This is an emotion I can honestly say I have not experienced until recently in life. I am going to open up and share what's been on my mind and in my heart hoping some will lift up the situation in prayer. Two nights ago, I found myself showering around midnight and crying. My tears mixed with the shower water and I was a complete mess. I prayed and prayed hard. My body, my mind, and my heart became filled with guilt and I begged for forgiveness from my Heavenly Father. I asked Him for strength to change my ways and for the words I needed.

You see..a very close family member of mine, my aunt who has been a second mother to me over the years, came down with a very rare disease about 5 years ago. The disease slowly began eating away at her body resulting in slurred speech, memory loss, and a decrease in her motor skills. As this was happening, I had thoughts. My thoughts were not good thoughts..in fact, the complete opposite. I did not believe these things were happening to my aunt and thought it was an act. An act? Yes, I accused my aunt of craving more attention and acting up when around certain family members so we would feel sorry for her. Why did I think these things in my mind? In my heart? My aunt was a wonderful woman and was always there for me my entire life. Why all of a sudden I was choosing to focus on lies..lies that I made up? This is where the guilt began.

With each passing year, my aunt's poor body was shutting down on her more and more. After only 2 years, the aunt I knew and loved growing up seemed to be gone. Her body was there, but her mind was elsewhere. At this time, I saw what it was doing to my uncle. He always looked tired, stressed. His heart started giving him troubles after his mild heart attack years back. My uncle's life became filled with doctor visits for my aunt and himself. He worried all of the time, wondering what was right, the best to do for his wife, his best friend.

My uncle had been a second father to my brother and I growing up. My aunt and uncle never had children of their own and treated Scott and I with love like we were their own. They loved us..they were so proud of us. And then..we both got married and moved away, 8 hrs away. My brother and sister-in-law live in Chesapeake and Adam and I live in Lynchburg Virginia. I can only speak for myself and know, ever since college and marriage, I have not been there for my aunt and uncle.

Guilt? Yes, more guilty feelings for this girl. As soon as my aunt's illness became real to me, I realized I missed the last few opportunities to converse with her, let her know I loved her, that Jesus loved her..that I was here for her. Instead, I chose to believe she was acting and making it up, scribbling her handwriting on purpose and forgetting names of family members. That was 4 years ago. Today, my aunt is sad. Her heart is still pumping and she can still speak a few words but it breaks my heart remembering who she used to be..the fun, energetic, opinionated aunt who was never afraid to speak her mind and never hesitated to tell you how much she loved you. My uncle needs his family more than ever and here I sit, feeling guilty for not being there..not calling..not visiting..why? Why do I feel scared to talk to my uncle? Why don't I simply pick up the phone and call?

I feel poorly for the things I thought a few years back. I am scared what to say to them..how do you talk to someone who can barely hear you and understand you? What do I say to my uncle? He knows I've let him down..he knows I have been distant. My prayers are asking God for grace, strength, and bravery to get over all of it and change..make a change..to pick up that phone, to write my uncle a letter, to send them a video of Adam and I talking to them. Anything, just something to let them know they are on my heart and in my prayers and that I love them both. I do, I always have. I just have not been knowing how to express it to them since my aunt got ill..I want to help, I want to make them laugh, I want to tell them both more about God and how He sent His son for us..for them..I want to do these things but my guilt gets in the way. I start asking myself questions..Did I miss my chance? Am I too late? Is my uncle upset with me?

Friends, I am sad. My family does not know how much longer my aunt will be around and I continue to not call..what is wrong with me? Adam and I received a package from them with housewarming gifts! Yes, my uncle went shopping and mailed me a package. Why is he so good to me when I have been so distant to him? I really want to make a change but I need help, I need your prayers. I need to get over everything and just deal with it. I love them and miss them terribly. They need to know that, plain and simple!

I am not even sure what I just typed, my fingers just did their thing. I'm stuck in a strange place right now and would like some wisdom and prayer. Being real here..and these are thoughts I have not shared with anyone, anyone. It's always easier to write things down instead of verbalizing them, right?


  1. Oh, I know this. I know this well.

    Several years ago, my grandmother went in for a knee replacement, and suffered a stroke while in rehab. She didn't recover the way we had hoped, and the former RN who helped deliver babies for years and would drive 100 miles back to Jefferson for a haircut could no longer speak. Couldn't communicate with us the way she wanted, couldn't care for herself.

    She lived that way for a couple of years, during which time, I barely visited. Barely called. It was too painful for me. One year, we all gathered at her house the weekend after Christmas to have our celebration. I sat next to her. My aunt had to make my grandmother's traditional Christmas dishes, trying to get them as perfect as Grandma did. When we sat down to dinner, I had to cut my grandmother's meat for her. She was wasting away... right before my eyes.

