Bowing out to give family members more time with loved one.
This is weird. And different, I guess, than a normal caregiver situation? (statement and question).
Background. For two years, 7 hours a day, 7 days a week, I took care of my best friends 92 year old mother-in-law. Right up to hospice. She was cantankerous with any and all family members and they just couldn't deal with her. Very spiteful. But I had no issues with her (didn't have to take her hissy-fits and she knew it. We were friends because I seen right through her charades). Anyway. Her family was not very involved in her last days. And they regretted it.
A few years later, I lost my best friend suddenly to a heart condition no one knew she had. Her husband was totally lost without her, disabled and couldn't even drive anymore. I started caring after him as I had his mother. And, like his mother, he is a pretty cranky and impatient old guy with his family. I was taking care of all bills, check book, shopping, doctors visits, ordering meds, etc.
I convinced his two daughters and son to get more involved with him because I knew he didn't have a long time to go and I didn't want them to miss out on time with him.
They wanted the checkbooks and meds, and doctor visits. Well, I pushed everything on them. I wanted them completely involved in their fathers last days. To not regret anything.
I did this 3 months ago. I actually have kept myself from calling him to see how he is doing because I want them all to rely on each other. Family.
We have all been very close for over 12 years. His daughters and son consider me family. an "adopted daughter". But I'm worried that I have created some hard feelings because I do not do anything for him anymore and put it all on them. And I know he misses me. But at the same time, they missed out on so much with their mom (my best friend) because I did everything for her as I did with their grandmother. I didn't want them to feel "left out" with their dad.
My question is: Should I feel guilty leaving it all to them? Was it wrong of me to completely bow out?
He is headed for Hospice within the next few weeks and I want to be involved but.....
Hoping someone elses point of view can help me. I have no one to talk to!
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