I didn't get there in time.

I promised my husband I’d be with him at the end. I didn’t get to him in time. I feel so guilty about it.

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Please don’t, your husband knew he was loved and that you would have done anything to be with him. Please take comfort in that at the end he would not have necessarily been aware that you weren’t there, but he would be aware that he was loved. Being there for a loved one isn’t just about the physical aspect. Please try and put aside the guilt and concentrate on the man he was before the illness and find comfort in the happy memories. X


Thank you for your kind words.

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We are told by psychologists that guilt is just one part of the grieving process. You are one with all of us and not alone. Only loving and caring folk feel guilty, that’s what makes us special. And you are special to. I can’t prove this to you but I know something. Those, including my dear wife who passed nearly 2 months ago, are fully aware of the love emanating from their closest and dearest ones before and during their passing. They are at peace in a place you have a name for where guilt has no meaning. It’s pure love.

Love and Light


Geoff fully agree I was with my husband and the peace he felt was overwhelming, no words he squeezed my hand and simply passed away very peacefully , daft as it sounds he had a good death for which I will be eternally grateful. Being there for him at the end was only a small part Magu, being there for the long haul and your support would have meant so much more to him. I hope you find peace guilt is only a small piece of the journey you have before you. Take care x

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I know how you feel,my husband passed away last year with prostrate cancer aged 57.
One morning I had to phone ambulance as his legs had swelled to twice the size.My son and daughter met me at hospital.we were there for 6 hours until they said they need to do scans.so I said we will go and have coffee and come back.we came back half hour later and nurse said he took a turn for worse just after we left and she had be trying to ring me.I pulled back curtains and he had gone.I keep going over in my mind if only we hadn.t gone for coffee.but I think we always have what ifs when anyone dies and we feel guilty.Take care.


I didn’t get to back to the hospital in time, but I think Silverlady is correct, I don’t hink my husband would have been aware I wasn’t there , they said he had pulled his oxygen mask off, whenthey went to check him and his sats were so low anyway he must have fell asleep. I was there 2 hours before and the last words I said to him were “I love you see you tomorrow “. Some people say that they wait til loved ones have gone before they take their last breath. Has anyone heard of this before?

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My Gran most definitely waited until I said goodbye and that I’d see her at evening visiting. She passed away 20 mins later.

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Beautiful words Geoff, thank you x

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Comforting words Geoff, thank you. Love and light to you also.

Geoff, your words are beautiful and comforting, as SanW and Magu said. I like to think of us as ‘special’. It is indeed ‘pure love’ :))

Hi Lancashire las, I’m a nurse and you’re right many patients I nursed, passed away just after seeing relatives, alot of them who were terminally ill got ‘better’ for a short period before they passed then it was peaceful, it’s about the love and caring shown when they were around giving lovely memories that’s also important and knowing that they are not suffering

My hubby was working from his hospital bed the day before he died, he said on he day he died today is about family and friends he saw who he wanted to see, then it was just the two of us, we told each other we loved each other, I told him if he needed to go, I would be okay, he went to sleep after a while he squeezed my hand without waking up and he died. I agree with Lancashirelass, once he accepted he was dying his strength bravery and peace was unbelievable.

Nobody phoned me when he collapsed.
The hospital phoned but didn’t tell me how serious it was.
Roadworks meant a 3 mile diversion.
A & E car park full wasted a precious 10 minutes.
Idiot arguing with recptionist wasted more time .
47 years and no chance to say goodbye.
I’m tortured day and night by knowing he died alone hoping I would get there in time.
I’ve been told " it will soften in time " after 17 months it hasn’t softened at all.
I hope others don’t suffer this daily torture. Jx

Dear Magu
It seems I hat our loved ones chose when to go - sometimes they wait for someone to arrive( my husband waited for my daughter to arrive from abroad) sometimes they d coded to leave when we are not present because they feel it will be better
So don’t feel guilt !! You were there so Nantes other times and he probably knew he f you were there at his final moments it would be difficult for you and him
Sadie x

Thankyou Geoff, such comforting words. My husband kept telling me how much he loved me and that I was an Angel from heaven the way I was caring for him single handed. Well, I’m certainly no Angel, just a woman that loved her man. I worked hard to keep him alive I will admit, however I still have that guilt. Did I do enough? Did I miss something? Did he know I loved him?
Just before he died he opened his eyes and said “Why do you keep telling me you love me” I said, “because I do you silly man”. I then found messages on my phone from him, he was thanking me for the care I gave him and telling me how much he loved me. I never text and don’t look for them, I missed his text. Yet still I feel guilty. You have helped me today to get some peace.

In reply to Dalejackie, I know, so well, how you are feeling about not being with your beloved husband when he died. It is also seventeen months since my dear husband died. I have written on various threads on this site, and in my first thread mentioned the extreme sadness that I felt at missing being with him by ten minutes. I had left his bedside only five hours before, with my daughter, at10 o’clock at night, telling him that we would be with him again at 9.30am in the morning. We live 45 minutes drive from the nursing home. We each went to our individual homes, but at 3.am next morning I received a call from the nursing home that he was deteriorating, I then phoned my daughter, and she called for me and we set out for the nursing home together. When within ten minutes from the nursing home, we received the devastating news by phone that my loving and beautiful husband and father of my son and daughter had just passed away. My daughter and I were so shocked and sad thst we couldn’t speak to each other, just drove on to the nursing home. We were overwhelmed eith grief when we entered his room seeing him there, unable to see us. We then phoned my son, to tell him the sad news and he had to make a 2 hour journey to come to the nursing home and join us. We three sat for some hours together in the room just looking and being with our beloved. Time has gone on, and I think my adult children are coping admirably with their day to day lives, in spite of the loss of their father. Over the months I have varied a great deal, and still do, in my feelings of grief. Some days, I’ve felt that I am ‘doing well’, as folks say, but little do they know of the days when I am not ‘doing well’ at all. I can still feel the anguish of not being with my husband at his final moments. I had visited him every day, and spent ‘quality time’ with him during the winter of “the beast from the east” as the weather people had termed the winter of 2018! I have learned to comfort myself that as I was leaving my husband at the end of the last visit when he knew we were with him, when we were looking directly at each was our moment when we were saying ‘goodbye’. After these seventeen months without him in my life, I know he would not want me to go on being sad, or feel guilty, about not being there at his last moment, and try to remember all the love and contentment we had together for over fifty years. Sorry this is so long, but you are not alone Jackie in your feelings. We, and many others in our situation, have to try not to be so hard on ourselves. Enjoy your good memories. Deidre.

To Lancashire lass. I, too missed being with my dear husband when be died, by ten minutes. Although I have agonized over this many times, from speaking to people, including my local Vicar, I now believe those about to pass from this life sometimes wish to prevent further stress to their loved ones by slipping away at an appropriate moment, such as when a loved relative leaves their side for a moment. My own mother missed being with my father at the precise moment of his passing at home, even though she only left his side to go to another room for a moment. She was distraught at the time, and I remember trying to comfort her. Yet, it is only now, many years later, through my own experience, do I fully appreciate and understand her distress. It is not easy, but do try to go easy on yourself, your love between you and your husband will be what carries you through this emotional time. With best wishes to you. Deidre.

The same happened to me.I had the phone call at 7 am and got stuck in a stupid traffic jam and I missed his passing by 10 minutes but he was still warm and I held him and kissed him and told him how much I loved him.I couldn’t have done that in the Mortuary when he was cold.To me,he was just sleeping peacefully with no drips,catheter or oxygen mask.That vision will stay with me forever

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