    It was too much. I went out to my car and sobbed. When I finally came back in, she saw my face, and she knew I had been crying. She frantically gestured at me, trying to figure out what was wrong. I obviously didn't want to tell her that I couldn't cope with her deterioration, so I told her I slammed my finger in the car door. She couldn't speak her thoughts, but I saw it in her eyes - she knew I was lying.

    Then, not the one just passed but the previous March, she went Home. I was there in the room... I said my goodbyes, I kissed her forehead, I held her hand. I hope she heard me apologize for not being there after her stroke, apologize that my own inability to accept what happened, what she had become, because I never got to say it while she was conscious. I should have been there. But I wasn't. And I just hope she heard me.

    Pick up the phone, Katie. I assure you that the guilt you feel now is inconceivable after your opportunity is gone forever, and you didn't take it.

  2. I know exactly how you are feeling. Unfortunately, it looks like you're starting the grief process. I've been through it all too many times. I denied denied denied until I was blue in the face. It wasn't until just hours before my grandmother passed away that I was about to bring myself to go to the house (just days after I had been there for Christmas) and be with her until she passed. And then the guilt struck. My mother always said, "go see your grandparents now before they aren't here anymore!" I never listened. I think we always feel that the people before us will be here forever becuase we've always known them to be in our lives. Don't lose your opportunity to talk to her. Don't turn that guilt into regret. Be strong, Katie! You can do it!

  3. praying for you, katie.
    look to jesus and keep clinging to him!
    ask him for the strength to move towards peace, forgivness and love with your aunt and uncle. he will restore you! take heart!

    love you.

    psalm 63:7-8esv
    for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings
    I will sing for joy.
    My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

  4. Let me share with you what would have been my guilt if I had not moved when Jesus said to... Ever since we brought Mason home, a girl (well, she's older than me) who is very physically disabled and has multiple health problems, had been asking me to bring Mason over for her to see. Basically, I didn't want to. I didn't feel like driving the 20 minutes to take him up there and then, what would we talk about? I was fighting with Jesus about visiting her for MONTHS, as in like 10 months. Then about 3 months ago I went to church and then sermon was on action and serving others. Finally I decided just to do it, just call her family and go visit with Mason. By this time she's in heart failure. We visited, and of course it was painless and I even enjoyed being there seeing her and her family and seeing how happy she was to see Mason. That night she went into the hospital. Her heart stopped and they had to do CPR multiple times. After almost two months in the hospital she just recently came home.
    So what I'm saying is that would have been guilt. I had people I hardly know tell me how happy she was to see Mason and how badly she had wanted to see him. Imagine if she didn't make it and I had never taken him.
    My little story does not compare to yours at all except that when you feel God telling you to move, you outta do it:) And if He's telling you to move, He'll give you the strength to get here. <3

  5. Katie,
    I've only read your blog a few times as I'm new to it. But I believe everything occurs to meet a higher purpose that we may not be fully aware of at the present. Like you, I have neglected continuing communication with a loved one who would be thrilled just to hear my voice. Whatever the reason really is, my humble opinion is all I can offer you. Here goes. Go to a greeting card store and find 10 'just to brighten your day' or 'thinking of you' cards and copy down the sayings, the words that made you choose them on a piece of paper. Choose the ones that move you and match what your heart feels.
    Then set aside a time and day and make the phone call with words in hand. Start the call by saying something like "I've felt very neglectful not keeping in touch, I'm so very sorry, so I'm calling you now to start fresh. NO excuses, just I"m sorry. It's liberating and it's ALL that person wants to hear. Then ask if there's anything you can do to help. When you feel a moment of awkward silence, LOOK at the sayings on your paper and say one. Such as: "I want you to know how much I love you and care about you". . . "I wish I could wave a magic wand and make things better" ... "I hope you can feel me hugging you from here" etc etc.
    I've heard that fear of the empty spaces in a conversation can keep loved ones from reaching out during times of grief, stress, disease, trauma and create lasting feelings of regret and guilt. Don't put yourself through that.
    I will pray for you. Remember it's MOST important to FORGIVE YOURSELF so that you get un-stuck and can find the courage to break the silence. God forgives you for reaching out to others for advice. Your intention is half the battle. Now move forward. ((hugs))

  6. I offer no sage advice. I wrestle with guilt all the time. But when I am in the depths of it all and so prone to self destruction because of it .. I remember what my favorite priest once said to me about these feelings...

    God forgave you already. It's time to forgive yourself.

    May peace find your heart today.

  7. Katie:

    I didn't even have to finish reading this or your friends comments. You don't need prayers.. you simply just need to pick up the phone and say hello to him, ask him how she is and how often you think of them and all the fond memories you have and how much you love them. THERE.. that would have taken less time then writing this whole blog (please don't take this the wrong way.. sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go for it).. plus.. we all know you don't make phone calls.. soooo.. this will be very special!!