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John James, founder of The Grief Recovery Institute

John W. James

Founder of The Grief Recovery Institute®
Co-Author of The Grief Recovery
Handbook & When Children Grieve

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You have a lifetime of memories about your Mom, we don’t want you to be stuck on the last images. (Published 9/18/2012)


My Mom passed away Oct. 2010. It was 6 months the other day. She was such a strong woman who had C.O.P.D and struggled with it till the day she left us! She was in the hospital it seemed like every couple of months. She was in the hospital for the last time with lung complications.{just didn't know it} She was in there for 4 days this time, came home and woke up during the night tried to give herself a breathing treatment and something went wrong. She also had sleep apnea and was on oxygen, So yes, a I knew her days were numbered. She either passed out or had a heart attack. She also hit her head and had a pretty big cut on her forehead. My sister and I were always there for her! My mom lived with a long-time companion so she was hardly ever alone. Our father died when she was only 42, so she became mom and dad to us. My question is how do I forgive myself for not going to her house that night? I was going there the next morning to spend some time with her and make sure her meds were set up she always had new ones after being released from the hospital on top of the old ones. I was with her the day before she came home and my sister brought her home and made sure she got her new meds. Made sure she was comfortable before she left. My sister called me when she was leaving and said our mom was acting a little spacey she asked her, “Mom you sure you’re ok?” And her answer was always the same, “I'm fine don't worry.” So I called her and she told me the same thing that she was just tired. Well that was the last time I spoke to her and now I’m in a terrible place. Right now all I do is cry. I know it’s no one’s fault she died even though she had been home less than 15 hours. I thought we would know for sure what happened but nothing was ordered since she had medical problems they put down on her D.C that it was C.O.P.D. So I will never know if she suffered or laid there till she died and I can't forgive myself! I have also died on the inside I'm still here but not alive. So as you see I don’t now how to go on, I'm so consumed with guilt. Thank You for listening.

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