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Date Posted: 06:18:59 12/10/16 Sat
Author: daughter
Subject: We are walking a similar path, you and I-
In reply to: OP 's message, "Thanks for taking the time to write this" on 22:13:58 12/09/16 Fri

I had gone several days without calling my mother because I was busy with work, kids, etc. The last time we had spoken, she wasn't feeling well and had a doctor's appointment in a couple of days. I came home from work and was going to call to see what the doctor said but it was too late. I've been wracked with guilt, as you are, that days went by without my talking to her. I'm making progress with letting go of the guilt. You said you would have dropped everything to take him to a doctor or hospital. That's the point. Had you known what was happening, you would have been there for him. It's not as if you knew and ignored him. Everyone can say, "if I only knew then I would have...". But if he hadn't passed away, you would not be looking back questioning your decisions. You would be looking back saying, "wow, I was really busy" and that's all. I had taken my mother to the doctor or hospital several times over an issue that no doctor seemed to be able to diagnose- something that did not seem terminal. I had been reliant on her telling me when she thought she needed to go. Maybe she didn't call because she honestly didn't know how bad it was. Maybe your dad didn't let you know he wasn't feeling well because he honestly had no idea he wasn't just going to move through it and be okay. I think when you have those feelings of guilt and "why didn't I..." it does help to look at it from the point of view of the parent, not the child. What would I want my children to know? What would I say to them as their mother? I would want my children to know that their happiness means more to me than my own. That the greatest gift to me is to know that they have a full, meaningful, happy life. That it is impossible for me not to be proud of them, even when they make mistakes. That I understand that they love me even when they are living their own busy lives. And that I know that they would be there for me if they knew something was wrong. If I feel these things as a parent, then logically I must understand that my parents feel the same thing. Intellectually it makes sense, doesn't it? Your head just needs to keep reminding your heart. Believe that you are strong enough to handle this. Sometimes being strong doesn't happen organically. Sometimes it's a decision. Since my first response to your post, I actually lost another family member. Relaying to you some of the things that have helped me with grieving the loss of my parents is also helping me cope a tiny little bit now. I do think things happen for a reason. And signs and messages come in various ways. Think about that.

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