Guilt

lasershowJanuary 30, 2006

My mom has been gone a year and a half. Not a day goes by when I don't think of her and miss her. I had her for almost 43 years and we were extraordinarily close. She was a wonderful mother and I believe I was a good daughter. Yet...all I can think of are the times I got impatient with her when she was sick. I know that I'm only human -- everyone tells me this -- and I should think of all the good I did, but I can't seem to get beyond this. I go to therapy and I talk about it, but nothing seems to penetrate the thick shell of guilt I have around me. There is a bereavement support group at my church which I'm finally ready to investigate, but that won't be until next week.

I know her pain is over and she's in a better place. I know if she were here she would tell me to "Forget about it!" and that I was a wonderful daughter. But I can't seem to forgive myself.

Has anyone else been through this? If so, how did you handle it?

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jenniferw

My 58 year old mom died in her sleep on May 12th of last year. There's not one day that goes by when I don't think about her and feel the horendous guilt that I have over not talking to her for the two years before her death. We had a falling out over certain family issues and I, being the sutbborn girl that she raised, stopped talking to her. I never thought that it would span 2 years and especially never thought that now, for all eternity, I'll never get to speak to her, hug her, laugh with her, etc, ever again. I never got to say goodbye and and tell her that I loved her so much and that she was the best mother ever to me and sorry for that silly argument. It eats at me all of the time, but I can now cope with it. I realize now that she knew how much I loved her and that she loved me more than anything. She understood how I was feeling and why I didn't speak to her. She was my mom after all. Mom's know those things.
Just remember, the few bad times we have with loved ones don't count nearly as much as the millions of wonderful times we had. When the bad thoughts come, try and replace them with happy memories. It's made me a much stronger person and has helped me cope tremendously with all of the guilt I have.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 5:41PM
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lmb_ckb

I'm sure you have been told to focus on the wounderful times you had with your mom. Remember the loving relationship ya'll had. That will get you through. Maybe you haven't been told that we are our own worst enemy. We seem to always beat our own self up for ever and ever over trivial things so when something really life altering occurs in our lives we just seem not to handle it all that well. Your mom never remembered what came between the two of you but only that she was not a "perfect" mother. Pray for Peace and Grace to comfort you and you will soon find that forgiveness for your faults that you are searching for. Leave that guilt in the dirty rag box next to the T-shirt that says Been There Done That !

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 11:22PM
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jlj48

I feel guilt too regarding the loss of my parents in a multitude of ways. But something that helps me is to know that guilt and blame need to be saved for those who mean to cause harm and hurt the other person, when the outcome is pain and that is the intention. That is not the case with your mother or my parents. Loving someone intensely means sometimes you hurt each other, not intentionally, but because you're different. Listen to your heart and know that your mother would not want you to feel this way. Focus on the happy memories, look at her picture, and thank God that you had a mother that loved you. That's what I try to do.
Joanie

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 6:48PM
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tori81

I lost my mom 5 years ago on the 10th of February, and I know how you're feeling, it eats you up inside feeling like you could've been better, that you shouldn't of yelled, that you should've told her you loved her more, you should've of been there more often. The truth is your mom knows how much you loved her and still do. She only remembers the good things and how much you loved her and how you were there for her when you needed her. She loves you and wants you to live, not worry. She sees your heart, not the past. If you didn't feel that way, you wouldn't be human, it's ok to feel that way, to me that shows what a good daughter you are, when it's time you will forgive yourself, because there is nothing to forgive. She's home now, so it's time you remember the good things, cause that's what she would want.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 1:11AM
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lulie___wayne

My mom has been gone a year and a half also and there are times when I think of times during her illness when I could have been more considerate, spent more time, been more patient, etc. At the same time, I know how much I loved my mom and how much many times I did the right things with only her best interest at heart. I know my mom loved me more than anything in the world and wouldn't want me to feel not one single pang of guilt. As parents, we all know that we want our children to be happy. Our parents want the same for us. As others said, try to focus on all the good things you did.
My mom's last words to me were, "I see what you do for me".
What a gift. Thank you, Mom.
Lu

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:28AM
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terry0327

Do not continue to beat yourself up over this. There is not a person alive that does not get impatient with someone they love. Your Mother knew you loved her very much so I would say you did a great job being a daughter.
Tell your Mother you love her in your prayers and feel good about yourself like she would have wanted.

I lost my Mom and my Son within 7 months and I know what you are going through. My Mom died on Christmas Day and my Son died unexpectedly 6 months ago. I try to stay busy working and making sure my wife, daughter, grandson, and daughter in law are OK.

You will have some sad times that seem unbearable but I bet your Mother was very proud of you and would want you get better as soon as possible.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 5:50PM
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gloriam

Like Terry said there is not a person alive that does not get impatient with someone they love. And the reason we don't
talk to our loved ones are to protect our selves from hurt
and stress. And not to fight with them anymore. But some times
it goes longer then it should have. I lost my mother almost
11 years ago and I still have these feelings sometimes. I was
impatient with her but I have stopped somewhat from beating
myself up over it, its not getting me anywhere. I got to go on
and so do you. We can't be so hard on ourselves.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 4:44PM
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SLCSue

Lasershow,
My Mom has only been gone a few months, and I too am feeling guilty, and as though I could have, should have, done more, or done it better, or should not have been stressed, hurried, impatient or resentful ever during my years of caregiving. I think now that Mom is gone she is able to see inside my head and my heart, and knows that those feelings were there on occasion. And that makes me feel horrible. I can rationalize it and say that I tried my best every day, and that my love and caring was what was evident 98% of the time, but the guilt is still there. And the more people tell me what a wonderful job I did, the more the guilt is there. If I find something that helps, I will share it with you. But for now, just knowing that someone else is feeling this way too helps me a great deal. ~Susan

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 10:22AM
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lasershow

Thanks to everyone for your replies and support. I am feeling better, and need to keep reminding myself of all of these things. I discussed this in therapy the other night, and also tried out the grief support group at my church. I will go there for a few sessions and see how I feel.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:48AM
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junemn

It seems like guilt is ever present. Maybe if I had pushed a little more and insisted on his getting help my grandson wouldn't have taken his life. Maybe if I had talked a little more, or asked more questions or the right questions. I just don't know. I was angry with him the last time I talked to him. I just hope he knew how much he was loved. I only wanted to help him and I couldn't or didn't know how.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 5:25PM
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