Author Topic: FEEL GUILTY  (Read 156 times)

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Offline Jill

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FEEL GUILTY
« on: September 10, 2019, 06:59:33 PM »
My husband was in hospital for two weeks and the last time he went for radiotherapy I had to urge him to go and he didn't want to go and now I feel so guilty as he was so weak.  I just trusted the doctors knew what they were doing and had his best interests at heart.  I want to get all his suffering out of my mind.  I wish he didn't have to suffer.  I wish I could have protected him from all of it and made it all go away.  I feel as if I was his torturer instead of caring for him.   He had prostate cancer for four years, it seemed to go away for a short time and then it came back with a vengeance.  Cancer is so cruel.  I hope someone understands how I feel.  Jill

Offline Sandra61

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 01:37:30 AM »
Hello Jill,

You are not alone in sending yourself on a guilt trip. We all go through it - all the 'if onlys'. If only I had done this, that would not have happened; if only I had done that, they might still be here. We can all find something to feel guilty about and think we could have done better. I know I did. The truth is though, that you did the best you could with the information you had at at the time and acted in what you saw to be the best interests of your loved one. You wanted him to get better, so you wanted him to get to his treatment session. Of course you did! Things just don't always work out the way we would hope. That doesn't mean you did anything wrong or anything to feel guilty about. We all just do the best with what we are faced with at the time. Then later, we look back and can always find something to beat ourselves up about! That doesn't mean it is deserved. It isn't. You can't change anything that happened and if you had to do it again, you would almost certainly do the same again, because we all try to do the best in impossible circumstances and will ultimately find our actions wanting with hindsight. Better to be grateful that your loved one isn't suffering anymore and accept that it was their time and that you did your best to fight for them, even if you couldn't win the fight. Time to stop blaming yourself, Jill and accept that what happened happened. It was not your fault.

Sending you an understanding hug.  :hug:

Offline Karena

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 10:55:40 AM »
When my husband had his second major stroke i was in south africa at my daughters wedding  he had urged me to go - my sugestion that i didnt made him more agitated so i did, on the understanding he stayed at his daughters.She couldnt have the dog as well so a friend had him.
After a mad dash to get back a day early when i had a strong instinct something was wrong i got as far as Amsterdam and the though popped into my head i could just stay here for that extra night -no one will know i am not due back until tomorow - that became guilt number 1 later - a thought - and thats all it was i didnt act on it, i was exhausted caring for him before i went then working through the night had already worn me down before i went out there.
 When i got too his daughters it was clear my instinct was right something was very wrong -but i will never forget the smile and the way his eyes lit up when i walked in. He said he just wanted to go home get the dog, see if the daffodils were out yet and snuggle in front of the fire on the sofa - but i called an ambulance - then promised we will just get you checked out then we can go home . He never went home never saw his dog again never saw the daffodills come out - they came out in time for his funeral.
That still makes me feel overwhelmingly sad even now - but it was guilt nmber 2 and it was  by far the worst I expressed it on here and a very wise lady pointed out that if i hadnt called the ambulance and had just taken him home i would never have known for sure whether there was a chance he could have survived and so doing the opposite of what i did would mean i would always feel guilty about that just as much, and maybe more - and she was right i would - and thats what i want to pass on to you, because in the same way you would be asking the same thing - If you hadnt encouraged  him to go for the treatment you would be feeling guilty for not doing so because you would be wondering whether that could have saved him.

Guilt is a particularly horrible part of this journey but none of us acted except in the way we though best at the time, none of us acted with anything other than love in our intentions and hearts, and that is the best we can ever give or be, without the ability to see into the future which none of us have. :hug:

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 08:15:49 PM »
Thank you very much for your really kind words Sandra and Karena.  As you say ''we all try to do the best in impossible circumstances" and we don't have the ability to see into the future.  I really did always try my best and he never stopped thanking me and appreciating what I did for him.  I must stop going over and over things and realise he is okay now and with his loved ones.  It sounds like I am not alone in going through this horrible should I have done this, could I have done that etc.  Jill

Offline Karena

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 10:04:33 AM »
It is easier said than done to stop going over things again and again - heres something that worked for me a bit .
Before Keith died my friend did - she had been at our house the Autumn  before and she was telling me about watching a robin jumping up and down on and off the fence getting blackberrys - this robin was a semi tame one i had rescued - it was literally frozen to the path so it had a black patch on its chest where the feathers didnt come back properly so i knew which one it was and once it was recovered it hung around the garden and later brought its babys to be fed as well. At her funeral to stop myself crying i visualised the robin jumping on and off the fence as she had described.
If you imagine you are turning over a pack of cards but each one holds a memory. Imagine what you have in your pack  now is some bad cards those are the bad days and the guilt cards, but you also have a lot of blank ones they are not blank really but you cant see them for the bad ones -so  try and  re - fill the blank ones with happier times (i already had the robin card as a starter)  put one on each card  -then when a bad one appears on the top, visualise yourself putting it at the back of the pack and keep turning them until you come to a good one then hold onto it as long as you can - the bad ones will come back to the top but with practice you can start to discard them more quickly without dwelling on them and the more blank ones you fill with happier times the more likely they are to be the ones that are on the top until eventually the bad ones rarely appear at all.

