I Blamed Myself For My Parent’s Death

Tom Skarbek-Wazynski

For the longest time, sometimes I still do, I blame myself for my parent’s death.

My mom was suffering from cervical cancer. She had gone into remission however it was short lived. She became increasingly ill afterward. Within this time, I had met my now spouse and had been planning on moving to be with them, tickets purchased, everything planned. When her cancer came back, I immediately thought of canceling the entire move, but there was so much put into it, I would lose so much. I then had to talk to someone about it, and at the time, I spoke to my sibling, which at the time we were also on good terms.

After long nights of debating with myself, I finally decided to talk to the one person I needed to talk to, my mom. I told her how I was happy and I found someone I really love, and I really wanted to be with them.

She told me that night, that she knew she wasn’t going to last much longer, and not to put my life on hold because of her. Those words stuck with me as I boarded the plane, landed in my new home.

Three months after moving, my mom had passed. I immediately blamed myself. I blamed myself because I wasn’t there to see her take her last breath, hear her last words, hold her hand in her last moments. I’ll never get to cherish any of that because I wasn’t there, and that’s why I constantly blame myself.

My father had suffered from multiple illnesses his entire life. His passing was very sudden, and what completely shattered my already broken heart. I’d talk to my dad literally hours before he died. The last thing I remember saying to him was “I’ll call you later, I love you”. I never called, in fact, I had so much going on that day, I had forgotten. I had plans to call him the next morning, however before I could call, my sister woke me up at 3am to tell me our father had passed away. I was completely crushed.

Every night, it never fails, I always get lost in my thoughts, wondering if I had called back like I was supposed to, would he be dead today? Everyone I’ve talked to about it says I can’t change what happened, but what if I could?

When my mom passed, I had people constantly blame me, for not being there, it was my fault. Her cancer didn’t kill her, I did apparently because my presence might have made a difference, even though she turned for the worse, and I believed every word of it for a very long time.

Present day, I’ve gotten better. I know it’s not my fault, you can’t prevent the inevitable, which in my mom’s case, was, in fact, the case. There’s nothing I could have done, even with being present to prevent her death. Even if I had called my dad an hour before his passing, it still could have happened.

I work hard every day to make sure I don’t let myself feel that way anymore. It’s not a healthy life to live.

It’s not my fault, it was never my fault, and it never will be, my fault. But there are days I still have to remind myself that. TC mark

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