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Dell1960

I blame myself for my Mum passing and will never be able to live again

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Dell1960   

My 82 year old Mum passed on 28 June last. She had been in hospital a month. But prior to that she came home from her nursing home to be with us for a while. It was a bad decision a d I think she deteriorated directly as a result of being moved. Tbe nursing home agree and blame me too. I know the suffering will not end for me until I die

I was a nurse. Now I can never nurse again. I have told my employers what happened and I am now on sick leave. Every day is torture without my mum. I get flashbacks of things i did wrong and I wantvto die but I am not able to take my own life. I also fear death and judgement. I am waiting on counselling but the wait time in London is a long time unless you can pay.

I never ever thought life could be so hopeless. I know I deserve to suffer but feel I should be in a place of correction. I thought of joining a religious order but you have to be happy in yourself for that. I am 54 so am too old really. My mum was the main one in my life. I have no children. I did have a partner but we drifted apart.

No one seems to have had similar experiences.

Dell60

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widower2   

I'm very sorry for your loss and your pain. But please keep in mind that guilt is very common when losing someone, especially thinking of the things we did wrong.  Much of what you wrote sounded very familiar to me - if I had a nickel for all the things I could've and should've done better I'd be rich. Like you, I've beat myself up more than a little.

 

As for the nursing home blaming you, that's inexcusable and hideously insensitive on their part - and I don't know how they work over there, but here many of them are frankly not very good. You helped your mom to be home for her final days vs stuck there; I don't know what her condition was, but I don't feel that is all bad. I suspect they are blaming you because they are afraid of getting the blame themselves, and perhaps even of being sued. 

 

And I respectfully quite disagree when you talked about joining a religious order but feeling you "have to be happy in yourself for that."  No, you don't. In fact, not feeling happy is one of the best reasons to join them, and one of the most useful functions they serve (to help those who need it most). I also have no idea what age has to do with it-?

 

You know what I think? I think you loved your mum very much and did the best you could for her and she knows that and is very grateful for all of your help and love. No, maybe you didn't do everything perfectly, but that's a given because you're human and by definition we're far from perfect. It's OK to accept that and it does no one any good to pointlessly beat yourself up. I feel confident saying that's the very last thing your mum would want you to do.

 

Please try not to be so hard on yourself; I wish you better days with more peace and hoping you can focus more on all you did RIGHT and of good times you had with her. 

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msmom   

I'm sorry for your loss. I completely agree with everything said by widower 2. I'm a mom. I lost my son. I was his caregiver. I know the pain of a mother seeing her child in pain. It is unequivocal - she would not want that. Now having said that, it is natural to feel deep intense pain at the loss of your dear mother, and to question yourself and feel bad about mistakes. But it is when our thoughts turn to unhealthy levels of it that we need to think of getting help like a counselor. I'm glad you are in the que for counseling (if not already please sign up as time will pass and it will be your turn and no down side to signing up) as this is indeed what is in order here. But there should be in the meantime a person of the clergy who can see you. Another option is to call the hospice in your area. They have their own non-denominational chaplains who speak w/ family who have suffered a loss. They are wonderful.  I want to hold out hope for you that this level of intense pain can over time soften. I lost both parents and most of us do eventually lose our parents, if loss occurs in the order it should vs. our son being lost first. The relationship between parent and child is the most intense. That love is the most intense. So it feels like our lifeline has been severed. But if you go to the forums of those who have lost a parent and are much further out from their loss than you are, you will read/"hear" them speak of how it softens. You will never forget nor should you. But with counseling for these levels of guilt, you can eventually start to notice a shift in the pain. You can start one day to have some good days. And then more will follow. You can find peace with this. If you are person with the capacity to be a nurse, odds are you are also a person who has empathy for others and can forgive them when they feel bad for doing something wrong. And if so, then you can also reach for forgiving yourself, as you are just as deserving of that forgiveness as any other. We are human and make mistakes. It is only those who commit heinous acts and have zero remorse who we withhold forgiveness from. Those of us who love and care deeply for others are usually harder on ourselves than others. It is not within a healthy balance however for us to be so hard on ourselves that there is no room for forgiveness. But you don't go from losing your mom and feeling all these intense pains to wellness over night. It's a process. A journey. Grief work is that -work. My wish for you is that you will read about forgiveness of self and come to a softer place with yourself. A day of some peace and then more to follow.

