Regrets after Mom's do I manage the guilt? -

Regrets after Mom's do I manage the guilt?


My mom died yesterday. While she was in assisted living, I spent much of last year with her, thinking about her, answering her phone calls, taking her places, having a good time. I even moved cross country to be close to her. All I can think about now are the times I lost patience with her and said unkind things. I know she appreciated our times together and said she enjoyed my company, love me, was proud of me, but honestly, I think today that I could have, should have done more.



there has never in the history of mankind been a relationship with no misunderstandings, or friction. dont expect the impossible from yourself. hospice asked my mom once if her and i got along well. she told them we have occasional differences and it was perfectly normal. its how you clear the air, hit the reset, etc.
you worked hard to help your mother, be kind to yourself..
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Reply to captain

Life is like driving a car. It has a great big windshield to look ahead and a quite small rear view mirror to look behind. So focus on what's ahead, learn from whatever you go through, and check the rear view on occasion to remember where you've been. Most of us do the best we can for where we are and that just keeps changing. Guilt is only good to facilitate a change. It's uncomfortable and can help us overcome whatever fear is holding us back. Kind of like a fulcrum on which we can pivot. But not so good for carrying around. Just a lot of extra weight. Often part of the grieving process.
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Reply to skinonna

Hi Caremiss, I am so sorry for your loss. You must know that you are human and of course you had times when you said things you may now regret. My goodness-we all do that. The important thing is is that you were there and you did the best that you could with where you were at the moment.
Looking back it is normal to think you could have done better or more of whatever but that is not fair to you. You are not remembering all the emotions and stress and daily struggles you were going through back then. Right now you are missing your Mom and I am sure your thinking is skewed. I mean, I am sure you are going through a lot and, well, just give yourself a break. You are human. A good , caring , loving and flawed human.
Blessings and hugs,
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Reply to MishkaM

i sometimes kid about getting carpal tunnel from clenching and unclinching my hands to strangle my mother as BP has her moods all over the board. its ok to kid around and its ok to be human.
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Reply to captain

I am very sorry for your loss, my father passed away on Tuesday morning so I understand the feeling that you are having. He lived with me the last three months of his life and we also make sure to take him to places, make sure his favorite foods were in the house and doing our best to make him happy.

I want to mention something about guilt, it is anger turned inward. You are angry but you can not bare to express that anger because your brain says it is inappropriate to do so because it is about your parent and/or they are deceased. You maybe angry because you have doubt that you did enough, that you do not believe you really said to them how much you loved them by deed, action or talk, that you made them proud, or any of the thousands other thoughts that go through your head while you say your good-byes. I had those same thoughts.

Forgive yourself for anything that you feel you might have not done enough for your mother and take her at her word. She was happy. She did love you and she did appreciate all of that time that you spent with her up to when it was her time to go. If you do not do this and take her at her word, you will torture yourself needlessly. Trust that you did everything that you could in the time you had. Could you have done more, of course you could and so would we all if we knew what that magic date was when our time was going to be up. However, we do not know, and we do the best we can in the time we have and you would be surprised that most people do not think as badly of us as we think they do. We are much better people than we ever think we are and as long as we act like we wish to be treated it will always be that way. Every time you start to think of what you did not do with your mother, stop and switch to a happy memory. I bet you have more happy memories that you will have things that you do not feel like you crossed off her bucket list. I only have one item that I did not get to on dad's bucket list and I do not think he minded that much.
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Reply to KatZen

I'm going through a lot of this now. Mom passed away a little less than a month ago. With time, I suppose it goes away.

When these thoughts creep into my mind, I usually cry for a bit. But then I remind myself that I'm not perfect and I know deep down I did the absolute best I could. There were way more good times than bad and I force myself to think of those. Plus I know mom was a forgiving person. The times that I failed her or was a bit selfish, I know she would never hold anything against me. She never did when she was alive.
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Reply to Jaques

You did the best that you could with the knowledge you had. You're only human and we all have our faults.

It sounds like you did quite a lot for her when she was alive. And that can lead to caregiver burnout. And during a burnout, you can get snappy. Again, you're only human not some perfect saint. You have to learn to forgive yourself. Remind yourself of all the sacrifices you did in order to keep her comfortable. If you want to, write in a journal all the positive things you did for her. And read it whenever you start to feel guilty.
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Reply to StChaos

Cdn Reader, I am 55 years old and to be honest even though my Mom lived to be 92 I was praying that she would live to be 115. But when you see someone you love wracked in pain every day and hating their existence it's kind of hard to wish that they would stay alive for you. My Mom was so unhappy in the nursing home. Believe me if I thought that I could have taken care of her well I would have kept her at home but it got to a point that that just was not possible. As much as I miss her I know she needed to go.

I know how hard this is for you and I wish I could say just the right thing to you to make you feel better but I really can't . You know when I saw my Mom dying in the hospital it made me think about my own life and how I should try to live it better. My mom was such a good, kind soul and she had nothing to regret in the way she lived her life. I wish I could say the same. I know I've made mistakes along the way.

Just try to live your life in a way that honors your Father. I don't know if you are a person of faith or not but I will pray for you.
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Reply to Gershun

Dear Robin,

I'm very sorry for your pain and sorrow. I know its really hard. I know none of us have perfect relationships with our parents. We all want to go back in time and do something different. My father also suffered a stroke. I can't tell you how deeply I regret the last year of his life. So many things I wished I had done differently.

It will be hard but like Stchaos said, you did the very best you could under the circumstances. You tried and tried and tried, I can certainly hear that. Try to be kind and gentle with yourself.

Thinking of you. Sending you hugs.
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Reply to cdnreader

I feel the same... and, I don't know if anyone walks away feeling like we did the 'right' things to care for them. Caregiving is so hard. And we wouldn't be caregiver's if we didn't care and take it upon ourselves to sacrifice. This is how life works... I guess....
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Reply to Heart2Heart

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