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#175376 - 03/31/04 07:50 PM I just need to say it
La. Lady Offline
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La. Lady
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,873
My mother passed away on Tuesday,April 15, 2003 from complications resulting after the surgery for colon cancer. Since that time I have been tormented over thoughts of the last day of her life. I know that this is not healthy and I should let go...but somehow I just can't seem to do it. I thought that talking to a priest would afford some comfort and in a way, I guess it did...but...I still can't shake the feeling of guilt.

Mom was in the hospital for 6 weeks. I did what I could to comfort her. I was there 3 or 4 times a day on most days. I'd go in the morning before work, during lunch, after I got off of work and then most of the time again after I prepared dinner for my family and cleared the dishes. During the 6 weeks, there were times when she was very alert, sitting up in a chair, feeding herself, watching the news. There were other times when she was unaware of her surroundings. She told me about people that had come to visit her...(most were already dead...and had been dead for years). She told me about her visits to other "apartments"....and that they were too fancy for her to live in. (ICU, I was told by the nurses,makes you see and do strange things). She was in ICU on and off during those 6 weeks....that should have told me something.... I knew that she could die...in fact there were times when I would tell my sister that I didn't think she would make it, but I think that saying it and "really" believing it is two different things.

During the last couple of weeks, she was sleeping a lot. In fact, at times I could not wake her up. When I questioned the doctor, he told me that he didn't know why she was sleeping so much. I personally felt and asked him if it was that perhaps she had a stroke).... He said that the scans didn't reveal anything unusual.

On the final Sunday, I, along with my sister, her children, grandchildren and husband were in her room. We had to keep waking her up. She didn't speak that day, I don't think that she could. She did know that everyone was there.

On Monday morning, she was struggling to breath. The nurse came into the room to lower the speed of the flow from IV fluid that she was receiving. That seemed to help. I spoke to her doctor again, because she was still sleeping a great deal. He said he discontinued some of her medication and that was the only thing that he could think of that "might" be making her sleepy. He told me that she was doing well,and if the sleepiness didn't correct itself by the end of the week, he was going to transfer her to a larger city.

After he left, I told her what he said. She just shrugged her shoulders. I know that she understood what I was saying. Then I left for work. When I returned at noon she was sleeping, so I didn't wake her. That afternoon after work, I went to see her. For the first time in 3 weeks she was very alert. She was awake and I told her how good it was to see her eyes. She smiled. She then asked me for water. (She could not swallow anymore, so I could give it to her). When I told her that I couldn't give it to her, she became a little angry and asked why not. I told her that because she was having some difficulty swallowing, she might choke. I then got a nurse who explained that the next morning they were planning to do some type of scan to see if the therapy was helping and perhaps she could have water then. She told me I had already given her some that morning..(That wasn't so). She asked to be turned in the bed. The nurse and I did so. When I went around the side of the bed to face her, she took my hand and clutched it to her chest. She appeared to be studying my face. Thinking back on that moment, it was as though she was trying to remember what I looked like. I told her that I knew that the entire ordeal had been hard on her, but that she was doing really well. She was going through a little set back. I told her that the doctor said that was normal, (which of course was not true). Again she asked for water and I told her that I couldn't give it to her. I told her that I would be back later that night. She nodded her head and closed her eyes. I left.

After dinner, I told my husband that I was tired and I just didn't want to have to tell her again that she could not have water. I didn't go back to the hospital. I received a call at 1:05 am that she was not doing well and perhaps I should come to the hospital. I did and walked into the room. Of course they were aggressively working on her and hurried me out of the room. Minutes later the doctor told me that she had a very faint heartbeat and then later he came out again saying that she had passed away.

My guilt.....(1) that we didn't ask a priest to give her the Last Sacrements... My sister and I discussed it but were afraid that she would become afraid. (2) That I didn't go back that evening. I was later told that at 7:00 PM she looked terrible. Maybe if I had been there......(3) That I didn't get her to a larger city. Perhaps they could have done more for her.

Thanks for the shoulder.

