We have no room in our brains for guilt–so delete it!
In the last few weeks I’ve spoken with two recent widows, one in her sixties and one just turned 90!
They both had long, happy, satisfying marriages and still enjoy the love and attention of their children and grandchildren.
Everyone feels particularly sad about the younger woman’s situation because she enjoyed a remarkably loving relationship. She says, “I Ifeel as though I’ve lost half of me.”
And yet, she confessed, “I also feel guilty because I’m relieved. My husband suffered for seven years, struggling to keep all those very sick days and constant trips in and out of hospitals, and to doctor offices, more or less secret because he didn’t want to upset everyone. It’s peaceful now. I’m mourning a loved one and also the death of the beautiful life we lived almost 40 years. So I feel guilty that I’m actually relieved that the stress and tension of watching his constant pain is over.”
The other woman believes she did everything possible to make her husbands last years and days as happy and comfortable as she could’. They were both in their late 80s when he became ill, and it was a physical as well as emotional strain for her. She kept him home with caregivers as long as possible, then placed him in a nearby nursing facility she visited twice daily.
“I feel guilty because on my 90th birthday I decided this is my ‘happy year.’ I’ve been the caregiver all my life. First I raised our four children, then cared for all our parents, and now I’m always worrying about our 13 grandchildren. It never stops until you make it stop.
“So I decided this year is for ME! I am doing only things that bring me pleasure.”
Then she added, “But I can’t help feeling guilty about it.”
Well, she shouldn’t. We only pass this way once. And since she’s spent 90 years giving care and love to others it would be a sin NOT to spend whatever time is left to her doing everything she can to have fun. .
No guilt. Just enjoy!