Letting go of guilt

I’m really struggling with this. How I do I move on. Me and mum had a lovely relationship and I loved her dearly. But she suffered with anxiety and loved her own company and being at home. I used to get upset because most of the time it was me calling her. Me instigating meeting up. I never used to say anything but I think sometimes She would see my upset that I hadn’t seen her or if she hadn’t visited us for a while. I just wanted to spend more time with her. Last year I moved from Hertfordshire to Cornwall and she seemed to withdraw a bit. I didn’t see her as much. I Invited mum and dad to our farewell party. My daughters 13th. My sons school play. They never came. She was probably struggling with us going and I got hurt because I wanted to see them, nothing was ever said. But it was an unspoken air around us for a few months. But when we moved and she saw how happy we were everything went back to normal. We moved because my daughter was getting badly bullied anc the town we lived in was getting more dangerous for kids particularly. I privately got so hurt I turned a bit angry about it. Again I never told them. But I used to vent about it to my husband. Particularly as they were still going out and about and meeting up with my brother. But I can’t move on from the guilt at the hurt I must have caused her. That our lovely relationship was sullied by the move last year. Even though once we were here it all went back to normal and they had lovely holidays here. I threw her a lovely 70th in April. Just us. And she had the best birthday ever. I just want to let it go and try and forgive myself. For her to forgive me.

hi jooles
no expert on this,but I see you’ve done nothing wrong.you moving was thecorrect thing to do as regards your daughter getting bullied and it affecting your state of mind.your mum would fully understand that she wouldn’t be happy about her grand daughter being bullied and you having to go through dealing with it.And seeing your all happy would of made her happy.hope you and your family are ok and that as you want to try do and end up doing is that forgive your self for your mum to forgive you.just hope you stop feeling guilty.
regards
ian

Joules
I think you have to look at the bigger picture here. Your life wasnt just your mum. It was your dad, your husband and your children. You made decisions for the best needs of your family and in particular the welfare of your children. Nobody could criticise you for this and any decent parent would do the same.
My mum was loved dearly and I invited her everywhere. She came to live with us and she was involved with everything. Sometimes I would make arrangements just with my partner and I would feel terribly guilty but I also had to think of my relationship. You did alot for your mum but you also have responsibilities towards your own family and you must let go of the guilt surrounding this.
I still feel guilty that I couldnt save my mum and that I didnt notice any symptoms of her failing health or force her to go to the doctors. I’ve started considering that my mum may not have wanted to go to the doctors. Perhaps she didnt want to know that things were failing? My mum was perfectly sound of mind and capable of making her own decisions and so was yours. X

I have terrible, terrible guilt and remorse, but my Mum did have issues including anxiety issues, which made her a big challenge at times. I think also that decades of the same issues with a parent can grind you down. You can end up loosing patience.
At present I’m trying to consider that Mum and I are both 50% responsible for any issues in our relationship. If they could they’d tell us they’d say that any issues didn’t matter now. Only the love mattered.
I think only time will make it feel easier.
The lost of my Mum is the sadness thing I’ve ever known. I feel destroyed by it. It’s eight weeks today. Where has the time gone? There are two clocks which in my house which still haven’t been changed to the new hours. I’m not functioning that well.
Mum’s ashes were brought home yesterday. I was in tears outside the funeral directors, before collecting the ashes. I was in a village where I strongly associate walking around with both my Mum and Dad. Strangely, when the ashes came into the house I was calmer.
Only time will heal this pain. There are emotional triggers everywhere. It feels very bleak at the moment. I don’t remember my mother ever grieving like I am at present.
They would tell us not to make ourselves ill. They wouldn’t want that for us. I don’t think these dark gloomy days are helping.

This was addressed to Jooles45 and his guilty feelings. Also to everyone else one this thread.

Thank you all for your words of support I will keep reading them when I feel down to remind myself. Daffy I think you are right. It’s 50/50. And if we had died they would be feeling guilty. Because no relationships are perfect I spoke to a lady at cruse yesterday who said that guilt was such a massive part of grief and your mind picks out anything to focus on. But apparently it does diminish and you remember the good memories rather than focusing on anything that wasn’t 100% perfect.