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#175377 - 03/31/04 07:55 PM Re: I just need to say it
Skittles Online
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Skittles
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,963
TN
It sounds as though you did everything you possibly could. I'm sure the guilt must be terrible, but for your sake and your family's you need to let it go. I am a mother and I know that I would hold no ill-will toward my son if in this same situation. I'm sure your mother doesn't either.
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#175378 - 03/31/04 07:59 PM Re: I just need to say it
DeeQ Offline
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DeeQ
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,766
Turnpike Exit 10
It does sound like you did everything you could for her. Full blown colon cancer is a tragic disease, I don't even think a large hospital could have done more. Let the guilt go, and just remember that you loved each other.
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Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. - Mark Twain

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#175379 - 03/31/04 08:11 PM Re: I just need to say it
TTC Queen Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,119
Oklahoma
I have been through a lot of the things you described. Please believe me when I tell you that you will heal. Don't beat yourself up about what you might have done differently. Remember the old saying--"Hindsight is 20/20." Don't forget that you have a family that loves you.
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Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light. (Boy is it bright around me!)

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#175380 - 03/31/04 08:13 PM Re: I just need to say it
Rubaiyat Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,373
Lido Deck
My mother also passed away as a result of colon cancer. I understand what you are going through. It has been nearly 5 years and I still think about it and wish that there were things I had done differently. You always think there was something more you could have done, or more questions you could have asked, or had been more insistent with the doctors. But, in the end, I do believe that as difficult and even horrible some of it is, it all happens exactly the way it was intended to happen.

You did what you thought was right and that is the main thing. Try not to dwell on the "should haves". Treasure all the wonderful memories that you have. Your mom knows how much you love her, and your thoughts of her last day don't diminish that.

Believe me, I know how easy it is to say these words, and how difficult it is to believe them. But do try. Don't let a lifetime of wonderful memories of your mom be marred by feelings of guilt over her last days. Be happy that your mom is free of the suffering she was enduring.

____________________

And let me take this opportunity to say that everyone over the age of 50 should be screened regularly for colon cancer. If caught early it is very curable.
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--A bad day at sea is better than a good day at work.

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#175381 - 03/31/04 08:30 PM Re: I just need to say it
Dan Persfull Offline
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Dan Persfull
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 46,951
Bloomington, IN
Take comfort in that you loved your mother and did everything within your power to help her feel comfortable and loved during her hospital stay.

I lost my mother on the 4th of July last year. I live almost 7 hours form where she was. I was only able to visit on weekends. She was to get out the hospital on 7/7. I arranged to take that week to stay with her. My ex-wifeís family was having a reunion at a lake only about 30 minutes from where my mother was. Long story short my oldest grandson had his last little league ball game the night the rest of them left to go to the reunion. I said no problem, I have to come that way anyway so Iíll bring him and drop him off on my way over to see mother. Instead of leaving right away I hung around, ate and chatted with the family. As I said I was only about 3O minutes from the hospital. I had been there about 2 hours when my brother phoned and told me Mom had a massive heart attack and passed away. He also was not there; he was at home with his family and had planned on meeting me at the hospital later in the day.

I have taken some comfort that for some reason God did not mean for me and my brother to see our mother suffer in her last moments.

I am not a deeply religious man and rarely attend church, but I do hold a firm belief in God and he has watched over me (sometimes I wonder why but he does). Take comfort in your memories, your family and most of all in God. I will prayer for your comfort.
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The opinions expressed are mine and they are not to be taken as legal advice.

