feeling guilty

  • Posts: 5
    24/09/2018  20:50

    My wife passed away 4 weeks ago we had been married for 50 years. She had been having treatment for cancer for 10 months. I just feel so guilty that I couldn't help her more. She always trusted me for advice and when she was offered a clinical trial she asked me what I thought. I said anything is worth trying the doctor was keen to get her on the trial, so she went on the trial. This turned out to be a big mistake. I blame myself for not asking more questions and not researching the trial drug more than I did. It's constantly in my head that I let her down so badly. I cry all the time, I just cannot see this guilty state of mind ever going away.


  • Posts: 34
    25/09/2018  14:20

    Hello tonylin


    I’m so sorry to read about the recent loss of your wife, who you no doubt have spent most of your life with.


    Guilt can be such a common reaction when a loved one dies and people often tell us that they feel they should have or could have done more. It can be normal during this difficult time to feel the need to place blame upon yourself as you try to process what has happened, but it’s especially important to get support with how you are feeling and to try to be kind to yourself right now, even though this may sound very difficult to do.


    Tears can be a natural way of relieving stress in our bodies and crying after someone dies can be completely normal, particularly when the loss is so very recent, but if you find that you are spending the entire day in tears or constantly overwhelmed then you may choose to discuss this with your GP who may also be a source of support to you.


    People often tell us that talking can be a helpful experience and that having a safe space to share how you are honestly feeling can be a comfort. Our Support Line is here to offer you a listening ear if you ever need to talk and you can reach us on Freephone 0800 090 2309.


    Do you have much support in the form of family or friends right now? Some people choose to confide in people that they are close or familiar with, whereas others prefer to talk to someone that they don’t know like ourselves. Whichever you choose, please don’t feel that you must go through bereavement alone.


    We feature information about getting support during bereavement on our website which you may find helpful here: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/bereaved-family-friends/dealing-grief/bereavement-or-grief-counselling . We also have a page on the common stages of grief, and grieving in your own way which you may find of interest here: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/bereaved-family-friends/dealing-grief/grieving-your-way


    Please feel free to reply to this message as a way of getting further support from us and others if you would prefer to talk through here rather than over the phone.  


    Take care,

    Sam – Support Line Team


  • Posts: 5
    25/09/2018  17:40

    Hello Samantha,

                           Thank you for replying to my post, very kind of you. All of what you say is true but in my situation which of course is not unique, I know that I will always have to carry this feeling of guilt. I joined this website to see how other people are coping with the loss of a partner and I can see that I am not alone. I do have a close family and very good friends who are trying their best to help me but to be honest I just want to be on my own to grieve. At my age (70) I have seen many deaths amongst my family and friends and looking back I just don't understand how they have managed to cope so well with the loss of their partners. Looking back to when I fell in love with my wife if I had known that it would end in so much heartache, I never would have fallen in love.

    I think I will go the GP to see what he/she suggests but I doubt it will help me.

    Thank you again


  • Posts: 34
    26/09/2018  14:17

    Hello Tonylin


    Thank you for replying and for sharing more about how you’re feeling. I’m glad to hear that reading other people’s experiences has been of some help to you. Commenting on other people’s posts can be a way of getting support from those in a similar situation so please don’t hesitate to join in if you feel this would be beneficial.  


    Your words about falling in love with your wife all those years ago, and how much heartache this brings you now she has died are truly heart-wrenching to read. It can seem like other people might have coped better with their losses as often people don’t always share the depth of their grief with others. Everyone grieves differently and there really is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s understandable that you just want to be alone right now to grieve but knowing that you have close friends and family when you need support can be a comfort during this time.


    Take care of yourself and please don’t be afraid to come back and chat to us if you feel you want to.


    Take care,

    Sam – Support Line Team

  • Posts: 3
    11/11/2018  20:32


    Im so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. I feel that you loved your wife (Lin?) very much. You stood by her, you did all you could. When the medical profession offer you a glimmer of hope its natural that your wife and yourself would grasp at it. A trial is that glimmer of hope with calculated risk. What options did you have other than to take the chance? None im guessing. Please don't give yourself any more pain than you are going through. Take care. 

  • Posts: 5
    12/11/2018  18:26

    Missing Dad,

    Thank you for taking the time to write your post, all of which is true. I read your post about losing your Father recently and I really am sorry for you.