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 Post subject: Coping with guilt of loss of parent
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:01 pm 
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My father came to see me and my family for Thanksgiving. It was odd because A) he never comes 'up North' after October and B) he took a 2 day train to get here.

I must say from the start that my dad was being treated for aggressive liver cancer, but he said it was being fought off by frequent chemo treatments. At the end of his week with us, he was sluggish and not eating anything. I kept asking if he was ok, if he needed to go see a doctor or go to the emergency room, but he kept saying he was fine.

The night before his train ride home, he complained of a pain in his side and felt sick, so I gave him an Aleve and he rested and said he felt better. The next morning we set off for the train station, with dad still looking ashy but he kept telling me has was ok. So we left him, and this is where the guilt sets in. I should have stayed with him at the train station until his train came. The next morning, he was found in his sleeper cabin deceased. I just feel so guilty about letting him leave knowing he looked so sick. And he died alone. The only comforting factors are that he hopefully died in his sleep, and he had a life-long affinity for trains.

I know we were expecting him to go because of the cancer, just not so soon and suddenly. I just can't shake this guilt and I keep bottling up my feelings and lashing out at my friends and family. And to top it off, it happened on my birthday, so I will feel this guilt every year now.

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 Post subject: Re: Coping with guilt of loss of parent
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:16 am 
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I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My mom passed away October 6, 2009. Not only was her passing unexpected but like everyone else it has turned my life upside down. I too struggle with guilt. At 21 years old, I had anticipated a long life with my mom by my side-- watching me graduate college, get married, and have children. Everything is different now.

As a college student, I often find myself wrapped up in the college life--I am not and never have been wild nor have I participated in your "college-like things" but I get wrapped up in my own world. I have dealt with a great deal of guilt as A) I had told my mom I'd visit her again in August and did not. B) The last time I talked to her was over a month before her passing C) She called me three days before she passed and I hit the "ignore" button as at the time I felt that sleeping in took precedence.

I often feel like I could have done something different but I cannot get wrapped up in the "What I should have done's"... Easily said, not so easily done. My mom was my best friend--anytime I went home we slept in the same bed and fell asleep to the lifetime channel... that was us; we were like best friends. The last time I saw her, we both fell asleep in her bed watching TV... I would have never realized how much I would look back and cherish that moment.

I should have called her more, spent more time with her, let her known I loved her more... But, I know, deep in my heart, that she is watching over me, smiling, lovingly, and finds peace with God. I see her blessings daily... and I hope you see your dads blessings daily... Sometimes I have to search for them and sometimes I don't. My mom pushed me through this semester and astonishingly made the best grades in my college career... She sent me the strength I needed and the push that I yearned for to find peace within to continue going.

While the guilt is heavy right now please know that it will fade. Treasure the memories, embrace your father's blessings, and with due time you will find that the guilt will fade and only the happiness will remain. It will take time--moments of frustration, sadness, and anger but it's all apart of finding peace.

God Bless.

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 Post subject: Re: Coping with guilt of loss of parent
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:57 pm 
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I believe that nothing, absolutely nothing happens in Gods world by mistake. You said your father had an affinity for trains. I believe he was exactly where he was supposed to be at that time. And so were you. I know what it is like to feel guilty but please don't. He would not want you to feel that way. Spend your time in your thoughts of him thinking of good things you remember, not feeling the guilt. I won't say it ever gets easier but it does get different.

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