Guilt over insensitvity

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normal Guilt over insensitvity

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Just popping in
From: Ohio
Posts: 1
Lost my wife on Dec 3rd. I had cared for her for many years as a result of Parkinson Disease and Colon Cancer. The cancer required the complete removal of the colon and thus an ileostomy for the last two and half years, which was my job. The PD progressed to the point that I could no longer care for her at home and thus into a nusring home where she basicly starved to death after two months.

I had become worn out and exhausted and became "short" with her at times, not showing enough compassion and emphaty and affection. Now I am beating myself for such behavior and hurts me and fills me with guilt knowing how I must have hurt her in the closing months of her life.

Just needed to vent my feelings!


Posted on 2004/3/7 15:20

happy Re: Guilt over insensitvity

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear Paul,
Please accept my condolences regarding the loss of your wife. I am so sorry that she experienced not only Parkinson Disease but also colon cancer. How incomprehensibly hard this time must have been for both of you. No words that I can offer here can adequately reflect your feelings of loss or painful memories of times during your wife's illness.

Nevertheless, I would like to somehow comfort you with maybe a thought or perspective, or maybe something to consider some time in the future . . .

Perhaps by asking you to remember all those times when you were "compassionate, empathic and affectionate" with your wife. The fact that you cared for her during those years of her illness indicates that you shared those attributes with her - and so much more.

I would like to offer a few articles for you to look over when you can, regarding grief and caregiver guilt:

I mostly want to remind you of something that Mike and I have shared with other caregivers who have expressed their deepest feelings of guilt when recalling all those things that they "should" have done when their loved one was still alive - and that is, "The guilt a caregiver oftentimes feels is directly proportional to the sense of love and devotion they felt for their loved one when they were alive." Maybe this is true for you, too . . . I sense that it is.

I wish that somehow these words and articles could help you with your grief and loss . . . although I would not want to "take your grief away" (taken from a terrific book, "Don't Take My Grief Away"). I believe that sharing your feelings with others can be an important step in healing through your grieving process. I hope that you have friends and relatives who can listen to you during this time. We hope that this forum can be a place for you and others to "vent" when others are not there to listen. Perhaps consider joining a grief support group in your area - hospices in your community should have a list of groups. Lastly, I hope that time and working through your grief will allow you to also remember the good things that you and your wife shared - those moments that will live forever in your heart and mind and help you cope with some of the harder memories . . .
Please take care, Paul. We will look for you in our Forum for any other time that you write . . .
You will be in our thoughts -
Barb Davis

Posted on 2004/3/8 9:43

normal Re: Guilt over insensitvity

Just popping in
Posts: 1
Hi Paul. I too have felt guilty about getting very short with my mother while taking care of her. I am a Registered Nurse and cared for my mother at home. She had breast cancer and lived 7 months after she was diagnosed. When her mind got "worse " , she repeated herself constantly and asked the same question over and over. I am now sure my reactions were stress related and a natural reaction. I loved my mother as much as anyone could, but have learned to forgive myself. You and I are not the ONLY ones that have experienced this, as I have talked to several people in a grieving group. God Bless, Ronnie

Posted on 2004/10/11 1:07

normal Re: Guilt over insensitvity

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Just popping in
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A touching story Paul, thank you for venting and sharing.


Posted on 2007/1/8 13:07


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