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struggling with regrets

11 Sep 2019 22:52

This is something I am going to get counselling for but I'm feeling so many overwhelming regrets right now that it's destroying me inside. My Mum asked what I was going to say at her funeral, I didn't know and I was trying not to cry so I just said "maybe I'll tell a funny story" and she said "of course sweetie, you don't have to think about it now" – she died the next day.

Why didn't I tell her the truth? That I was going to stand up there in front of hundreds of people who all adored her and tell them about how much of an amazing mother she was? That would have been so comforting for her. I said so much to her before she passed, I said "I love you" so many times, I thanked her for everything, I said that everything she'd done for us was like one giant love letter, but it still doesn't come close to explaining the depth of my love and gratefulness and admiration and respect and just pure, pure, unfaltering love.

It will never be enough, will it? There will never be "enough" anything, because she's gone. I thought I would have all the time in the world to pay her back for everything she did for me, I wanted to spoil her, take her on holiday, give her beautiful grandchildren, surprise her with thoughtful gifts, have a million more funny phonecalls and dinners and late night chats, to share exciting news about marriage and jobs and houses and babies and to tell her gossip and show her all my new outfits and see musicals together. I wanted to look through old photos and listen to funny anecdotes and see her find love again and try new things and go to new places on holiday and do things she always dreamed of doing, while we all cheered her on. 

I was so busy living my life while she had cancer that I didn't spend anywhere near enough time with her. She wanted everything to be so normal but I kept pretending we had all the time in the world, and I hate myself for that. The only person who could ever really, truly reassure me when something was wrong was her, and now I feel like I'm never going to be certain of anything again. I wasn't the daughter she deserved.

struggling with regrets

11 Sep 2019 23:41 in response to pgh95

Hi ya ..

Hope you don't mind but it's me again ..

Now you, enough of that ... we all have regrets .. I don't know anyone who hasn't... if only we could go back, just for a while .. but we can't .. 

I can hear your mum up there, feeling so sad because of how you are feeling ... firstly .. I've arranged my funeral, hopefully not too soon .. but you know what , ive asked them that l love to think of something funny .. something to smile about ... your mum knew you loved her .. she knows how it's hurting you .. and I can hear her saying .. " come on lass... don't do this .."  she wants to see you smile .. because every time you smile, she'll smile .. every time you cry, she'll cry .. 

I never had a daughter, but oh my, if I'd had one like you , I'd have been over the moon .. yea she won't be here for all those things you'll do .. but in a way she will .. look in the mirror... your half of her .. she will live in your heart and see through your eyes .. so go on , make her smile .. remember her before cancer .. we are not defined by cancer ... we are defined by who we was before cancer ..

I lost my mum early ... she was with me all the time .. my best buddy .. I found some things , I wished I could have changed ... but you know, on the whole , like you and your mum , we knew how much we cared .. your mum did know ... so when my mum left, I had a choice to lay down and cry forever .. or to wrap her up in my heart .. take her with me .. and make her proud .. coz she'd kick my butt other wise ... 

Now you please start saying .. you may not have had as long as you wanted .. but my, you packed a life time of love into what you did have .. you are very spiecial... but you don't know how special... your mum will look down on you .. like my mum did with me ... and you know .. she's just waiting in the next room .. I think your mum wants you to live and laugh ..and be happy .. though you still have your grieving to do .. that gets easier ... but we never stop missing them ... 

Sending you a vertual hug as always ... Chrissie ❤ 

struggling with regrets

4 Oct 2019 04:04 in response to pgh95

Hey, 

 

It breaks my heart reading this. But I can see myself and my own thoughts and feelings in some of what you have written. 

Sometimes the guilt is so overbearing isn't it. Hindsight is a real *****. Why didnt I reply like this. Why didn't I tell her that. Why didn't I stay at the hospice that night. 

I torture myself with it all too. 

I'm not here to tell you you'll be OK, or to tell you your feelings aren't valid. I'm here to say I'm with you. 

X

struggling with regrets

9 Oct 2019 14:23 in response to pgh95

We the jury in the case of you giving the ultimate act of selflessness - being a caregiver… find you NOT GUILTY on all accounts!

Being a caregiver is hard! There are days you are completely at your wits end, there are days you are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. There are days you have no answers and nowhere to turn.  There are days you find yourself wishing it would all just end.

You have become an instant expert in understanding medical jargon, maneuvering through insurance forms, medication distribution, treatments, side effects, general palliative care, doctors’ appointments, visiting nurses, in-home care, assisted living arrangements, the anxiety of waiting for test results, and making life changing decisions for another individual. You are a spiritual guide, a cheerleader, you answer the ultimate question of ‘why me’, you provide comfort, a shoulder to cry on, and you have the strength of ten men.

