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guilt and all those other emotions


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I spent time at the hospital today. Sherrell really didn't know I was there. She was sleeping most of the time and when she was awake she seemed a little out of it.

Both of my nieces and my nephew were there. My nieces daughter was too. They take turns two at a time staying with her and now her grandson Bryan is here from Texas.

Our family is no stranger to loss and heartache. Over the years we have lost so many. When at that hospital all of those memories come back to all of us.

I am worried about my niece Jacci. She hasn't slept but little cat naps for days. Her husband is older and has a lot of medical problems too. She worries about him and tries to take care of him and be there for her mom. I saw how close she was to the edge and took her to the waiting room for awhile. I got her to let go and cry and then her daughter came in with us and we had the conversation about guilt.

They both have issues that leave them feeling guilty. I tried to tell them that is a part of grief, that it is in the past and forgiven long ago. I tried to make them see that no matter what the avenue death comes marching in on when the time comes it will come no matter what has or has not happened in the past. My mind knew that what I was saying was true but my heart told another story. It got me started on my own guilt feelings again. Guilt that goes with every loss. Now I can't stop those thoughts even knowing the things I said are true. The guilt is always there.

I think my first real guilt is that even knowing that Johnny loved me and that I loved him I didn't wait for him when he had disappeared. I should have known then it wasn't his choice. Then when he came back a year later I was getting married in a few days. I brushed off his words of love and married Denis. That was so unfair to both of them. We spent our lives apart and married others who deserved all of our love, even what was by then buried so deep we didn't know it was still there.

Then I moved away with my husband and settled in Louisiana. I wasn't happy there and that took it's toll on my marriage. Times were hard and I didn't get to talk to my mom more than a couple of times a year. In 15 years I only saw Mama about 5 times. Seldom did I talk to my brothers or my other family members. Then my brother Harold got sick and I wasn't there until he was dying. Then it was my brother Richard who died so suddenly and I wasn't there for him but most of all I wasn't there for my Mama. I was never there for my brothers or my mama or my daddy. I was living across the country in a place that I didn't like because I didn't have the nerve it took to do anything about it.

I wasn't there for my brother Arthur when Johnny's sister Betty was murdered. She was the love of his life and I wasn't there to comfort him and I hadn't been there for Betty when I may have been able to keep him off that road that led to her death. I was never where I should have been and now Sherrell is dying and I can't be there all of the time. I am physically and emotionally too weak.

I want to be there for her and for her children and grandchildren. I want to be there for my brother and I want to go back and be at the right place all of the times that I wasn't.

I wasn't there for my own kids and grand kids when Denis died. Oh I went back there but I wasn't there for them when he died. Now I am here and I am not with my children because I chose to live here. My life is here for as long as I can travel. I miss them but I have family here too. Family that I have spent too many years away from. So always my heart is torn. Torn between the ones I love and being in one place I love when I know I should be with my family in Louisiana. For now I have both but wonder how and when I will have to chose and what kind of guilt that will leave me with.

I shouldn't be saying all of this here. There are so many on this board who are suffering and grieving and I shouldn't be taking you away from them even for one minute but there is no one else that could even come close to understanding. I have seen your stores and I have seen you all open up about your lives. I know you understand and I know you are there.

I guess it is just my mood tonight. I am missing so many people and I just can't talk about it with anyone else. Now I am even feeling guilty about that and I know it is wrong but how do I stop it once that door is opened again.

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share with others like you just did. if you keep all the emotions like the guilt bottled up inside it will destroy you. sometimes physically being there is not as important as spiritually being there for someone.

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Lily, I get it. Stan and I had to move to Key West when first married to do his last year in the Navy. Then we moved back "home" to NJ but left for PA after about 8 yrs. We stayed there and I didn't visit those who are now gone nearly as much as I shoulda/coulda even tho they were only 90mi away. I was caught up in the drama of my own life. Then when Wendy was grown, we moved to Key West again. We're 5 and 8 hours from our kids and grandkids. Not like visiting down the street or even in the next town. I visit family in NJ every year and love it but when things go wrong like my sister Dottie being dx'd with cancer I wish I was closer. Nothing to be done about it. We're not moving back.

Hope the vent helped you move back to a more comfortable emotional place. Take care.

Judy in KW

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Ah...I replied, but it isn't here.

But I said this is the PERFECT place to write EVERYThiNG you are feeling down. Never feel guilty about possibly having someone read your words and not feeling alone, because they feel the same thing!

I also wrote that life doesn't come with a rewind button...and guilt happens because of that...we do our best in the now, and only in hindsight can we see certain things...but that isn't our fault.

Hang in there.

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I think there are so many situations out there that people feel guilty over there must be a reason. The reason is that if you didn't care you wouldn't feel - I would much prefer to know that you feel "guilt" that nothing at all - after all it is an emotion that means you are thinking about someone / something - which means the world.


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I want to thank all of you for your kind words. I know that you all understand how hard it is to not only watch someone you love slipping away but that it brings back all of the others.

I always think it will get easier only to realize it gets harder instead. Not only do I grieve for the loss of the one who is dying but for all I have already lost.

I know that the guilt thing is normal. I understand that we all question our actions and non actions. I even realize that with Johnny I was alone and had no help. All of those things my mind and heart know. So I guess I just have to accept that the things I am feeling are normal or as normal as anything can be that is connected to losing someone we love.

Sherell slept all night. She is so drugged up with Morphine and Ativan that she is out of it . Not sure if she will stay that way but my nephew seems to think so. They are still taking turns staying with her in pairs. I haven't gone back because I have some issues with my car that keeps me from taking the freeway. Driving around here is alright but when I have a problem I usually call my nephew Clint but he is with his mom and has more than enough on his plate right now.

They may send her home with Hospice. Clint thinks today but I know that it won't be that fast because their house needs a lot to be ready. When she goes home I plan on being there. Someone will come for me. I may go even if she is not home but I don't want to be a burden on them right now and their is not much I can do. When she is home I can take a shift watching her and cook for everyone. I hope too that I can be a help for my family. As much as I am aching for myself it is just so much harder to see those you love suffering.

I watch my niece Jacci and I know that the only thing keeping her going is love. I look at her and I see me those days Johnny was in the hospital last. I know what it is like to be almost in a zombie state just taking care of business and having your mind and heart screaming NO all of the time. I know what it is like trying to take care of everything and not let anyone see how close to breaking you are. I know too how that pain turns to the other after and how the guilt and anger comsume a person.

I saw Sherrell the night they said that she wouldn't make it until morning. I felt that she wouldn't too because she looked so bad. That was Thursday night and now it is Monday and she is still hanging on. She looked so bad and then I remember how good Johnny was before the drugs and all of those issues come rushing back.

I know that I am selfish letting that pain and those feelings intrude on my concern and love for her, but how do I stop them? How do you ever separate on love and loss from all of the others. How do you quit reliving it and hoping that somehow you will see something anything that will take you back and change not only the recent past but a chance to change what happened that fatal weekend over 8 years ago?

I am so thankful that I have all of you to unburden my heart with. I need to not let them down. My family know me and I know they would understand especially Sherrel but right now when I am with them it has to be all about her and what I can do for them. Later I will have to once again face all of these issues, all of these demons. Until then I need the prayers of this special family I have on this board to give me the strength I need to be there for them and not let these other feelings and emotions keep me from them.

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