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#175382 - 03/31/04 09:00 PM Re: I just need to say it
RR Joker Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,654
The Swamp
I, too, have been in a very similar circumstance. I take my comfort from knowing that my daddy doesn't suffer any more. That is my saving grace. You were obviously a very devoted child and any mother would have been proud to have a child like you. You sacrificed much to be with her all thru that time...we should all be that blessed.
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#175383 - 03/31/04 09:03 PM Re: I just need to say it
Brandy Osborne Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 660
KY
i understand your pain, my dad died 8 years ago due to a series of heart attacks, i was home on spring break (i was a freshman in college), he stayed home sick from work, which he never did, but i went about my day... he didn't seem that sick. I came home that afternoon and decided to lay down for a nap... by the time my mom got home, he said he couldn't see her anymore, when the ambulance got there he barely had a pulse... he died a few hours later in surgery. i still have a hole in me that will never go away, and i think everyday what if i had payed better attention, what if i didn't take that nap. I still haven't reached a point where i understand or have completely forgiven my self, or to be honest God either, i love the Lord, but it doesn't mean i'm not mad. So i know how you feel, but as of last rites, i've only been catholic for a few years (RCIA), but i would believe that God understands when things happen and rites can't be given. i would assure yourself of her place with God. If he is the God we believe him to be, then this must be so. (my grandmother told me that when my Dad died, as i feared what happened to him... and she was as close to God as any person i've ever known!) I don't know if any of this helps... but know that i'm thining of you and will pray for your peace.
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Perfect is a fault, and in fault lines change

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#175384 - 03/31/04 09:52 PM Re: I just need to say it
hmdagal Offline
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hmdagal
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,818
Dad passed away early last year from lung cancer. I had traveled the 200 miles to be with he and his wife when he went into the hospital. We spent time finding a nursing home with a good hospice program for him to go into. Unfortunately, he never left the hospital, and I was getting ready to go stay with him (we had been rotating 'shifts' so that he was never alone) when I got the call that he had died. It was hard knowing that I was so close, but not with him at the end. I was also angry with both brothers who had not been to see Dad for the last few months of his life. As time goes on, the hurt and the anger have faded, as I hope they do for you.


Quote:


And let me take this opportunity to say that everyone over the age of 50 should be screened regularly for colon cancer. If caught early it is very curable.




For anyone with a family history of colon cancer, please don't wait until you're 50 to be screened. My dad barely survived colon cancer at age 30. I was diagnosed at age 33, and I think my brother was just over 40 when he had his first cancerous polyp removed.

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#175385 - 03/31/04 10:11 PM Re: I just need to say it
thomasj Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 5,063
Pennsylvania
My sympathy for your loss. Please do not feel guilty, from the sounds of it you are a wonderful daughter. I watched my wife go through this with both of her parents and her grandmother, and everytime she had regrets and guilt. With her mother she was only 18 and spent everynight at the hospital, one evening she was too tired to go and that was the night that her mom passed away after a year long struggle with lukemia.

She cared for her grandmother everyday for nearly three years spending every evening by her side. The one evening she missed was the evening her grandmother passed away.

With her father, she did make it to the out of town hospital to talk with him while he could still speak, but did not take our daughter, who was 5 at the time, to see him. He passed the next day and she beat herself up over not taking my daughter in the room to see him.

In all of those cases - my wife did absolutely everything she could have possibly done - but felt she should have done more. From reading your post I think you did the same thing. Please take comfort in knowing that you spent as much time as you did with her and that she is at peace. I will be praying for you.
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Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing when to say it.

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#175386 - 03/31/04 10:54 PM Re: I just need to say it
Cowboys Fan Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,599
SC
Quote:

My guilt.....(1) that we didn't ask a priest to give her the Last Sacrements... My sister and I discussed it but were afraid that she would become afraid. (2) That I didn't go back that evening. I was later told that at 7:00 PM she looked terrible. Maybe if I had been there......(3) That I didn't get her to a larger city. Perhaps they could have done more for her.




I read your post several times before responding. It's evident that you loved your mom deeply and you probably showed each other that love in a myriad of ways during your life together. Hold on to those memories and celebrate the time you shared.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. We all experience regrets (could have, should have, would have) when we lose someone we love and that's normal. At some point, your feelings of guilt will change to regret and you'll know in your heart you did what you thought was best at that time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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#175387 - 04/01/04 06:15 AM Re: I just need to say it
Princess Romeo Offline

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Posts: 8,272
Where the heart is
I hope I do not offend anyone's beliefs, but I don't belive that G-d is a bureaucrat. What I mean is, the fact that your mother did or did not have a certain ceremony or rite before she passed on should not affect how G-d receives her. But if you feel a tremendous burden because of this, perhaps you should discuss this with a priest.

