You’re feeling guilty, the person you’re caring for is feeling guilty – there’s plenty of guilt to go around, we’re never going to run out. We can’t escape it; we’re only human after all, but we can try to understand it so it doesn’t take over our lives.

The person who’s sick feels guilty because they feel like a burden. They do what they can for themselves, and try not to complain, but they can’t help it: this illness, and the treatments, are very strong and their body only has so much energy to fight with. And, it feels so much better to have you there, sharing this struggle with them.

Caregivers, you feel guilty for many different reasons:

  • You aren’t sick….and you’re glad you aren’t sick.
  • You didn’t somehow prevent them from getting sick.
  • You sometimes forget things, or don’t do them as well as you should.
  • You get tired and sometimes cranky.
  • Thoughts of resentment sometimes pop, unbidden, into your head.
  • You survived, and they didn’t.

Your body has a finite amount of energy, and when it runs out of energy, things start to get a little weird. Your head hurts, your body hurts, you’re depressed, you have less patience, you can’t think clearly, you’re overly emotional, you say and do things you wouldn’t ordinarily say or do. It has nothing to do with how much you love the person you’re caring for, it…..wait. I take that back. It has EVERYTHING to do with how much you love the person you’re caring for. Because if you didn’t love them so much, you wouldn’t be doing all the Herculean things you’re doing to try to make them feel better.

So the next time you’re feeling guilty because you aren’t a super hero with super powers, cut yourself a little slack. Because I’ll tell you something: the fact that you feel guilty means that YOU ARE A COMPASSIONATE PERSON.

Compassion |kəmˈpa sh ən|
Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. See note at mercy .
ORIGIN Middle English : via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with.’

Sympathy. Pity. Concern. Mercy.  These are all feelings that only a compassionate person can feel. Have you ever met someone who thinks the world revolves around them? Someone who has no interest in, or concept of, the feelings of others? Can you imagine them feeling those feelings of compassion? Or guilt?? If you were sick, would you want this person caring for you? Absolutely not!

So while you’re beating yourself up, think about how lucky your loved one is (or was) to have a compassionate person like you, with your sympathetic, beautiful heart, for a caregiver. And while you’re forgiving yourself for being human, think about that caring heart of yours, and take good care of it – it’s a gem.

If you’d like to read more about caregiver guilt:

Some websites about heart-healthy diets:
Mayo Clinic: 8 Steps To Prevent Heart Disease: 

Eating Well: Heart Healthy Diet Recipes and Menus:

Web MD: 25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods: 



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