I Just Want It Over WIth!

Caring for someone with a life threatening illness is more than just providing physical care 24/7. It is emotionally draining. All sorts of feelings seem to surface that, once there, we are appalled with our selves for even thinking and considering.

My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. During the 18 months that she lived there were days that I had her dead and buried and I felt very guilty about those feelings. There were days when I just wanted my life back, my normal life, not one of being involved with caring for someone else. In the days before she did die, when she was basically non responsive, I remember standing beside her bed thinking, “I just want this over with, I wish she would go.” You can imagine the guilt that came with those feelings.

I tell you this because all those feelings that I had and a lot of others have had as well are normal and natural feelings. We can deal with just about anything if we think the outcome is going to be a positive one; but when death is the outcome, and that is considered a negative, we want it over with.

We also have the idea that if I talk about dying or make plans for when death happens then that must mean I want death to happen. Unconsciously, we even believe our thinking may speed up the dying process and that means we don't care about our loved one. Of course none of that is true but feelings aren't necessarily rational. We then add guilt to the already heavy feelings we are carrying and we get more and more confused and uncomfortable with ourselves.

These thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with how much we love someone, how special someone is in our lives or how much we will miss them when they are gone. The thoughts and feelings are just normal, natural expressions of how tired we are, of how human we are.

1 comment


Thank you. Your article made me feel so much better. My lovely wonderful mother had dementia and the last two years were awful. I have felt such tremendous guilt that I had feelings of anger at the situation. That I just wanted it over. That others felt that way lessens my pain. I miss her every day and I am still angry she had to suffer so.

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