure is true. So, sorry if I’m repeating others suggestions.
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I am so very sorry for your loss. The regrets you have show how much you loved him. I am sure he knew how much you loved him. Words don't always have to be said to pass on love.
Regrets will be a part of the grieving process.
May the Lord give you strength and comfort through this process.
Again, I am sorry for your loss.
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