There is no guidebook, no course you can take, no college degree that will educate you or prepare you for the fact that another individual, whether it is a parent, child, spouse, loved one, or friend has just put their life in your hands. There is someone in your life that is now suddenly solely dependent on you to guide them through the fear, pain, and anxiety of illness but most of all to guide them through to their final destination.

You’re living in a perpetual masquerade. You put up a strong front on a daily basis, telling one big gigantic lie over and over again “everything will be alright”.   When the fact of the matter is you are torn up inside, you want to swear, yell, scream, whine, cry, *****, run a way, and hide from the world.  When you signed up for this, you had absolutely no idea what an insurmountable mission this would be.  All of the people that said they were going to help, have suddenly forgotten to show up and you are faced with this monumental responsibility alone and you say to yourself “I can’t do this anymore!”

Yet, another day goes by and you manage to persevere. You fight through the pain, the anxiety, the tears, the exhaustion; you fight for one more day, you fight for yourself and you fight for someone who cannot fight for themselves.

There is no super hero cape, no cool costume that you get to wear, no party in your honor, no celebrations of your accomplishments, no badge of courage, or medal that you will receive. Yes, caregiver this is your life.

I’ve lived it firsthand. It sucks!  I have spent the better part of fifteen years being a perpetual caregiver.  First it was my ailing father, then shortly after my sister, and finally the only man I ever loved.

I’m here to tell you… you are awesome! We are out here, those who have lived it and those who are in the thick of it right now.  You are part of an elite group of warriors with battle scars and all.  You will get through this but you have to give yourself a break.

Stop worrying if you have done all the right things – because you have.

Stop feeling that you are failing miserably – because you are not.

Stop judging yourself and your abilities – because you are doing just fine.

Stop saying I ‘coulda, ‘woulda, ‘shoulda – because you did.

Stop feeling like you are a horrible person wishing it would all be over for both of you – because we have all been there and said that.

Stop letting the world play armchair quarterback on your decisions – because until they have lived it, they have no right to weigh in.

Stop letting people tell you how to feel - because we’d all like to see them walk a mile in your high heels – knowing they couldn’t possibly.

Stop feeling ashamed because you’re letting it get to you – because it can and will affect you in ways you may not even realize yet.

Stop feeling guilty for your own emotions, your own tears, and your own pain - because you are selfless, you are in fact human, and you are giving the ultimate sacrifice.

Stop Caregiver and give yourself a break – because you are generous, you are awesome, and you are remarkable in your own right.

We the jury in the case of you giving the ultimate act of selflessness - being a caregiver… find you NOT GUILTY on all accounts!

struggling with regrets

9 Oct 2019 18:06 in response to pgh95

Hi,

I am the same as you, have similar regrets and wish every second of every day that my mum hadnt died suddenly on the 14th june.

Everyone that came to her funeral knew how much I loved her, how I was eternally grateful for everything she had ever done, knew we did so much together and knew that her dying was the worst thing to ever happen to me.

But do you know what I did at her funeral? I told a funny story and it made everyone smile. And my mum would have loved it. It just brightened an otherwise truly horrendous day.

Why do you think your mum wouldn't have liked your comment? I think it might have made her smile in her final hours. She knew you and she knew how much you loved her and would miss her. My mum would know that at nearly 4 months down the line,I would cry every day and that my life would never be the same again.

Cheryl x

struggling with regrets

9 Oct 2019 19:00 in response to pgh95

Hello darling.  We all have regrets. We all feel exactly as you do to some level. My mum tried to ask me stuff like that, she tried to talk about her funeral and other difficult subjects, but I would make a joke or tell her it wasnt time, we weren't there yet.  We did talk a bit. She said she wanted to be on the mantle piece while we had Christmas dinner, she wanted a wicker coffin, she wanted dad to marry again... but if things got really serious, she would cry and I would change the subject.

I should have spent every day there, I should not have gone 2 weeks sometimes between visits.  I should have rung every single day.  I should have cuddled her, watched films, looked at photo;s,  helped her plan her funeral....

what I did do was visit her whenever possible without making her feel like I was fussing. Visited every day when she was in hospital.  Rang her about stuff like I would before she was ill so every conversation wasnt about cancer.  Went away with her, went to the Royal Arts Exhibition, Hampton Court, Last night of the Proms, 50 shades of grey (all three films) Greatest showman, Cromer, had family parties.... made amazing memories. normal stuff.

All of what you have said are all things I have thought about my own mum.  Nearly to the word.

My mum died suddenly in the end of a cardiac arrest.  We thought we had time, we had been out to dinner a few days before and were planning Christmas...  I refuse to let my regrets make me feel any worse than I do just from losing my mother and best friend. She knew i loved her like your mum knew you loved her.  If she was anything like my mum, you could do no wrong in her eyes and she loved you unconditionally.

L xx