Aging parents - sin of thought


My mom has lung cancer and my dad has early dementia. Both diagnosed within the last year. I found myself recently thinking it will be ‘better’ for my dad if he passes away first as he won’t be able to cope without her at all. Was that wrong of me and should I confess? I haven’t prayed for it just thinking. We’re kinda messed up right now and I just want it over one way or the other. Real low point last week having to clean up when my mom had soiled herself, my brother was on holiday all week and my dad went out drinking while I tried to clean the house and care for mom. Missed mass as I just couldn’t deal with more one obligation and just wanted to be alone. I know I will need to go back and I know that my parents will need me - just sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough . Sorry just needed to talk xx thanks guys


In my opinion no need to confess that. You’re not wishing him dead out of malice or anything. You don’t want him to suffer. My mom was sick for a long time, from my early-teens to when she passed when I was 25. I took care of her full time that entire time. It was very depressing and I felt very alone. There were many times I thought she would be better off if she would pass away. Unfortunately part of those thoughts were for myself as well, as I was just so tired. I still have regrets that I could have done more occasionally but I know I did my best at the time. Being a caretaker is hard, watching loved ones suffer is terrible. Sorry you have to deal with it as well. God bless.


No. The situation you’re in is a nightmare, and you shouldn’t be blamed for thinking ahead.

More than any thread I have seen on this forum so far, you deserve our constant prayers.


It’s so tough isn’t it. The ironic thing is that my dad and I had a really bad rship for many years and now I get on better with him than I ever have - maybe cos he can’t talk too well ! You have to see the humour in it don’t you :slight_smile: I am sure you did the best you could too Matt and Jesus helps us grow when we suffer so there’s that. Thank you so much xxx


Thank you sweetie. Means a lot. We are all of us in this world dealing with tough tough things and I will pray for you too xxx


You’re welcome… Stay strong. Think of the Blessed Mother who had to witness her Son’s unimaginable suffering. She is there with you, as is He. God bless.


Thank you so much! I can only hope I have your poise when the time comes for my parents to fall.


MANY are in the same boat as you are and they do have true suffering as well as the one(s) they are taking care of. It is a very difficult situation.


It’s like a double whammy honestly but with God anything is possible xxx you will be fine. It sucks but you will do it I promise


Thank you. <3 I actual offered up for the holy souls when I was feeling really awful one day which is the first time I’ve ever done that. That helped to think that maybe God can use this


Thanks! I sure hope I can achieve your level of spirituality by then. Once again, God bless you in your struggle. You have earned yourself the prayers of many here today.


I could have and still could be writing your OP. My confessions always center around this topic. My Priest always tells me to pray for my parents, which I do. It’s hard - and one of those things we know we should do and have to do, but it is emotionally difficult. Prayers for you and all of us with similar situations.


No, you weren’t wanting him dead. It’s natural to think that it might be better for one to go first, in a situation like this.


Dad doesn’t believe in God either so I worry about where he will go after he passes away- mom is Methodist. I am going to ask my grandma in heaven to pray for us - my mothers mother who was Catholic xx :slight_smile: thank you all so much and holding in my heart people in similar situations


We as Christians do not fear death. We know that for the person who is in friendship with Christ, death is but a graduation!!!

Of course it is loving to want your dad to be spared pain.

Please take care of yourself. Acting as a caretaker is the most exhausting work on earth.


Thank you sweetie Xx prayers for you too


It’s not a sin; these thoughts are normal when your parents are reaching the end of their life.

It’s also not a sin to wish that someone who is very ill or suffering from some condition like dementia that affects their quality of life might pass away soon or even pray for it if they are in great pain or suffering. You pray that God takes them home and ends their suffering. It would be wrong if you wanted them to die just so you could inherit their money or something.


Letting go of my father (Atlantic Monthly magazine) … one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject of people beating themselves up for not being able to “do enough.”

“I got amateur counseling: take care of yourself first; don’t try for perfection. Good, tough, compassionate advice, but randomly proffered. How much more was there that I needed to hear but that no one happened to tell me?”

It was as if we were being graded on coping stoically.

I told him that he was already in assisted living but that I was the assistance; that I was overwhelmed, underqualified, and barely hanging on emotionally; that I wanted to be his son again, not a nurse and nag and adversary.

There should be no need for anyone to go through this alone, and no glory in trying.

And so on.

Prayers for your family.


Thank you so much xxx


The sick, the elderly, the handicapped, and the dying teach us that weakness is a creative part of human living, and that suffering can be embraced with no loss of dignity. Without the presence of these people in your midst you might be tempted to think of health, strength, and power as the only important values to be pursued in life. But the wisdom of Christ and the power of Christ are to be seen in the weakness of those who share His sufferings.

Let us keep the sick and handicapped at the center of our lives. Let us treasure them and recognize with gratitude the debt we owe them. We begin by imagining that we are giving to them; we end by realizing that they have enriched us.

May God bless and comfort all who suffer. And may Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and healer of the sick, make His light shine through human weakness as a beacon for us and for all mankind. Amen.
–Saint John Paul II

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit