Chapter 1: Exploring feelings while living with a serious diagnosis
I hope I can do better at staying in the present. This is not going to come around again.
Knowing that time is limited often makes people think about the past. Sometimes this brings up regrets for past actions or things not done or said.
Sorting out what to express and what to let go is emotional work. Sometimes this means exploring thoughts and feelings in a deeper way. Below are three common examples of different ways the person who is ill or their family members may experience guilt. Click on each to read more.
Feelings of guilt can stem from conflicted relationships or relationships with mixed feelings. Uncertainty in the relationship or intensity of feeling can lead you to feel regret or second-guess past choices.
A sense of "wishing it were all over" is common and does not reflect a lack of caring for that person. It’s normal and natural to wish your life could go back to the way it once was. Expressing these feelings to someone who can listen in a non-judgmental way can help you to feel supported.
For family members, guilt can be related to feeling somehow responsible for the situation. Guilt might be expressed these ways: “I should have taken him to the doctor sooner,” or “I feel like I’ve made her life more stressful.” Although these thoughts are very real to the person expressing them, they are not factors causing illness.