Guilt strikes

Hi everyone. My dad died nearly 4 weeks ago and I am heartbroken. Wracked with guilt after a horrendous year. He was 87 but never thought he would die yet. In February he couldn’t stand and ended up in hospital. He had delirium, heart failure, artiral fibrilllation heart condition, chest infection and water infection. Within four days he was seeing black holes, monkeys with caps on and bats. Thinking he was at home with mum. I at this point had a six week old baby, named after his second name. After a few weeks of visiting everyday and having to leave my baby with mother in law and my mum. Physios managed to get him walking with a frame. Corona had hit and he was moved to a rehab hospital. There he would t get out of chair. Deteriorated further and still delirium and having to have a catheter etc. I continue to visit for an hour a day a day ( all I was allowed) . Then due to corona was sent to a care home in April. I tried to get him home at this point as he was miserable and wanted time with my baby George. Whom he adored. I live 34 miles from my mum and dad and care home was a another 20 mins on from this but continued to visit him through care homes window. He went down hill fast losing weight and sometimes good and bad days. He was now no longer walking at all and no physio due to corona. He was hoisted in and out of chair and bed and doubly incontinent at times and shouting out at night. I emailed and rung social workers to get him home though as he was sad and do t think care home was at all caring. In June he was supposed to have a mental capacity test but kept being postponed with social workers not being able to go in, Mat leave for one lady, and two of them want on holiday. He was deemed mentally capable to come home with 4 carers which my mum was worried about. She had a stroke 3 years ago and has been trying to run dads horse farm and sort out debts dad had left due to suspected dementia. I ve been up with her every day except a Saturday and been getting in at 8.30pm to see my partner. Back and forth trying to cope with care home, farm and new baby and trying to deal with several developers trying to buy the farm off her cheaply. My guilt comes from several areas: He was coughing in care home and they dismissed me. Wished I d rung doctor myself. Dunno why I didn’t ?!He was also slurring and they ignored me a few weeks later. Again don’t know why I did t ignore them and sort it myself? Turns out that’s a sign of infection. He was under a different gp by then and they won’t go In. He was so miserable there and now there is an inquiry as to death which makes me think it was preventable?! Ruled it as a pneumonia. I stalled in August getting him home over silly things like waiting to hear Covid policy as they had it I home for 3 weeks, ( they did t get back to me and after two emails and a text I did t keep trying) I didn’t have a downstairs room ready at mums and a dentist appointment in day he was due home and thought I should be there although there was no hospital bed that week anyway. I had originally emailed, texted and rung to try and get him home lots but lost momentum. This actually caused 6 weeks in delays that he should have been home. I dont know why I did that?! He was my world and I behaved slowly and bizarrely. Baby brain, insomnia, anxiety, I dunno why I let things drag?! Mum was worried about him coming home and kept crying as she wasn’t sure how she would cope. He could t stand/ walk/ or do anything himself and was deemed 24 care in April. You always think you have more time I guess. He came home for 24 hours in September before he then had to go hospital and there he stayed until he died 12 days later. Pneumonia set in. He had a chest infection they think. They wouldn’t let me visit Because of Covid then they rung to ask if I d visited as he was dying!?! We were then allowed an hour for two days but because he was classed as high risk not end of life. the nurse won’t let us stay longer even the consultant said weekend was critical and first consultant who didn’t speak till after said she knew he wouldn’t make weekend but we didn’t hear that till after. he died the following morning at 5.45 am. I am truly broken. Looking at George knowing I could have done more makes me feel sick. George has missed out on his grandfather because I was a rubbish daughter and I feel like I’ve murdered him.

Oh Kate, I am so sorry for your loss, please don’t feel guilty because the way I see it is that you were stretched way beyond belief, with new baby etc… You did everything you could for your father, you really couldn’t have done more, so much on your shoulders, take the time now to grieve, know that your father will have know you did your best. All the pressure you had was unbelievable, you need now to take care of yourself because you are in shock. I lost my husband in June, but I can relate as I lost my Father many years ago. Take care, I’m sure others on here will answer you soon and comfort you having been through the same loss as you. Big hug, look after you :cherries:Margarita

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Hi. Kate. What Margarita has said is spot on. Guilt is a very hard taskmaster and can lead to despair, another awful emotion. I doubt anyone here has not had feelings of guilt.
I certainly did when my wife died. But we did what we thought right 'at the time ‘At the time’ is so important to remember.
None of us are saints; we are human and as such are flawed. We make mistakes, say things we regret after, and our so called sins are more of omission than commission. It’s what we didn’t do that worries us.
You did your best in the circumstances. There was a heavy burden placed on you, and I feel you are a sensitive person. Sensitive people suffer a lot in grief. Please forgive yourself any imagined guilt. You loved your dad and I am sure he has forgiven anything you may have felt you did wrong. ‘Murdered him’! Now why would you think that, because its a lie you are telling yourself which will make your burden harder to bear. It’s just not true. On the contrary, you did all you could, there is no doubt about that judging by your post. Was it your fault that covid caused so much disruption? Of course not! Be kind to yourself. Flogging yourself with unjustified guilt will prolong the pain you feel now.
Blessings and, if I may, a comforting hug. John.

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Oh Kate I totally understand how you feel. It’s pure torture isn’t it. But reading your post has helped me realise that we are both human and do what we can when we can and we would always have guilt no matter what happened. Please give yourself a break and I’ll try and listen to my advice to you . (I posted my own guilt earlier today about I wasn’t there when my dad passed even though we were able to I just didn’t realise it would be so soon - in denial that it would happen and can’t forgive myself )

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