I could of saved her

My mum had copd. But it never really seemed to affect her. She walked her dog. Met with friends. Chopped her own wood. But maybe I missed things? She also suffered with anxiety. And had a lot of panics. She recently thought she had a sinus infection. I told her to call the doctors and I would go with her. The night before she died we spoke on FaceTime but she cut it short as she was having a panic. She said she was breathless but said it was panic. But I should of known. The day she died she asked me to pick up her dog as she was tired as wasn’t sleeping cos of panic. I told her I was here 24/7. My sister went to get the dog and called the doctors. I messaged mum a few times and she didn’t answer. I thought she was asleep. My sister saw her again later on and mum said she just wanted to be alone. I called the doctor to see if anyone had been in touch. No one had. They said they had no record of first call. Kept calling mum and no answer. I really thought maybe she was asleep. She used to sleep with ear plugs in. Doctor called me back and said he’d go and see her. My sister went too as I had kids with me and let doctor in. Mum was awake but didn’t seem with it. He checked her blood pressure and pulse and said both ok. He sat her up to check her chest and said it wasn’t great and she’d need to go to hospital. She said no. My sister said mum we’ll get you home. Then she was gone. Waited 30 mins for ambulance. Too long. They got a pulse back but she’d been gone too long. So for 3 days we sat there begging for a miracle before they said we need to turn off the machines. I should of known. I should of been there. I had no clue. But I should of known. And I feel like I’ve just let her die when I could of saved her. I let her down when she needed me the most. I should of known. Sorry. These thoughts consume me all the time. I could of stopped this.

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I’m very sorry for your loss my dear. I read your post earlier but didn’t have the words to answer.

I lost my husband in 2019. I suffered a lot of “what if’s”, and “should haves/could haves/would haves”. I still do, but I’m learning to shut them down when they start. It’s like a heavy duty self discipline & I have to do it every time. I still have them, but less than before & I still cry but I have some control now.

From the beginning I knew that road was danger…thinking about “what if”. So I started and still tell myself that the bottom line is that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change what happened. My tears & guilty feelings aren’t going to make any difference whatsoever - so I say to myself,as he used to say to me “Buck up, buttercup” . I give a big sigh or two and then I try to do something to distract myself, a walk, water the plants, paint, whatever movemen works. It’s a real fight some days to keep those thoughts at bay, but you just have to keep trying. It might also seem a bit harsh, but it is the reality of the situation. My husband was a pragmatist, a practical soul, and I know this is how he would want me to deal with any negative emotions like guilt.

The last time I cried in front of my husband he told me "It’s too late for that now…I often think of that…And it is too late for my tears now…everything played out the way it did (in my situation & yours). Feeling guilty or ashamed will not change what happened , or how it happened. He would be telling me not to cry buckets of tears or carry loads of guilt because they just don’t help.

I will always feel a great shame that I didn’t deal with my husband’s end days better - better for him I mean. This is something I will always carry with me. It is now a part of me - not a part I am proud of, but one that I have to accept. Your letter gave me the chance to talk about this part of my grief - thank you.

I hope that I do not sound cruel or uncaring or harsh. Your story moves me. Be gentle with yourself. You have to heal from this tremendous loss and that does take time. You have to help yourself to heal, gently, slowly - day by day, or hour by hour…step by step…


Not harsh at all. Honest and true. She was my best friend and I just think I should of known it was serious. And my not realising that has let her down and now I’m completely lost. Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry for your loss xx

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