It is normal to feel that way.
For some time, I’ve battled with the guilt that I could have helped prevent some of the calamity caused by my dads disease.
I walked away from his businesses after years being so involved.
It was a decision to stand on my own feet and walk my own path.
He was so angry but I stood firm, knowing that it was the right decision for me but probably underestimating why it was so important to him.
Maybe he knew that things were slipping? Definitely his goal was to hand over the reigns and I’d long been his support, his bouncing board and advisor.
Years after, the disease made some shocking decisions that caused immense financial and emotional pressure.
Which took years to mop up and I held on to the guilt.
In addition to that, there was other reasons for guilt
- not being able to see it earlier
- not handling his condition /breaking down
- could have supported mum/bro better
- not visiting dad enough/enjoying life
What they don’t tell you is the guilt
A. For living your life and having an enjoyable day without them. Survivors guilt.
B. Visiting them and feeling you don’t want to be there and that they’d want you to get out and do things.
The casuals think being there is regular visitors but I knew my dad and he’d prefer I went for a swim and thought about him, rather than visit an aged care home and cry after.
Finally the big one,
The guilt you feel wishing they’d been hit by a bus and put out of their misery (and yours). Look, it’s normal and it’s a feeling out of love and compassion. We put down animals in pain.
Can you relate to the survivors guilt?