Many people of faith have passed on without benefit of the Last Sacrament. Think of people who were murdered or who died in an automobile accident, or suffered a massive heart attack and died before any aid could be rendered.

As for your other points of guilt, your love and devotion in the face of tremendous personal sacrifice is all anyone can do.

Anytime a loved one passes on after a lengthy medical condition, we can always second guess what we "could" have done. But in the end, all you can do is cherish the moments that you spend with your loved ones and have faith in Life everlasting in G-d.
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CRCM,CAMS
Regulations are a poor substitute for ethics.
Just sayin'

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#175388 - 04/01/04 03:24 PM Re: I just need to say it
Buddy the Elf Offline
Platinum Poster
Buddy the Elf
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 973
first lily pad on the right
Bonnie,
I'm just curious-- why do you spell it G-d instead of God? I've noticed that you always do that and am just wondering why.
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CAMS

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#175389 - 04/01/04 05:59 PM Re: I just need to say it
AnnL Offline
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AnnL
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 334
Western PA
I am sorry for your loss. My mom passed away in 2000. The pain eases but never realy goes away. I find myself thinking about her and what a shame it is that the kids don't have her in their life but you have to believe she is in a better place. No more pain. Mom had a masive heart attack and we had a day to spend with her knowing it would be her last. That was hard at the time but something I am now so grateful for. She me not to worry about her, she had seen heaven it was beautiful. While I know that it is often said that people in extreme stress "see things", I truely believe she saw heaven and that has always brought me a little relief.
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"The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts."

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#175390 - 04/01/04 06:02 PM Re: I just need to say it
SMQ, CRCM Offline
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SMQ, CRCM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,828
Between the lines
My dad died 10 years ago and it still seems like yesterday at times. He was in the hospital app. 10 days, in and out of ICU and I was there with him at the end. Believe me there is nothing that you can do at that time to make it any easier or to prevent it.

It sounds to me like your mother said her good-bye when you were there.
Quote:

When I went around the side of the bed to face her, she took my hand and clutched it to her chest. She appeared to be studying my face. Thinking back on that moment, it was as though she was trying to remember what I looked like.


It may sound wacky, but I believe that sometimes the people that really love us the most have a plan to spare us this last bit of grief. God works in mysterious ways and perhaps it was not meant for you to have her last moments as a memory. You see, I have that memory, but as time goes by, I don't think of it as often but rather I remember the good times like cutting up with my kids, dancing at my wedding, etc.

Talk to your family, talk to your priest, talk as much as you can if it helps and know that your mother would not want you to carry this blame and grief. Remind yourself often that this is part of the process and that God doesn't give us more than we can handle--and you can handle this, as hard as it is, you can do it. I will be thinking of you.
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NOLA is my Beach!

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#175391 - 04/01/04 06:29 PM Re: I just need to say it
Pup Offline
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Pup
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,045
Pedaling along a scenic highwa...
I can understand your feelings of guilt as I can understand that they will pass with time. I just wanted to refer to something you said about her visiting with friends, etc. that had already passed. My step-father died from cancer 14 years ago. During his last day(s), he would drift off and when he came back he would talk about his recent fishing trip, etc. that he had just had with his old friend (who had past away many years before that.) His hand was in a "C" shape as if he were having a beer with his old buddy, etc. I find it very interesting that this happens close to death. Is it that they are dreaming along with the knowledge that their end is near? Is is that they are actually seeing/communicating with these friends/relatives? I don't know, but I take great comfort in the happiness and contentment that this phenomenon created for him at a time when pain and thoughts of death filled his days. Your loved one was on her way to a better place and she felt it. I think that she shared her "visits" with you to provide you with the same comfort that I felt. And, I agree that she was saying goodbye by studying your face and holding your hand to her. She was ready and it seems like she was at peace as well.
God Bless.

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#175392 - 04/01/04 09:18 PM Re: I just need to say it
DawgFan Offline
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DawgFan
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,678
United States
Quote:

Bonnie,
I'm just curious-- why do you spell it G-d instead of God? I've noticed that you always do that and am just wondering why.




