Guilt over my Grandmothers passing

Hi all,

In July 2018 my Grandmother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She was my best friend, having practically raised me owing to my mother suffering will illnesses throughout my childhood and was always there for me through whatever life threw at me and always fought my corner.

I helped in caring for her for a number of months but struggled tremendously in watching the person I loved most in the world, deteriorate in front of me. Owing to the nature of the cancer, I witnessed things happening to her that will haunt me for the rest of my life. As I suffer from mental health issues myself, this took a tremendous toll on my health to the point I was considering ending my life so to not be in the pain I was feeling. I eventually took the agonising decision to step away from the situation, cut of all communication with family and such and shut myself away from everything in order to pretend it was not happening.

In October, she died. I continued my pretence, not attending her funeral, not speaking with my family since, avoiding any outside influence etc. However since her passing I have felt an overwhelming feeling of guilt that I was not there for her when she needed me the most. This has also affected my sleeping, with me dreaming of her most nights, with dreams such as me walking away from her, shutting a door on her etc. It has reached the point where I am calling her name in my sleep, crying or shouting for help. I feel this is my subconscious confirming that I was wrong for having to remove myself from the situation. My guilt has gotten so bad that I attempted suicide around a month ago.

I know she would not want me to end my life and would want me to live for her but I cannot see any other way of stopping the pain and guilt I feel.

Hi SMW

I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother, and the mental health issues you’ve experienced. It sounds as though things are very tough and you are feeling really overwhelmed.

I think you could really do with some support and I’m glad that you’ve been able to talk about how you’re feeling here. There is lots of other support out there, and I would really encourage you to reach out and speak to someone about how you are feeling.

The Samaritans are always there 24/7 if you need to talk about anything that’s bothering you (116 123, or jo@samaritans.org).

You can also make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to counselling or other support services in your area.

We also offer our members free online bereavement counselling via video, and you can find more information about that here https://support.sueryder.org/bereavement-counselling

You deserve care and support so please do get in touch with one of these services.

If you are at risk of harming yourself, please call 999, go to A&E or contact your GP for an emergency appointment immediately.

Take care
Nancy

I just wanted to say I’m sorry for your loss and all that you are going through. Please find someone professional to talk through your feelings and help lessen them over time. You are right, your grandmother wouldn’t want you to suffer this way and would want you to get the best support to help you to carry on. I’ve recently lost my dad to cancer and feel similar feelings of guilt that I could have done more, but thinking of what he would say to me and want for me as I carry on helps a lot. Best of luck, j

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