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 12:48:37 PM »
Karena that really seriously sounds like a good idea.  That would work for me.  My kind neighbour told me to put happy photos of my husband around the house and that helps as well.  As you say, we did have many many good days.  I am starting to put a few flowers in the house now too.  It is one step forward, one step back.  It is just over six weeks since my husband died and yesterday evening I woke up on the sitting room couch and expected to speak to him.  It is like starting all over again when that happens.  People have been very very kind to me, I really appreciate it, you really need people when you are grieving for the love of your life.  I am very glad you saved the robin too, although I am not sure how you did it.  I will definitely remember your idea about the cards and consciously think of it.  Jill

Offline Karena

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 10:13:50 AM »
 :hug:its really early days and you are taking forward steps and yes sometimes it feels like backwards as well and thats normal too,but again hanging on too those good cards can help but also looking at anything good that happens now too - i know it feels like a major task to find things but peoples kindness a birds singing a butterfly or the sun on your back that way when you find yourself falling backwards and surrounded by black clouds you know that there have been  those lighter moments however fleeting.

Robin - i saw feathers through the window  wondered what it was and went out - thought he was dead at first, then i saw he was trying to move - it was a really bad blizzard overnight, but it had been icy for weeks as well i  can only think he flew into a window or fell off something because he was hungry or maybe had a fight with another robin and got stunned then came round and found his feathers frozen to the path but he hadnt brocken a wing or anything else obvious  -so patience and tepid water that i poured down the path towards where he was so as not to panic him into ripping himself off but enough to eventually soften the ice  -then put him in a box in the shed with plenty of hay and food around  -  after a few days i started leaving the door open so he could leave but he would venture so far out then hop back in again -  i think he knew where he was well off it was a bad winter it was a stone shed so quite warm and sheltered and plenty of nooks to hide in -there was actually a gap at the top where he could get out if he wanted as well  -he disapeared for a while in spring then returned but kept himself too himself just going to the feeders then later arrived with two fledglings in tow, then started hanging around the shed again the next winter using the gap as an entry/exit point - i would go in and find him sitting there waiting. He was around for 3 years, then after keith died i had to move he was pretty independant by then, i often wondered if he missed me, but the neighbours had feeders etc so he would have been ok.
I have one hanging round now this years fledgling he looked a bit thin but he looks much better now - he seemed to be working in sync with a collared dove which ended up with me because it flew into a car and got brought to my door. The dove feeds from the bird table the robin hangs out underneath and gets the dropped bits - i used to throw some down for him as well under there but he is getting tamer and cheekier by the day and coming begging to the door now. :smiley:

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 12:50:59 PM »
Thanks Karena.  Been busy this morning as the house is up for sale, I want to move back to England.  I am hoping to do a bit of painting this afternoon.  But I have still been missing my husband terribly.  The rose we bought together is flowering beautifully in the garden and that should make me feel better but it doesn't.  It just makes me miss him more.  I am a hopeless case!!  Everything here reminds me of him, which is partly why I want to move, it is all much too painful.  I am lucky that I have my sister and brother-in-law coming out at the end of September, so that will be lovely.  We used to have a robin that tapped on the window and door as well.  I always make sure they have a nice clean bird bath and I will start feeding them again when it gets a bit cooler.  I do very much like the birds here, including the swallows swooping about.  Heard some owls with their young ones last night.  That was clever of you the way you saved that robin.  Feel better now I have spoken to you.  Jill

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 05:41:19 PM »
Well Karena, that was funny.  I did the painting, went and sat in the garden and watched a robin taking a bath and sitting on the post for ages.  It was lovely watching him, strange coincidence or what?!  Jill

Offline Emz2014

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2019, 08:17:29 AM »
They say that robins are our lost loved ones visiting.  I gained a robin a while ago in my garden, he/she is so funny - he hops along the fence and does a cute little bow thing at me - bow, chirp, bow, chirp - so its now got to the stage if I go out in the garden he lets me know if he wants food and I top up the bird table :-)
Have even managed to hold my hand out and feed him from my hand
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2019, 09:50:32 AM »
Hello Emz, Thanks for your reply.  I think you are right about robins being our loved ones visiting, either that or they send the robins to keep us company.  When I find myself brooding or thinking really negative thoughts I say to myself 'this is serving no purpose' and I get up and do something, anything to take my mind off it.  It works to some extent.  But having said that I think we do just have to process these things before we can stop thinking about them and I am not there yet but getting there.  Jill

Offline HassanShuman

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 05:30:35 PM »
Good God Jill - the guilt is killing me, but also making me angry with my brother

So, we only discovered my father's cancer on 22 July (he died on 2 September).  We since discovered that the dr's told him back in Feb 2018 that he had stage 3 cancer and I keep beating myself up for not spotting anything despite visiting him every 3rd weekend (I live in London and he lives in Brighton).

My wife reckons that I am a bad son and never had that bond with him or I would have seen it in his eyes.  I don't know how as I am too dumb to spot these things.  He had paper spread across his entire living and dining areas, but the only ones I saw were letters saying he missed a consultant appointment, but nothing whatsoever about his cancer.

My second guilt is that I wish I pushed hard enough to put him in private care from 22 July rather than listen to my brother and let him die at home (he died at his house in spain and my brother wanted to just save money).  I know this would not have elongated his life, but would have at least made his last few weeks more comfortable.  All because my brother wanted to save money

sorry if this is making you feel worse, not my intention

Offline Jill

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Re: FEEL GUILTY
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 06:08:27 PM »
Hello Hassan,  Well, I am just surmising and may be wrong but.  I'm thinking, your father didn't tell you he had cancer, maybe because he really didn't want you to know because he didn't want things to change.  He wanted you to talk to him as you normally would and be upbeat and happy.  When people have cancer the people around them start acting differently, not natural at all and are scared to say anything and keep giving the person well meaning advice, which they don't usually really want!!  So my guess is he purposely hid it from you as he wanted you to act normally.  I sort of understand this and I hope you get what I am saying.  Hope this helps.  Jill