How do you deal with regret?

I have had yet another bad day…I lost my husband suddenly 9 months ago, We were trying to cope with the aftermath of a fall he had at the start of the last Lockdown, and we argued sometimes because I didn’t think that he was doing enough to help himself. Looking back now, I see only too late that he was deteriorating fast, and was not receiving the proper treatment, which in turn made him give up on the NHS . He said to me one day that he thought he was dying and I dismissed it, wanting so desperately for him to get better and to feel that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Another day he said, ‘just love me’, and another day, ‘you dont know how much I love you’. The torturous thing is I cant remember if I answered him or not. I was so embroiled in focusing on the practical side of life, and feeling cross and frustrated that no progress was being made. Then out of the blue he had a heart attack and there was nothing the paramedics could do to help, and now I have all this unbelievable love I want to give him and it’s too late…
He knew that I loved him… we were together for 41 years, but I have huge regrets about the arguments we had, and not trying to understand how he was feeling. It is like a huge weight I carry around that nobody can see…


Oh I know this feeling. In the last weeks before my Mum died suddenly and unexpectedly we said some dreadful things! We have always lived together and for the last few weeks her mobility got much worse and she was bed bound for a few week so my caring I was already doing for her went up, was still working full time from home, peri-menopausal. It was a powder keg of us both being tired, fraught, scared…

I know I said horrid things - because I was trying to encourage her into trying to get better and keep going (her mood was very low), but I need to remember I also tried bribery, positive words - the works to try and help her.

You were together for 41 years. I bet if you got a jar and put in a piece of black rice for everytime you had a tiff or a fallout but then put in white rice for all the fantastic times, laughs, just sitting together contentedly, hugs, supporting one another etc - you’d probably barely see the flecks of black rice and no-one lives with someone for all that time without the odd niggle - that would be weird.

I am trying to be kind to myself and not let guilt or regret eat at me. Yes I was a naggy, grumpy b*tch some days…because I loved and cared THAT much. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have done anything, or just left…but i didn’t do that and you didn’t either. You truly did for better and worse.

Beki x


So much of what you have said I can relate to but you must not torture yourself with guilt for things that have past and you cannot change.
My husband died almost 16 months ago, a photo was given to me, taken of us both just 4 weeks before died. I had been so concerned with looking after him, working and keeping the home going I hadn’t noticed just how unwell he looked.
The day before he died he kept saying to me constantly I love you, to the point of being annoying. Looking back I often wonder if he knew what was about to happen. When the ambulance took him to hospital I never dreamt that would be my last conversation with him, by the time I arrived he was moments away from dying and never spoke to me again. So much I should have said.
I recognize that feeling for wanting to give unbelievable love. He knew I loved him but I have regrets that I didn’t tell him often enough.
We all have disagreements and arguments with our partners it’s part of life and being a couple. It doesn’t take away the fact that you love and would do anything for each other.
I am sure your husband knew just how much you loved him.
Please don’t torture yourself
Sending love
Debbie X


Beki…thank you so very much for replying to my post. It has made me understand things a bit clearer. I too was ‘naggy and grumpy’, and yes…probably a b%tch sometimes too…I just wanted my husband to start getting better, and it wasn’t happening, (exactly like the situation with you and your Mum).
You and your Mum had such alot to cope with. You are only human, and life isn’t always black and white and neatly packaged.

I know I will still have to work through alot of issues, and try and make peace with myself, but thank you again for replying and helping to unravel the knot in my head!

warm regards…

Katie x

ps Your black and white rice analogy made me cry (in a good way)!


