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No Regret

March 3rd, 2014 · 8 Comments

I’ve lived with regret for many years. The decisions I’ve made, the words I’ve spoken, the missed opportunities over the years that I wish could come around again. One thing I’ve not felt at all is regret about how I took care of Dad in his final years.

The day I moved in with him in September 2006, he and I got into a huge argument just a couple of hours after the movers started unloading the van. It was a dumb argument and I thought, “Is this the way it’s going to be?” We had always had a rough relationship and most people were shocked when I took over his care from my sister. She wanted to move on after years of caring for my mother until her death, and then dad for an additional two years.

The first thing I did after I moved into his longtime home was to decide that I was not going to do anything that would cause me to have any regrets when my caregiving time came to an end. At times it was quite a challenge, but most days I followed the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I lived that for almost eight years until his recent death.

It wasn’t always easy and it definitely wasn’t always pleasant. He and I still disagreed at times and had a couple of head-to-head, toe-to-toe arguments, but I did what I could to care for him, provided what he needed as best I could, and allowed him the dignity of making his own decisions in the end.

I’m not writing this to brag in any way. I’m definitely not a saint. What I hope readers will get out of this is that we should at least try to live in such a way that when our time of caregiving comes to an end, we can walk away with no regret. Dad passed away a week ago. The past couple of days I’ve felt a freedom that I can now move on with my life. What I’m also feeling is peace in my heart, and no regret.

 

 

 

Tags: Death and Dying · Elder Care


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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jen // Mar 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing, but I’m glad you feel good about your final years with him. I enjoy your articles very much and share them with some of my friends who are caring for aging parents. Your article a couple weeks ago about not spending too much time in the nursing home was much appreciated by one of my friends in particular. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • 2 Jan Kearney // Mar 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    So sorry about your Dad. It’s good that you now feel you can move forward – with no regrets. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • 3 Bonnie Gean // Mar 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    That’s awesome, Edie. I lived with regret for many years after my mother passed because were fighting at the time of her departure.

    I have come to terms with it since then, but it wasn’t easy to forgive myself. So glad you didn’t experience what I did.

  • 4 Michael Levanduski // Mar 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Very well said! I’ve never had to do elder care yet, but I’m sure it will be in my future at one level or another, and this blog is very helpful!.

    Michael

  • 5 Edie // Mar 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Thank you, Jen. Appreciate your well wishes.

  • 6 Edie // Mar 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    You are welcome, Jan. Thanks for stopping in.

  • 7 Edie // Mar 5, 2014 at 8:26 am

    My mother caused a major to-do just a couple hours before my Dad’s mother passed away of a heart attack and I held it against Mom for years. I finally was able to work through it, but will never forget. I don’t know if Mom ever had any regret, but I sure was unforgiving.

    I’m so glad you came to terms regarding your situation. It’s so much easier to live in peace.

  • 8 Edie // Mar 5, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Caregiving can pop up in the most surprising way in many families. If, or when, that occurs you will have a lot of help online, and hopefully off line as well. Thanks for sharing your comment.

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