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Dell1960   

Thanks to the above people wh took the time to send such kind replies. What you both say makes sense which may only mean something as time goes on. The nursing home was actually the best you could find. It was unusually good so I cannot say Mum would not have got better care there. It is something I and my sibling must come to terms with and nothing will make it easier. If we were negligent we havd to ask God's forgiveness and also our mother and hope when we are called to account that God will be merciful. One thinks of death a lot when loss happens. Especially a huge loss that is impossible to fill.

I shall look into the forum and try to be encouraged by good people here

Thanks so much and God bless you all.

DELL60

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Dell1960   

I'm sorry for your loss. I completely agree with everything said by widower 2. I'm a mom. I lost my son. I was his caregiver. I know the pain of a mother seeing her child in pain. It is unequivocal - she would not want that. Now having said that, it is natural to feel deep intense pain at the loss of your dear mother, and to question yourself and feel bad about mistakes. But it is when our thoughts turn to unhealthy levels of it that we need to think of getting help like a counselor. I'm glad you are in the que for counseling (if not already please sign up as time will pass and it will be your turn and no down side to signing up) as this is indeed what is in order here. But there should be in the meantime a person of the clergy who can see you. Another option is to call the hospice in your area. They have their own non-denominational chaplains who speak w/ family who have suffered a loss. They are wonderful. I want to hold out hope for you that this level of intense pain can over time soften. I lost both parents and most of us do eventually lose our parents, if loss occurs in the order it should vs. our son being lost first. The relationship between parent and child is the most intense. That love is the most intense. So it feels like our lifeline has been severed. But if you go to the forums of those who have lost a parent and are much further out from their loss than you are, you will read/"hear" them speak of how it softens. You will never forget nor should you. But with counseling for these levels of guilt, you can eventually start to notice a shift in the pain. You can start one day to have some good days. And then more will follow. You can find peace with this. If you are person with the capacity to be a nurse, odds are you are also a person who has empathy for others and can forgive them when they feel bad for doing something wrong. And if so, then you can also reach for forgiving yourself, as you are just as deserving of that forgiveness as any other. We are human and make mistakes. It is only those who commit heinous acts and have zero remorse who we withhold forgiveness from. Those of us who love and care deeply for others are usually harder on ourselves than others. It is not within a healthy balance however for us to be so hard on ourselves that there is no room for forgiveness. But you don't go from losing your mom and feeling all these intense pains to wellness over night. It's a process. A journey. Grief work is that -work. My wish for you is that you will read about forgiveness of self and come to a softer place with yourself. A day of some peace and then more to follow.

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Dell1960   

I'm sorry for your loss. I completely agree with everything said by widower 2. I'm a mom. I lost my son. I was his caregiver. I know the pain of a mother seeing her child in pain. It is unequivocal - she would not want that. Now having said that, it is natural to feel deep intense pain at the loss of your dear mother, and to question yourself and feel bad about mistakes. But it is when our thoughts turn to unhealthy levels of it that we need to think of getting help like a counselor. I'm glad you are in the que for counseling (if not already please sign up as time will pass and it will be your turn and no down side to signing up) as this is indeed what is in order here. But there should be in the meantime a person of the clergy who can see you. Another option is to call the hospice in your area. They have their own non-denominational chaplains who speak w/ family who have suffered a loss. They are wonderful. I want to hold out hope for you that this level of intense pain can over time soften. I lost both parents and most of us do eventually lose our parents, if loss occurs in the order it should vs. our son being lost first. The relationship between parent and child is the most intense. That love is the most intense. So it feels like our lifeline has been severed. But if you go to the forums of those who have lost a parent and are much further out from their loss than you are, you will read/"hear" them speak of how it softens. You will never forget nor should you. But with counseling for these levels of guilt, you can eventually start to notice a shift in the pain. You can start one day to have some good days. And then more will follow. You can find peace with this. If you are person with the capacity to be a nurse, odds are you are also a person who has empathy for others and can forgive them when they feel bad for doing something wrong. And if so, then you can also reach for forgiving yourself, as you are just as deserving of that forgiveness as any other. We are human and make mistakes. It is only those who commit heinous acts and have zero remorse who we withhold forgiveness from. Those of us who love and care deeply for others are usually harder on ourselves than others. It is not within a healthy balance however for us to be so hard on ourselves that there is no room for forgiveness. But you don't go from losing your mom and feeling all these intense pains to wellness over night. It's a process. A journey. Grief work is that -work. My wish for you is that you will read about forgiveness of self and come to a softer place with yourself. A day of some peace and then more to follow.

