Hi there , my memories are what have helped me through! but I cannot get out of my head the suffering my dad went through at the end of his life , I also cannot forgive myself because the night he passed I left my home at 12.30 at night but missed his passing by five minutes as stupidly my dad had said never drive the dark back roads late at night so I didn’t … But sticking to main roads that night probably took me longer … I keep questioning the choices I made when dad was so ill … Has anyone felt similar to me?

Hi Dee
I know how you feel but your dad would not want you to keep beating yourself up about it, he would probably say, forget it and then give you a hug. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I know I did, from the moment Helen, my wife, was diagnosed I was in some sort of denial, right up to the afternoon, before her death the following morning, when the paramedic, the district nurse, and the local vicar tried to tell me it was very near. The nurse had given Helen a dose of morphine and I thought she would come round from it a few hours later - but she didn’t. I can’t turn back the clock and just hope Helen forgives me. Have faith in the love your dad had for you, I am certain your dad would not hold any mistakes or failures against you, so you should not against yourself. Give yourself some time Dee, it all needs thinking about and it will fall into perspective with those happy memories always topping the regrets.
Take care of yourself.


Lovely words Alan. I started to reply to Dee but wouldn’t really have helped. I do get what she is saying though. Dee, it is normal to feel that way. I think we have all felt that. Keep the good ones alive…xxx

Hi Pepper, thanks for your kind words, sometimes we, all of us, are just running on empty and don’t know what to say -sometimes we manage to say something and then find we ourselves are in tears afterwards - funny life isn’t it.
Best wishes to you, Alan

THANKYOU Alan , you are right my dad would react like that , isn’t it so easy to look back and question things ? I also get the denial because when my gran was dying I just wouldn’t have it and convinced myself she was strong and always be ok , and of course she was ill and human and it wasn’t to dad was very sick for 3 months and several times we called as they thought it was time and he pulled through , that night he seemed beaten and was unconscious but the nurses persuaded me to go an get some rest and they would call me if any change.isnt grief such a emotional roller coaster?. I will read again your words such right kind words. I’m soooo sorry you lost your wife …take care dee

Thanks Dee, yes grief is such an emotional roller coaster - and I never liked roller coasters at the amusement park in the first place! When Helen was diagnosed with lung cancer I tried to find some sort of road map for her illness but cancer is a cunning devil and goes it’s own way, you then try and trust your instincts but these are not always right. Grief is a kind of post traumatic stress disorder so counselling can sometimes help - Cruse or perhaps your GP may be helpful. I must admit I tried it for 2 sessions but then thought it was getting me too obsessive not less so stopped, but perhaps it was sign that it was working? I gave up with the proviso that I could return if necessary.though.

Hi Alan , SNAP I didn’t like roller coasters in the first place either! Lol , that was my concern when I thought about contacting cruse that I would become to focused on it , and most of the time I cope really (I think) quite well , just sometimes you want to be able to say how you really feel and for me I try to stay strong for those around me so I keep going(which is a good thing to really) as it stops one feeling sorry for oneself. Losing Helen must of been awful,like that’s your soulmate and cancer is cruel,it’s a illness that really can take everything and I really feel for you and was a better day for was yours? I’m always here to listen … At least you have the option to go back if you needed , you made me think with what you said , like most problems in life or issues you do kinda look for a solution and you can make choices about which way to go and so you are still in control but when someone is that sick that is all taken away one is helpless to help! If that make sense ? Then we have loss and how that feels on top ! It’s big stuff …anyway I’m going on lol take care Dee x

Hi Dee, today is a better day for me too thanks. What you say about losing control is so true, and it applies not only to how the illness and death goes, but to the grief after. It is hard dealing with the funeral and all the other formalities but there is some control over this, and there is consolation in giving your loved one the sending off you hope they would have really liked. But afterwards grief gives you no choice.
Its all big stuff and all needs talking about at some stage and its never called going on. Alan x.

Hi Alan , one foot in front of the other maybe more fitting ? It’s like when people say time heals …I don’t think it does I think one learns to live with the huge gap x

Hi Dee & Alan,

I feel so much in common with this post and am going to try and articulate what I attempted earlier.

Alan I think you are spot on with the PTSD notion. Just about everyone on here has lost someone prematurely or suddenly or taken by cruel terminal illness or by an accident… It goes on but ALL would appear to have had trauma associated with their loss.

Dee, I cared for my Mum for a number of years but more intensely in the past 3 years. My brothers and I had eight days of vigil by a hospital bedside after Mum had a fall at home and then took a Brain Stem Stoke whilst in A&E. Some of the medical decisions I had to make during that time and the guilt of not getting to her quicker the morning she fell left me feeling so guilty, I had nightmares and flashbacks. I relived it over and over every waking hour for weeks and weeks and just couldn’t believe how cruel the ending had to be. It just shouldn’t have been like that. She had so much pain in her life she deserved a peaceful end. I was so angry too with doctors, with myself and with God. Mum was a devout Catholic, she led a simple and good life. This was not the natural order of things.

My mum was getting on, I remember last year at New Years 2016 we had a party and she was in her element. I actually looked at in her so happy amidst family and friends and actually wondered for a moment if she would be with us for the next year. I think my point is that if she had passed in her sleep, I might have accepted that and after what happened I so wished that she could have had that.

