How do I deal with the feeling that I didn't do enough for my dad before he died? I wasn't financially able to do much, and felt that the other family members looked down on me because of my financial situation. Even though I didn't get out to see him a lot(I live in Cuyahoga Falls, dad in Doylestown), I called when I could. The distance thing made me feel inadequate as a daughter. But that didn't mean that I loved him any less than anyone else who was able to do more for him. Is there anyone that has possibly gone through the same thing, and how did you deal with it? Any replies and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kimberly Bender.

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Kimberly,

I was my father's caregiver -- and I still ask myself that question. I think that it is rare for anyone to feel that "they did enough" after someone we love dies.

I think the mind wraps around these questions in a vain attempt to make death something that we control. It is almost like we would rather blame things we did or didn't do than accept that we are pretty powerless when it comes to dying.

My "unhelpful" thoughts (that is what I label any and all thoughts of "why didn't I", "if only", and "I should have") are usually best handled with some well-thought reasoning. I ask myself if I knew my father was going to die that night. Of course, the answer to that is NO. Then I ask myself if I did know, would I have been willing to do anything that night for him? Of course, the answer is YES. SO, since I couldn't have known he was going to die that night should I feel guilty that I didn't do anything? No. Perhaps some self-talk like this could help you, too?

I am sure your father knew that you love him.
I hope you can find peace in that knowlege, too.

Kathryn
,
Thank you, Kathryn, for your kind words and suggestions. I will definitely do what you did and do the self-talk. I've since talked to my youngest brother, and he reassured me that I did all I could. I told him how happy I was that Dad had someone like him that was able to help out like he did. Tom told me that my comments made him feel good. So, there is some closure that I've found. Thank you again.

Kathryn said:
Kimberly,

I was my father's caregiver -- and I still ask myself that question. I think that it is rare for anyone to feel that "they did enough" after someone we love dies.

I think the mind wraps around these questions in a vain attempt to make death something that we control. It is almost like we would rather blame things we did or didn't do than accept that we are pretty powerless when it comes to dying.

My "unhelpful" thoughts (that is what I label any and all thoughts of "why didn't I", "if only", and "I should have") are usually best handled with some well-thought reasoning. I ask myself if I knew my father was going to die that night. Of course, the answer to that is NO. Then I ask myself if I did know, would I have been willing to do anything that night for him? Of course, the answer is YES. SO, since I couldn't have known he was going to die that night should I feel guilty that I didn't do anything? No. Perhaps some self-talk like this could help you, too?

I am sure your father knew that you love him.
I hope you can find peace in that knowlege, too.

Kathryn
You have to understand you did the best you could with what you had. That you wished you could have done more just shows have very much you loved your Dad. My Mom died recently. There were things I didn't do, that perhaps others don't understand, but I know I did everything I possibly could. I'm sure you did as well. We have to accept that and be at peace with it. I'm willing to bet you think worse of yourself then anyone else. DON'T. You were a good and loving daughter and I'm sure your Dad was very proud of you.
God bless you,
Debbie
Kimberly, I did not experience anything like you mention in your email, but I feel my words of comfort may help you.... Many people, family members, friends, etc, etc, will try to tell you what you should have done, or comment on what you were not able to do. Take comfort in you did what you could. Your father knew what was inside your heart. Write a letter to your father expressing your pain and sadness read it out aloud tell him your feelings, also tell him how much you love and miss him..... When you are strong enough burn the letter or just keep it in a safe place for you to go back and read from time to time. Hope this help you.
i know what you mean , iam truely sorry to hear of your loss, i felt that way their were yrs away , theni moved back and when i did my mother had turn harder for my dad to take care of her,plus he was dealing with his health siturations , she was 82 going on 83 , and she had copd. i watched her every day life sliping away from her things she no longercould do for herself she hated the thought that she nolonger could help her self , but we just kept encouraging her to dowhat she could. iam truely sorry , i know it seems like your all alone , its that every one heals differently , and yours is your own way yours is the way you feel and it sok to grieve its your time for your self , its ok to cry , i did a lot of that , it seemed like i did over every thing, i missed out on some yrs away , but i have to deal wi th that myself, we took care of my mom me and my sister, so whe n she was passing we let hospice take over so we could be their as her daughters,we do in life all the time i think were hard on our selfs ,, take care look into hospice i did and they were their for me . and others are dealing with grief to ,,, thanks and so sorry youhave to endure this loss.

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