Guilt after death of my husband

My husband of almost 35years died suddenly and unexpectedly in July. He had a massive stroke right in front of me and even though the paramedics arrived in a few minutes, there was nothing they could do except put him on a ventilator and give him meds. It was almost an hour until I was allowed to see him and his eyes were closed, he was intubated and placed under sedation. He never opened his eyes again. The doctors said that he was too severely damaged to recover. They said that they could do a craniotomy to open his skull to relieve the pressure but that if he survived he would be unlikely to be able to walk, talk or see again. He would have to “live” in a nursing home as a vegetable until he died naturally. I was tempted to authorize the surgery on the million to one chance that he would survive and with therapy could recover. I was all alone in the middle of the night in the ER I wanted to be selfish and make them operate. But in my heart I knew that it would be wrong because that is not what he wanted when we talked about these things. The worst thing would be to see him confined to a bed, unable to communicate or walk and for him to look at me with hatred in his eyes for putting him into that situation. For 2 days and nights I prayed for a miracle to save him. We had hundreds of people around the world praying for him including a convent of nums. He was declared brain dead on 7/6/19. I could tell because his face had changed. He was kept on life support for 3days until the transplant team could remove his organs and tissues and bone marrow for donation per his wishes. I’m so lonely and wonder every day if I made the right decision. I also wish that it would have been me instead, but I know that my husband would not have been able to go through what I have been for the past four months. I’m only 54, but I don’t think i can ever fall in love again. I had the best husband in the world.


I read this and my heart goes out to you. You did what you knew was the right thing and should not feel guilt for letting him die with dignity and to donate his organs is a massive gift to other families. I know you will feel all sorts of emotions and guilt is natural in grief but don’t torture yourself… You need to be kind to yourself and treat yourself as he would have done… With love, support and tenderness. Sending love and a hug from someone who knows what you’re dealing with x

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Thank you for your words of support and encouragement. Barb