Module 5 - Making sense of intense emotions
Chapter 2: Coping with your guilt
Why do I feel so guilty?
The palliative care expert says
Dr. Mike Harlos, palliative care physician, discusses being present at the time of death.(3:22)Video transcript
You might feel guilty about decisions you made when caring for the dying person.
I feel in my heart that I let her down somehow. The cancer, the suffering, the fact that I am alive and she is not. I feel like I could or should have done something more.
By agreeing to stop feeding him in his last days, I feel like I condemned my husband to die. In speaking with the health care team, I know this was not the case, and that stopping food and fluids was the right thing to do at the time, but it still nags at me.
I hesitated to tell her some things about our relationship, things I had kept buried and secret...now it is too late.He just wanted to come home one last time. I fought so hard with the physicians but they insisted it was not safe for him to go. He was heartbroken. Maybe if I had pushed a little harder...but who knows...maybe it would have killed him and then where would I be?