I feel so guilty that I did not realize how deep his addiction actually was. If I had known, maybe I could have done more to help him. How does one ever get over the guilt? I'm trying to-but I just can't!
Please know that my heart is aching for you-as I know EXACTLY how you feel!
Sorry Dave to be replying to Debm1959 in your thread, but I thought I'd share this story.
I have been secretarying (I know not a word) meetings for quite a while now. For an exercise on slogans for one of the meetings I made paper flowers that in the center had a slogan. I had people draw a flower from a bucket and then talk about the slogan. Afterwards they got to keep their flower.
I had kept the bucket in my car as Jeff would berate me for being involved in Nar-Anon and I didn't like to give him any fuel. The Monday before he died I had been showing someone those flowers and had the bucket on the front passenger seat. I accidentally knocked over the bucket and I thought I had picked up all the flowers. Wednesday, the day Jeff died, when I left from work, I saw one of the blossoms on the front passenger side floor. I picked it up. The slogan on it was "Let Go and Let God". I didn't think anything of it and put the flower in the car's coin cup.
The paramedics told me that Jeff might have easily been drawing his last breath as I was getting out of the car when I got home, that's how close I came to witnessing his death. This made me feel very guilty. I kept asking myself, "Why didn't I leave from work earlier?", "Why didn't I call him before I left?" "Why didn't I call 911 before I left?" "Why didn't I try harder to wrestle his 300+ lbs body out of the teeny tiny bathroom and start CPR?" (It took 4 paramedics to move Jeff) "Why, Why, Why!?!"
Two days after Jeff died I found another flower between the passenger side door and the door frame even though I had opened that door at least 4 times since dumping that bucket. This flower read "Mind your own business" I didn't think anything of this flower either and put it in the coin cup as well.
On Saturday morning I was washing my sheets and towels at the laundromat. I normally put the towels in to dry a good 18 minutes before I put the sheets in with them. When I put the sheets in the dryer, I noticed the towels were cold. They had been drying on Low which is the default setting for the dryers. I could swear I changed it to High. I don't know how it got switched to Low but in any case I would have to add more quarters which I didn't have on me. I went to the car to look in the coin cup to see if I had any quarters there and that's when I found those two flowers. I realized God was trying to tell me that I was not supposed to save Jeff and things were going as God planned them not as I would like them to be.
I still feel the loss but I don't feel guilty anymore even when someone says to me "Why didn't you...?"
I hope this story helps.