I lost mom on May 30 after she had an unexpected massive heart attack on the morning of the 29th. She had been in assisted living since August of 2013.
Mom used to complain about the food and want me to bring her sweet treats instead. I did that but I always told her she needed to eat meals. I would get so angry sometimes.
She used to start calling me every evening-several times. This always upset me because she'd start as soon as she knew I was getting out of work.
I would get over to see her at least a couple of times a week but on the evening of the 28th I was supposed to have gone to see her and didn't. I had stopped to get a neighbors dogs back into their yard when I saw them running down the street. I was hot and tired and mom had called several times. When I called her we talked awhile and she said she'd see me the next day. She was so sweet. I never talked to her again. She had the heart attack the next morning.
I feel so guilty for not getting over there that night. She wanted some eye drops that she never got. I feel like I should have never gotten frustrated at her for the some of the things that I did.
I have been "I should have -ing" in my head all summer long. I wish so badly that I could tell her how much I miss her and that I am sorry for all the times I was short with her on the phone. (It wasn't ALL the time, but quite often)
I know that most of you are here because you still have people you're caring for so I hope you don't mind me asking -how do you get over this? Do I think about all of the good things I did? Mom moved across the country and lived with me since 1989. We went on vacations together and did all kinds of fun things....until she couldn't anymore. So, I know I was a good daughter but I just can't seem to forgive myself for the last year. She was unhappy at the asst. living and I know she wanted to come home, but it just wasn't safe for her to be there alone anymore while I was at work. She was always afraid if I ever left the house in the evenings too. I did my best to care for her. I did good, right?? I feel so d*mned guilty for not being there. :(
It's time to take care of yourself and allow your happy memories to bring you comfort. When the needless guilt peaks around the corner just push it away and know you did the very best you could. Caregiving is not always easy, it is what it is and we just have to accept our human feelings (good and bad) get involved sometimes.
Sending lots of big hugs from Texas! I am sure one of them is from your Mom!
I am sorry that you couldn't be with her when you wanted to be. I was with my father when he died, but his spirit was no longer with him. Sometimes sweet thoughts of him comes back at the most surprising times. When he first died, I was tired and filled with the bad thoughts of his last days -- things I should have done, things I shouldn't have. Now I just appreciate the sweet moments that let me know he is still caring for his wife (and me) from the other side. I have a feeling this is the way we heal.
All of our relationships have ups and downs, excellent moments, and less-than-perfect moments. It is wonderful when death comes amid excellent moments, but it is common to occur in the messy moments of life. I imagine that we could all make lists of regrets when someone dear to us dies. It is time now to stop focusing on the regrettable moments, and to look at the big picture. Celebrate the genuine relationship you had, so profound that it easily weathered the excellent moments and the less-than-perfect moments.
When my dad passed away, they called me about an hour before to tell me he was starting to have trouble breathing and they'd started oxygen. I asked if I should come and they said n, it wasn't that serious. Less than an hour later, he was gone. For a while I felt bad I wasn't there with him when he passed, but I did the best I could with the information I had. I had been his caregiver for nine years and for all of those years, I did the best I could for my dad. We got closer to each other and I got to see sides of him I didn't know existed. I feel blessed for that time. I still feel sad that I wasn't with him, but I know (and am at peace) that I did the very best I could. I hope you find that same peace about your mom.
I am currently not a caregiver but will stay on this site because it still does my heart good and I hope to help others at times with my experiences.
Dad is still up North in Ohio and thankfully he is doing very well, but I never know when the day may come when I must go up there or have him come here to be with me.
IN any case, with help from this great group I will be more prepared for whatever may come. You all give me strength. Thanks again