The saddest thing I possess are my regrets—they haunt me daily and are a heavy burden. There is no way to change them, for my parents are dead, and how they passed is large part of the regrets. I did not want to leave my father that night in the hospital,but he insisted. He knew I had to work 12 hours in the am,and he had a strong work ethic. I tried to make the nurse see his condition was worse, but she was dense and new. I am a critial care RN, with 2 decades of experience, but due to 2 weeks with no sleep—I did not fight the good fight for my father, and instead went home, trusting her. She assured me I could trust her, and she would call with any changes—for I lived only 5 minutes away.
Well, she did not call, and the next time I saw father was when he was in full arrest that am in the ICU, compressions and all. I requested the code to be ended, while I cried holding his hand. I thanked the team for their efforts, and hoped he never felt the pain of the CPR interventions. I coded my mother at home as well—she passed in my arms. We had not been on the best of terms, and only made up, moments before she suddenly expired. Only if I had not moved out the month before, I would have noted her status changes, and could have prevented her passage. If I had not left my father that nite, or demanded the doctor to be called, or demanded a supervisior—would he be here now for his first and only grandchild, just born?? These and other regrets haunt and weigh me down. I worry that eventually they will damage my marriage—really how much can a husband take/understand? I wish I knew how to let them go, but they cling to my very soul. I have pondered this post, since the site started—I just hope it may help a little—in some way help me find peace. Regrets=saddest thing.
Tags: death, parents, regrets
Other People's Thoughts
I don’t have any answers, but I, too, feel your pain and have regrets about my own father’s death—regrets that I wasn’t ready to give him permission to leave, regrets that I didn’t ask more questions about his life, regrets that my future children will never meet him. I hope someday you can focus on the good parts…that you followed in your dad’s footsteps with your work ethic, and that you did make up with your mom before she died.
— SG Thursday June 29, 2006 #
You should not have to bear any regrets. Your parents knew you loved them when they passed. That is the most important thing. The last thing my first husband and I said to each other was, “I love you.” He passed suddenly that night from a massive heart attack. While I miss him horribly sometimes, I know that he knew how much he meant to me.
While it is sad they will not know their grandchildren physically, the good qualities they gave to you will continue on. Enjoy your child(ren), love them with everything you have. That is most important.
— B Sunday July 2, 2006 #
I hope in some way you were set free by posting this. Death is inevitable. The timing is not in our hands either. You did nothing to cause your parents’ deaths, and it is mere speculation whether you could have done anything to have prolonged their lives. There is absolutely no way you could have prevented their dying at some point. Please be gentle on yourself. Grieving is hard enough without carrying so much guilt. You were not irresponsible, only human as we all are.
— Grace Sunday July 16, 2006 #
Grace hit the nail on the head. How could you be sure even had you been standing right next to your dad all night long that you could have stopped the inevitable. Parents pass and children live on. That’s how it’s supposed to be anyway. To bad it doesn’t always go that way.
— Terri Saturday September 16, 2006 #
My father died six weeks before my daughter (his first grandaughter) was born. I begged him to stay alive until she was born, but he couldn’t. I have regrets that he never met my child, that I would never see the pride on his face, she can never play with her grandad. I was so annoyed with him that he could not hang on. There is always a reason for something, perhaps he had to be her personal angel. Ever since I thought that, I have peace with the fact that they did not meet
— ninapooh Thursday October 12, 2006 #
I just wanted to come back and say this site does help. i have been able to let some of it go, but like the tide, it does come back now and then. thank you all, who left suck kind remarks.
— noran Saturday August 2, 2008 #
I lost my Grandmother yesterday. She lived a very long life and brought joy to my family. My only regret was that I did not give her the love she needed for the past year. At the end she did receive a lot of love from me. I only regret that it took me so long to open up. Her death changed me for the better and others who love me on earth will greatly benefit.
I hope in time, I can let go of the what ifs and regrets.
Beautiful post you created.
— Lisa Monday September 15, 2008 #
My regrets are eating me up inside. My newphew that I love so very much was taken by a drunk driver. I remember times when he was a kid and wanted to go camping with us and sometimes I said yes and sometimes I said no. He asked if he could go to Florida with us before and I said no, I didn’t have enough room and I took his brother because he was the same age as my son and they hung out together,but I could of made room for him. Knowing that I said no to him and knowing he was probably so mad at me and I just ignored it becuase I thought I was to busy. I just can’t stand it. It hurts me so badly. I think about this everyday and can’t let it go.
— Terry Saturday May 9, 2009 Friday May 8, 2009 #
I lost my Dad this month and I am eating myself up over regrets. My mom was in a nursing home and everyone said I couldn’t separate them,
yet know I understand if I was strong enough I could.He declined there and I am sick over what could have been. Even though I know this is irrational, how do you let these regrets go?
Is it that we always have regrets?
— Susan Monday September 27, 2010 #
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.