overwhelmed by grief and feeling terrible guilt.

My first posting so I hope I am on the right track. My husband of 54 years died in July aged 83. I knew him for 56 years but we were lucky enough to be married for 54 years. For the last 3 years of his life he had Alzheimer’s dementia but was very accepting of it . He never became aggressive or angry but was so very confused with great difficulty in communicating anything except simple words; he could not find words to explain anything and it absolutely floored me with terrible grief as I anticipated the future and I couldn’t bear to witness this lovely intelligent man deteriorating in this cruel way. Unfortunately the decline accelerated during the pandemic and the lockdowns and I became so worried and scared about his illness that the whole situation made me irritable and impatient with him at times. Although we have family they were rarely able to be available because of the lockdowns. However in March this year he was admitted to hospital with a heart problem and whilst an inpatient he caught Covid. I wasn’t allowed to see him even at my own risk and he recovered from covid but went into a severe decline with a bad delirium and never got back to his baseline so needed 24 hour nursing care . He couldn’t move at all and became totally rigid and unable to speak at all. I visited him for 3 hours every day and fed him but much of the time he slept and eventually after 16 weeks he stopped eating and drinking and passed away. I felt relief that he was no longer suffering but I am so bereft that I can hardly get through each day and I cry all the time. i try to be brave but the memories of our happy marriage just break my heart. And I feel so guilty about my lack of patience in the last 2 years of his life. I loved him so much but emotionally I couldn’t cope with watching him decline and knowing what a future for him with this illness would be. Does anyone else have these feelings.


Hello @Pat8. The guilt you feel about being impatient with your husband happened to a lot of people during covid. We were all so scared of an unknown future and having a partner who was ill made us doubly anxious. You did everything possible with the circumstances of the time. Your love for him after all those years would have reached him even in those circumstances. He is not suffering now and hopefully in time you will remember happier times and be thankful that you were so happy together for so long. Blessings to you.


Guilt is extremely common. The best way out is to forgive yourself for everything, and forgive him for everything he did which annoyed you.
As sure as eggs is eggs, he’s already forgiven you.
we arent perfect in every way, we are human with all the frailties that brings.


My gosh
This could have been my letter. Hubby had Alzhiemers for 10 years, I was working on a dementia covid ward. He was in a home for 15 months I spent 4 hours most days with him. I feel such guilt for everything. He passed away in December . Friends gradually disappeared over the years so we spent all our time together. I always chat to him not quite sure where i go from here.

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Dear Pat8 - you loved your husband dearly, that is quite obvious from your post & that is more important than anything. From reading other posts on this site & the way I feel about my husbands illness it is clear that we all feel guilt in some way & wish we had done things differently. But we all did the best we could for them at the time. I too suffer with guilt, but hope and pray that he knew how much I loved him. I do believe that we will all be eventually be reunited with the ones we love in the end, there has to be some hope for us. You have come to a good place here and we all understand how you feel, keep talking to people on here. Take care, Alison xx

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Hi @Brannybob, It sounds like you both went through terrible trauma, and I’m sorry to hear your friends have moved away. You have not reason to feel guilty but I know you will feel it all the same. I feel it too, but know that I would tell anyone else they are not to blame. Can you start a new activity or volunteering or something to meet new people?


Your story is similar to mine. My husband had Alzheimer’s and I cared for him at home for 8 years. I got septis and while in hospital my husband declined and ended up in hospital. I could no longer manage at home and he went into residential care. I also live with guilt as he wasn’t looked after well in the home. I think we have to come to accept that we did our best in an impossible situation.

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Yes I feel guilty too.
My husband got doddery and slow and gradually worse and I feel awful when I got frustrated when he was in the way and wish I hadn’t. I wasn’t well myself.
It was all to much trying to care for an adult autistic son too
We were not coping too well. I had known him 54 years. It was last November he died after five weeks in hospital. I feel guilty I wasn’t there when he died. I couldn’t get there in time. I feel guilty I didn’t say all I should have said and lost the chance. But my mind tells me not to feel like it but my emotions do it anyway.

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