I don't want to speak for Bonnie, but I believe this is a Jewish custom. The ancient Jews believed the name of God to be so sacred, they would spell it without vowels (Yahweh, a name for God, would be spelled YHWH). The ancient Jews also had many names for God, often describing a particular character trait or attribute of God (Jehovah-Jireh: Provider, Jehovah-Rohi:Shepherd).
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Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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#175393 - 04/01/04 09:42 PM Re: I just need to say it
Mike Baker Offline
100 Club
Mike Baker
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 192
Tennessee
I am so sorry for your pain. Since I have not been there, I cannot presume to know how you feel. I do believe, though, that God does not want you to be consumed and overcome by guilt and regret. Obviously you cared for your mother and I am sure that she knew that. What ultimately matters for any of us is our relationship with Christ...that we have trusted Him as Savior and Lord...an example quoted many times is that of the thief on the cross..he did not have opportunity for communion or baptism, but he was acknowledged by Christ that he would be His companion in paradise...as for what might have been, could have been, I pray that you will be released from the torment of those thoughts, and that they will be replaced by the assurance that events transpired as they were ordained by God. I pray that you will be encompassed by His peace that passes all understanding, and that you will be open to His restoration of joy to your life. Take care.
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#175394 - 04/02/04 06:30 AM Re: I just need to say it
Princess Romeo Offline

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Princess Romeo
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 8,272
Where the heart is
Quote:

Quote:

Bonnie,
I'm just curious-- why do you spell it G-d instead of God? I've noticed that you always do that and am just wondering why.




I don't want to speak for Bonnie, but I believe this is a Jewish custom. The ancient Jews believed the name of God to be so sacred, they would spell it without vowels (Yahweh, a name for God, would be spelled YHWH). The ancient Jews also had many names for God, often describing a particular character trait or attribute of God (Jehovah-Jireh: Provider, Jehovah-Rohi:Shepherd).




DawgFan - you are correct. While it is not necessarily a "sin" to spell out the entire name, a strict interpretation of the 1st Commandment means that you would then need to forever safeguard the document containing the Holy word to make sure it is not desecrated since that would be a form of taking the Lord's name in vain.

Technically, a page on the Internet is not a tangible "document", but the page can be printed, and since I have no control over what someone might do with a printed page, I cannot ensure the Holy word would not discarded in the trash or otherwise desecrated.

For me personally it is a matter of my respect and my humility before G-d.

Having said all that, it might suprise a number of people that while I have a Jewish heritage, I was not raised as a Jew, and I have an abiding Love for the teachings and demonstrations of Christ, Jesus.

However, I usually do not debate religious belief. What may be the Way for one person, may not be the Way for another. I do not have the wisdom to know how another should go.
_________________________
CRCM,CAMS
Regulations are a poor substitute for ethics.
Just sayin'

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#175395 - 04/02/04 02:30 PM Re: I just need to say it
La. Lady Offline
Diamond Poster
La. Lady
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,873
It is amazing how much comfort is found when you sit on the BOL Couch......Thanks to all of you for your kind words and support......Kathy

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#175396 - 04/02/04 02:54 PM Re: I just need to say it
deppfan Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 5,184
All over the map.
I am so very sorry for your loss. Try to remember that all guilt comes from satan. He wants us to be miserable. You were a kind and loving daughter. You did everything allowable to help your mother. There is nothing to feel guilty for. You will be in my prayers.
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#175397 - 04/02/04 03:30 PM Re: I just need to say it
Buddy the Elf Offline
Platinum Poster
Buddy the Elf
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 973
first lily pad on the right
Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Bonnie,
I'm just curious-- why do you spell it G-d instead of God? I've noticed that you always do that and am just wondering why.






I don't want to speak for Bonnie, but I believe this is a Jewish custom. The ancient Jews believed the name of God to be so sacred, they would spell it without vowels (Yahweh, a name for God, would be spelled YHWH). The ancient Jews also had many names for God, often describing a particular character trait or attribute of God (Jehovah-Jireh: Provider, Jehovah-Rohi:Shepherd).




DawgFan - you are correct. While it is not necessarily a "sin" to spell out the entire name, a strict interpretation of the 1st Commandment means that you would then need to forever safeguard the document containing the Holy word to make sure it is not desecrated since that would be a form of taking the Lord's name in vain.