Beki I love love your black and white rice analogy very apt and comforting
Thank you. Xx


Thank you so much Debbie…
That’s exactly what I have been doing…torturing myself!..
Wanting to turn back the clock, and to behave differently. I too think that my husband knew that he didn’t have long, and if I had known this too, …well, as you say, all things we would have said. I try to tell myself that actions sometimes speak louder than words, and he knew that I was always there for him, no matter what. It is so very hard for the person left behind when someone dies so suddenly,
No time to tie up those ragged, loose ends!
Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my message…I really appreciate it…
Sending love back to you…
Katie xx


Hi Katie
That is what you have to keep saying to yourself, we both loved each other and nothing or no one can take that away from you. They may not be here but love never dies they stay in your heart forever.
Debbie X X


Hi I lost my husband 2 months ago, he had emphysema I know he was I’ll but didn’t expect him to die so suddenly, I found him dead in the morning and now all I can think about is all the times I used to be angry with him for not trying to make an effort to do things, I used to try and jolly him along but lockdown caused him to get acrophobia so he just gave up, we were married 51 years and now I am only thinking about the bad memories and not all the good ones I have, I wish I could speak to him one more time to say I’m sorry if I was a bit angry at times but it upset me to see him suffer, we we’re together since we were 16 years old and I could never imagine my life without him I thought I was the only one who felt like this because I have read some post where they say they never had a cross word so that makes me feel worse, try to be kind to yourself and remember he would not want you to have regrets there were times when he would get cross at me I suppose that’s life non of us are perfect, Take Care, Kristina x


Hi Kristina,
I am sorry for your loss, you are still so early on in your grief journey. As I said to Katie you can’t change what has past so don’t torture yourself with things you can’t change.
Doug had been ill for a few years buts it’s still a shock when we lose them.
We had been married 44 years together 46 years since I was seventeen. We did have cross words at times, and he would do things the infuriated me and I know I did the same to him but it doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. I miss him desperately every day. One thing I know if I had my life again he would still be the person I would choose and marry.
Your husband I’m sure wouldn’t want you to feeling like this.
Just remember all the good times you had together, or as Beki said in an earlier post about the black and white rice in a jar.
Sending love
Debbie X


Every couple have disagreements - that’s what you do in a relationship.

Shortly after he passed, I apologised to him & said sorry for whatever id said or done - I wouldn’t say or do it again - I’d learned my lesson & he could come back.
I felt I must have been a really horrid person for him to leave me.
But it was just his time.

G. X


Thank you Debbie, I agree with every word you said x


Thank you Debbie…I will do that…I think the last awful year seems to be clouding all that we had before…

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Christina…oh my heart goes out to you…your situation is very similar to mine…I blame Lockdown for causing my husband to give up …we had some arguments because I wanted him to get well, and it seemed that the last awful year was clouding all that we had before. I dont know if you have read Debbie57s reply to me but it gave me alot of comfort and reassurance, especially her rice analogy. We both have to hold on to this…that there were so many good times, and lot allow this dreadful year to define us. The despair we are going through, like alot of people on these messages, is the price we are paying for a deep love for those we have lost, but please know, that there is always someone on here to help and support you…I know it is not the same as having our dear husbands here, but it can really help in your darkest moments…please be kind to yourself too Kristina and thank you for opening up on this message board… keep posting Katie xx

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Sorry Kristina…it was Beki who mentioned the black and white rice in a jar…
thanks Debbie xx

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He wouldn’t want you to have regrets. We are all human


I really do know how yr feeling , my fit and beautiful husband died in December , never been ill, so when he kept saying he was ill I thought he was imagining it as he was always scared of illness. When He lost 3stone in 2 weeks and couldn’t eat, we were told by the doctor “well you will loose weight if you don’t eat “ 2 weeks later I lost him to cancer. So many things unsaid, it’s a living nightmare x


Oh Katiemarylucy1

I am so sorry but I must say, ‘join the club’ I am not being flippant whatsoever, but if I had one penny for all the regrets I have had since my husband of 47 years died, I would be a billionaire. The problem is, we forget the good times and we seem to settle on the few times we had arguments or said things we didn’t mean to each other.

I know for sure if I had died and Peter was still alive he would be having regrets as well. There is a song. I will post it for you and I am sure you will remember it. The beauty of it all is that we stayed together through thick and thin because we loved each other.

We had the most wonderful marriage but sometimes I could have throttled him and him me but there we were 50 years down the line from meeting him when he was 18, still together and still happy until he died.

Concentrate on the good times you had.


Thank you Sheila, I asked my husband for help today over an upset & then I listened to this song & I feel a lot better now.

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I haven’t heard that song for years, thank you for reminding me of it :heart:

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That’s a terrible thing to have happened to you both