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prn123   

Dell,

My mum died just this past May.  I lived with her and my dogs for 3 years.  I promised her never a nursing home and kept my promise.  However, her death was sudden and unexpected.  I had home health aides 12 hours a day, while I worked as an RN at home.  Since I was her caregiver at night, it became a hardship when I had to stay up and help her to the bathroom, when I woke up in the morning she would awaken when she saw me, smile, and say I'm so happy you're here.  There were times I would hug my mum, but I was always in a rush to get on the computer for work.  My sister and brother deserted her, her grandchildren deserted her. I was all alone, other than my little dogs who loved her dearly. We had bad and good times. I believe she blamed me for where she was in her life, losing her independence, but in fact it was my sister who destroyed her life. My mum once asked me why I didn't spend more time with her.  I told her I had to work, I can't survive without working.  I had asked her doctor to order hospice for her, I had a feeling the time would come. Hospice would have helped me, also.  He refused and I despise him for this.  He said she doing fine? She died 11 days after my mum saw him. It was a traumatic experience. The last day of her life, the aide kept asking her to go to the bathroom and I came out of my office and begged her to go. She said something had a hold of her legs, the dogs were howling (they never howled before). I helped her to the bathroom and she sat down and her head just went sideways, I cried and screamed not to leave me, it wasn't time, I needed her to stay with me just for a while longer.  She kept trying to fight death, but finally took her last breath.  

 

I am traumatized, I keep seeig the image, I regret not spending more time with her, especially that last day and before, I shutter when I see an ambulance. I wish I could have done things differently. I layed beside her body in the hospital after she died, touching her, crying, wispering in her  ear until the chapel came. I stayed with her in the chapel for 3 days, kissing her cold body and talking to her.  I am so so distraught even after 2 &1/2 months.  I am never going to recover. I have a brother who suddenly appeared after she died and now I have no one. TG for my little love of my lives (my dogs).  I want to know that she is OK, I want her to come back, I walk by outdoor cafes and wish she was with me to do what we used to do.  I'm not going to end my life, I have my pooches to care for and who love me dearly and loved my mum also. I'm happy to find this support board, since I cannot find a grief therapist. I also don't think that would help me.  I will move forward, but I regret so many things I could have done differently. I did not realize the end would come so soon and I feel that I am to blame.  I miss her so much, it hurts terribly.  There is no going back, so I have to move forward.  I will never forget her and always love her till the end of my life.  I just hope that my dogs and I are with her when the time comes.   

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As this is an older post I'm not sure if prn123 or Dell1960 will see it, but I want to respond anyways.

 

It is so very difficult when one is a  nurse and takes on the responsibility for one's ailing parent.

I am a nurse too and have been going over every little detail of the last month when my mom was home, before she went to hospital with pneumonia and then died, a little over 5 weeks ago. My mother was 81 years old, had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, and she lived with my 86 yr old father.  I've been trying to remember every little visit or phone call to her of that month, of what I did when. All I can think of is how I should have done things differently. First of all I wish I'd taken time off from my fulltime job.. I could have... I had access to 8 weeks of family medical leave but I kept "saving" it for some unknown future time. Even if I'd taken a couple of weeks of the leave, I could have spent more time with her, talking and having some quality time. But because life seemed so busy, I was getting over to my parents about four times/week and I would focus on practical things like preparing food, or cleaning, etc. Also, It's possible if I'd been there more, I would have realized the disease was progressing and also jumped on things a little sooner... with her leukemia she was so at risk of infection and when she had her follow up appointment there it was... a respiratory infection which then only got worse and worse. I feel that I should have been looking at things more realistically and prioritizing. Her deterioration was fast, ending what had been a chronic, life threatening illness, but how can I say I didn't have time? Unlike sudden and unexpected deaths, we knew she could deteriorate at any time. In my anxiety and denial I just kept doing what I had been doing for all the previous months. But I'm a nurse, as well as a daughter, so I should have made better decisions.

Regret complicates everything and makes it all so much more painful.

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