mum died and the guilt

Hi,
My name is Gillian, I am married and have 4 beautiful children. My forever baby Stuart -Stillborn Lucy 25. Louis 21 and Sophie 18.
I am unfortunately Joining the group I new one day I would… But fortunate to be able too also!
My mum died on the 3rd of November and I am truly heartbroken. She was my best friend Xx

My mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease with lewy bodies dementia Sept 2016.
Around a year later there seemed to be a sudden onset of anxiety, hallucinations and an overall general decline.
She still lived in her own home but was becoming less able.
By this time my health was also not great - I had around 2/3 admissions to hospital with a heart arrhythmia - These experiences had left me traumatized. This part is very important as this is where I feel I failed my mum…
I would normally have stepped in and took control like I always done but I just wasn’t able too anymore and I hate to say but was becoming more detached from her and was annoyed that she needed me so much!
She had a hospital admission due to a collapse and was discharged with carers going in 4 x daily - but it wasn’t enough her mental state wouldn’t allow her to stay at home. I took her to the hospital with her asking me and panicking that she might not get back home - I assured her she would knowing how unlikely that would be…
After a long stay in hospital I found her a lovely place to live in a residential house. I took all that I could from her home to try and make it feel familiar and as like home as possible. she never accepted being there and used to ask me to take her home - my heart was truly broken.
I brought her to my home for visits but she just couldn’t settle and wanted to get back to the place she didn’t want to be - You see she couldn’t settle anywhere - It wasn’t the place - It was her mind where she couldn’t settle…
I had this idea she would live in a nice safe place with 24hr care and would still live a relatively normal life - That was not to be…

Fast forward to12th of March this year “Coronavirus”… Well I was used to visiting my mum 5/6 times a week doing her hair, nails laying out her outfits for the next day and from that date until the 30th of Oct when I got the dreaded call to say she was very sick and I should make my way down there. There was none of that. window, outdoor and phone calls was all she could have.
In her last 5 days I carried out all her cares on my own - The way I and she would have wanted.
I didn’t do bedside vigils - I just lay beside her, held her hand, breathed in her gentle soft familiar scent I just went about as if she was sleeping - I was able to prepare her for her final journey.
I lay on her sofa for a nap and was suddenly woken by silence - I realized in that minute she was gone… I wasn’t by her side - just there.
I stayed with her for a few hours - I then walked with her out of the house and told her and believed she was at peace.
I then went onto give her a very fitting goodbye and felt I done everything right.
Kind words were also said about me by my brothers as a daughter who had done everything for my mum throughout her life. That meant a lot too me… But tucked away I still felt the guilt!
So why now am I crying so hard - Why am I sitting at her grave saying sorry so many times for letting her down asking her for forgiveness. Because I feel so bloody guilty that at a time when she needed me most I turned my back on her - And I don’t see that I can or should ever forgive myself for that…

I Do believe she’s at peace - I know if her life was to continue it would just mean more misery for her and a further decline in her disease.
Her body and mind were so broken,

I honestly don’t know what I want from this post - But I just felt I had to put what is going over and over in my head into words I can look at and see if it makes any sense.
TIA if you got to the end of this very long post. :two_hearts:

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Hi Jinxie.
I dont think your guilt is warranted. You did the best you could at the times it needed doing.
Sometimes we expect more from ourselves than others do. You sound like a very loving caring daughter and in the last few days you were your mums constant. She was not alone and you were but a step away.
You should go to bed knowing you loved her and she loved you and this showed in your actions and now in what you write.

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I’m so sorry for your loss and all the pain you’ve had watching your mums health decline over the years. From what you’ve written above you don’t need to feel guilty. You were there for your mum in every way you could be and it sounds like you were an amazing daughter. I’m sure she was so grateful to have you help her through the years. You were there for her right to the end, even if you had physically moved for a minute. Unfortunately guilt is one of the many parts of grief. We all go through moments of guilt which I’m sure our loved ones would tell us not to feel any of this guilt. You loved and were loved back and now that’s she’s gone and you hurt so much, just proves how much you cared for her.

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Thank you so much… Such lovely words. I went down to her home last night - The home we always hoped she could go back to. I just sat and thought how lonely and confused she must have been in her last days there. I just wish I had stood up to my own anxiety with my health issues and helped her instead of pushing her away Now she is gone - I just don’t have the chance to make it up to her.

Thank you, the guilt is truly awful - I try to explain to people what I’m feeling and they tell me I shouldn’t feel guilty. I just can’t seem to take that on when I know how unhappy and sad she was. she really needed me and I wasn’t there.

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We all do the best we can with what we have at any given time. The feelings of guilt seem to go with grieving. We can all stand and say wish i had done things another way. If only life gave us clues as to what might happen in the future perhaps what we now percieve as regrets might not happen. But these feelings are par for the course and we just have to work through them. Knowing that in the end we did all we could and our actions showed the love we had and perhaps the guilt in some way shows that to. No one nor any relationship is truly perfect.
You are a good daughter.

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Dear Gillian,
It must have been so exhausting and heartbreaking to take care of someone with Parkinson’s disease and declining health, what with being a mum of 4 children, you did your best…

I always wish there’d be some kind of closure for what happened to my partner, but I know I won’t find it. Things that I could have done to make him happier, to save him…
You are not alone. But i think your mum was lucky to have a responsible daughter like you, she must be reassured to had had you by her side.
Xxx
Riley

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