So I think it is harder to accept when those we love are taken before their time or in tragic circumstance. You tend to analyse every detail, question what you could have done different or what others could have. It is just so much more complicated and messes with your head.

The best to both of you, thinking of you…x

Hi Dee and Pepper

So true Pepper, your words about analysing every detail, questioning what you could have done different. For me, that hurts far more than what others could have done different. The only other people that I question are the two GPs in our local practice and the consultant, but perhaps I better leave it at that. .

What you say, Dee, about time not being a healer, is for me too, also true. Although we are feeling very raw we are not suffering from a wound, we are still part of a living relationship with our loved ones - well I am anyway.

Take care, both

Hi pepper , hello Alan THANKYOU both for sharing , to be able to share with people that GET IT does make a difference , it’s true pepper you do question everything.for me when my mum passed in 2008 , it felt like the end of the world , but mum had an aneurysm and it was so peaceful for her , but my dad in 2015 suddenly got unwell (long storey) and by gum did he suffer and it was so unjust!he deserved better and even after this time I can’t let it go it left me so holding on to the good times but again it is so up and down.this griefs a weird thing . How are you today pepper and you Alan take care Dee

Hi Dee
Not so bad today. My wife Helen always fed the birds every morning and I get a kick out of carrying this on, even in the snow! - today up to 25 House Sparrows and 26 Starlings, plus 2 Blue tits, 1 Great tit, 2 Blackbirds, 2 Collared doves, a Robin, and a Dunnock/ Hedge Sparrow. I don’t know how to compare suffering and I am glad Helen did not have it worse. It sounds as though it was tough with your dad and if she had had it worse I think I too would be so cross. As it is I remain more cross with myself for not making so much more of Helen and our life - but that is my problem.

Being on your knees can give someone the chance of lifting you back up again and as a comic aside I will let you know that whilst driving through the middle of Canterbury I broke down on a roundabout at the beginning of rush hour. Ring the AA I thought but then found that I had not charged my mobile. What happened next restored my faith in not being alone with all my concerns. A motorist offered to help, an assistant at a Domino’s pizza lent me her own mobile (I could have walked out of the shop with it but she trusted me), the police turned up and pushed me off the roundabout, shaking hands on departing, and twice a local on a motor scooter stopped to offer me assistance and something to drink - then the AA turned up and got me running again saving a 40 mile tow. In short, thank God for other people.
If you have been, thanks for listening and take care of yourself, especially if it is snowy in your neck of the woods.

Hi Alan , I decided this morning fri 13th hibernate at home and not move the car re snow an ice and get stuff done indoors!!fancy breaking down but I agree it does restore your faith when people are so kind , hope nothing to bad with the tale of the birds,my dad continued feeding the birds regularly after my mum passed as mum loved sitting by window watching them . That’s a fair few birds how lovely . I have two finches and to add to the mix a 5month old kitten ! . Don’t beat you up as I’m sure Helen loved you and the life you had and the way you lived it , but I know how we all question stuff and hear what you are saying . It is very snowy here too , think it caught most of us ! My day has been ok . My dad just went from being a really healthyish elderly gentleman who at 79 was still cutting trees mowing lawns to a man who didn’t even know how to feed himself, it was a sad tumble of events that happened very suddenly and good memory was when he turned 80 he was in intensive care and we tied balloons round his bed stuck his cards everywhere and tried to make it special as we could.take care too and hi pepper if you are around Dx

Hi Dee, the 80th birthday celebration for your dad sounded lovely - it does seem the best thing to do when life gives a hard knock, have as good a do and smile or laugh in return. Our tortoise knows what you mean about hibernating! Take care, Alan.

Hi Dee/Alan, still around, just observing, both your updates made me smile…xxx

Glad we made u smile pepper x

Well at least me and the tortoise understand each other!!hello Alan how has today been? My day was ok till my son rang up missing his gramps…an nan … Glad he can talk to me but it does trigger me of and though we talk it through and compare the missing it takes it out of me lifting his spirits on this one!did manage it and reminded him that people we lose leave so much behind in us that we owe it to them to live and laugh and make new memories best way we can ! . What I really would of liked to of done tonight instead of being stuck in front of tv ( not instead of son chat) would of been cinema an a nice meal …in your dreams Dee!!! Lol …and that’s where I’m of to land of nod …hope your day has been ok? Dx


Been reading this and come in rather late. I think we all torture ourselves about things that have happened. I do understand with my Mum that when she fell ill last year there was nothing to be done as her health and age were against her, she was 92. What hurts is that when she had cancer the first time the doctor poo pooed her worries saying it was nothing to worry about. It was and she had it operated on only for it to come back as a secondary. She said to me ‘this has all been for nothing’ how true and how unfair.


Hi Dee
Glad you were there for your son Dee, it’s sad when families fall apart on the death of someone (and yes, it’s usually about money).
This morning I decided to face the world and went to a Sunday church service, the first for many a year, and glad I did. Afterwards, which I do every Sunday morning, visited our local cemetery to have a few words with Helen - perhaps a strange thing to look forward to during the week but I do. Hope today is good to you.