Technically, a page on the Internet is not a tangible "document", but the page can be printed, and since I have no control over what someone might do with a printed page, I cannot ensure the Holy word would not discarded in the trash or otherwise desecrated.

For me personally it is a matter of my respect and my humility before G-d.

Having said all that, it might suprise a number of people that while I have a Jewish heritage, I was not raised as a Jew, and I have an abiding Love for the teachings and demonstrations of Christ, Jesus.

However, I usually do not debate religious belief. What may be the Way for one person, may not be the Way for another. I do not have the wisdom to know how another should go.




Thanks for the explanation. Now I understand.
Leslie
_________________________
CAMS

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#175398 - 04/06/04 01:09 AM Re: I just need to say it
HRH Dawnie Offline
Power Poster
HRH Dawnie
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7,353
Anchorage Alaska
Kathy, first let me say I'm terribly sorry about your loss. I read your post and wanted to give you a huge hug, then sit you down and lecture you on the value of a good daughter...one you could pose as a poster child for! (Then I'd hug you again).

Colon cancer causes terrible pain. I would imagine that your mother was on a tremendous amount of pain killers which cause all of the symptoms you've discussed during your mothers last days. Without these drugs she would have suffered more. Sleep was probably a good escape, but scary for you to see so constantly.

"My guilt.....(1) that we didn't ask a priest to give her the Last Sacrements..." Kathy, religious traditions have changed over and over during the hundreds of years humanity has been reading the bible. What hasn't changed is that God is a wise being who, if we are good people during our short lifes, would welcome a good hearted person to heaven with open arms. A priest saying the sacrements to your mother would not change her value to God as her journey continues. The only thing that would have happened as a result of this ceremony is that you might have frightened your mother. You chose with this in mind. God isn't going to hold this against her. Can you imagine a God of value that would? You did the right thing.

"(2) That I didn't go back that evening. I was later told that at 7:00 PM she looked terrible. Maybe if I had been there......" Lets be frank...you could have held her hand until she experience distress then be pushed out of the room by staff working on her. Your value earlier in the day, when you were able to be with her and have her hold your hand was an important time. Hold that memory close to your heart. You couldn't have kept her alive longer...you're not a doctor and even they couldn't preform this miracle, and perhaps you wouldn't have wanted to. Your mother was in pain. She held the hand of someone who loved her deeply earlier that day and then she slipped away. I'm sure that moment is what was in her heart as well. Please, cherish that moment and don't beat yourself up about something you couldn't do.

"(3) That I didn't get her to a larger city. Perhaps they could have done more for her." They probably would have sent in more doctors to tell you that your mothers condition was critical in a reassuring way. I fully believe that when one is ill they should seek the best wherever they can, but your mom was ready to leave you hun. Her suffering being extended would have helped no one, and probably caused you more guilt as you couldn't have spent the amount of time you did with her at the end if she were far away from you.

Again, I want to give you a hug. I can't imagine the pain of losing my mother but I can tell you that you're a better daughter than I am. I'm calling mom tonight just to tell her I love her. You and your wonderful dedication to your mother inspire us to be better daughters through your example.

I wish you the best.
_________________________
Dawn Coursey VP/CRA Queen

CRA Rating is in...Oh who cares...I'm home with the baby.

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#175399 - 04/06/04 01:46 PM Re: I just need to say it
TTC Queen Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,119
Oklahoma
Dawnie--Wonderful reply!!
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Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light. (Boy is it bright around me!)

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#175400 - 04/07/04 03:00 PM Re: I just need to say it
FlBankerGal Offline
Member
FlBankerGal
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 91
This is my first time reading this particular thread and totally amazed at the irony of the subject. My dad has colon cancer has been undergoing chemotherapy for almost a year but last night was the first time he talked about hospice, the end of his life, etc. My sister is also suffering from colon caner and just completed chemo and is undergoing the battery of test to see if she's OK now. The guilt of trying to be a good daughter and sister is sometimes overwhelming. These words today were a great comfort. Thanks!

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