1 Like

I went to extraordinary lengths for my Mother and still managed to seriously fail. i agree, my mother would have had terrible remorse too. She would have got ill with it all as well.
We are all dealing with so many emotions. No wonder it is very hard.

Hi daffy

I remember collecting mums ashes in mid august. I was in a terrible state and I got them home and just stared at them and thought that’s not my mum. I never really developed a close bond with them and scattered them in october.
I still have guilt but at the 5 month stage it is diminishing slightly and the intense sadness is taking over.
I d6pnt think the time of year helps daffy.you cant even nip into tesco for bread and milk without being bombarded with tinsel and chocolate boxes on offer.
I’m sick of it.
I hope you have an ok day xx

I’ve just had a lightbulb moment and thought “I’m sick of this and feeling so low and depressed”. Going to work shortly but I think I need to turn my thoughts round as it’s not helping me.
My husband must be sick of walking through the front door and seeing my miserable face.

Absolutely nothing in life is 100% perfect and at times like this we focus on the less perfect stuff. If I can put some positive spin on the whole guilt thing. It could be considered that it is good that we feel guilty about something because surely that means that we really care and are good people? I feel guilty all the time that I could never make my mum really happy. Sure she was happy with me and my life but deep down she had issues I could never understand and those would surface from time to time.
As Cheryl said about her mum, I too tried to involve my mum with everything in my life but of course there had to be a balance as I had my own family as well. Never stopped me feeling guilty that I missed her out on certain things though, I guess that was another aspect of me trying to make her happy. She understood that I had my life to lead and let me get on with it.
As I read Daffy’s comment, I heard my mum’s voice in my head as she would often say to me ‘Don’t make yourself ill’ Wow that was a powerful memory.

It was surreal for me when I picked up mum’s ashes. I had this thought walking back to my car. This heavy box in this bag is my mum, omg. That was the most precious box I’d ever carried. So weird.
I went into Sainsburys at the weekend for Xmas stuff with family. I just looked at all the sparkly stuff and lights but had no feeling towards any of it. It was like the meaning had gone and I was just looking at the frozen food section.
I did end up in the card isle and caught a glimpse of the mum cards. Argh. No escape is there?

H C1971,
I put the ashes in a my bedrooom wardrobe with my Dad. Out of sight, but close by. For the last twenty years Dad ashes have been there and i’ve hardly touched them. Neither did my mother when she was alive.
Having Mum’s ashes close brought no comfort It’s too disturbing, surreal and shocking at the moment for me to get my head around. It kept me awake. I nearly moved them.
I think in the end I’l get comfort from them being there with my Dad.
It all feels like a tragedy and a nightmare.
I hope you have a good day too.

My situation and relationship sounds so familiar to my own, although I moved away from my home town 40 years ago. We travelled at least 4 times a year to see all out family and while I lived away, I always, always longed to see mum and we had long talks on the phone. She came for holidays, I used to tell her to think of it as a home from home but she was always anxious after a few weeks to go home in case they had forgotten her! As she got older, she was still coming to stay but the whole situation got a lot more difficult and complicated. I wasnt with her when she died and will always feel so guilty that it happened in that way. I dont know how we get rid of guilt, maybe time, and thinking about the special and good times we had with our mum’s.

I agree Shaun, christmas just loses its shine, i actually havent put up a tree in the 2 christmases since mum died, not being dramatic but she started to come to us when other christmases got too much, and I loved finally having her in my house to spend the time with her and now it seems too much effort to make a thing of it.

Wow I’m so overwhelmed at all the lovely messages. I have to go to work now I’ll reply later. Thank you all. X

I gave up too much in the care of my Mum and still failed badly. Too much sacrifice doesn’t work either. It leads to issues and resentment.
I think as children we learn that we must please Mum. We are not perfect nor were they.
My love for my Mum has grown into total and complete love. I will do my upmost to forget the negative stuff, because it could eat me up.
Life was beautiful and it will be again. We will learn to cope with the loss. x

I agree daffy and dads ashes had been with us 20 years too. We just didnt know what to do with them. When mum died out of the blue i decided to scatter both together and am so pleased I did this. I dont have to worry about them anymore and it’s another thing done.

Back to top