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Our Long-Suffering Older Parents' Deaths Can Bring Both Sorrow and Relief

CaregiverCreditcaleb-george-144975-unsplash

Photo Image Caleb George

Dear Carol: Both of my parents were ill for years. Mom, who died two years ago, fought several types of cancer and then developed dementia. Dad, who died three months ago, had a massive stroke right after Mom’s death and his last years were full of physical and emotional pain. My brother and I grieve our parents, but we saw them wear out from health struggles and feel that they are now together in a better place, so there’s quite of bit of relief, as well. Knowing our parents are no longer suffering is part of the relief, but I’m also relieved that I can now spend more time with my husband and children without feeling that I’m taking something away from my parents. I confided this to a friend who has healthy parents and has never been a caregiver and she became really upset with me. She implied that I was a terrible person to have such feelings and said that since life is sacred, I should confess to our priest. Her response stunned me. Am I wrong to feel some relief that it’s all over? — KH.

Continue reading on Inforum to learn more about the complicated emotions we often experience when our long-suffering older parents die:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

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