Do you ever have thoughts like that?


Like, I’ve been visiting an old lady at the hospital. She used to live at a home where I was working. I do things like that a lot (visiting people, caring for needy people), but on the other side then I am afraid of building up dependences and starting to feel too responsible for people… Today I was there and started thinking about that, about other planes I still had for my life and how I might be travelling again and then would the old lady understand? She has been very ill I think, hardly talking at all.
Suddenly I caught myself at the thought that well, very likely she wouldn’t live much longer anyway. Wow did I feel guilty!!! How could I even think anything like that??? Not that I wanted her to die, but just the THOUGHT of it… and it’s not the first time I think, but this time I guess I felt guiltier maybe because I was right there in front of her, thinking about how I was afraid it may become too much of a dependency, and even thinking of her death as a relief for me, not in those direct words, but that’s what it got down to, somehow… How can I even think something like that??

Now, does that mean I am taking on too much, OR does it mean I am too selfish and shouldn’t worry about dependenices and shouldn’t dream of living my own life and travelling etc???

What I did at the moment was tell her (I am not sure how much she understood) that I liked visiting her, asked her if she liked it when I came, and explain to her that I liked doing it when I could but of course I might be away again but we’d just have to take it as it comes… I believe in honesty, and I was afraid she may have felt some of her thoughts, so I felt like I needed to explain.

Then I went to the church close by and prayed and lit a candle.

Something similar happened years ago with a homeless guy I felt responsible for, I went to check on him every day, and then one day when they again had to take him to the hospital (he was a severe alcoholic at the time) and he looked quite ill I suddenly caught myself at the though that it would somehow be a relief for me if he died. Yikes did I scare myself with that thought then too!!!

Do you ever have thoughts like that? I talked to my Mom on the phone today, she said it was just human, that it was normal. Anybody else? Are thoughts like that sinful?



I don’t think it is sinful. You can’t really help what goes through your mind. Just imagine this Lady holding hands with Jesus and walking above the clouds. She would have no more pain and be much better off than any of us.

Do what you can for her when you are with her. You are a giving person. More giving than most of us. There is no way we can do everything for everybody.

There was a guy, Jake standing by the ocean throwing starfish into the ocean. Another man, Sam asked what he was doing. Jake said, “the tide is going out. The starfish will die if I don’t throw them into the ocean.” Sam said, “There are 1000’s of starfish out here. What difference do you think you will make.” Jake picks up another starfish and throws it into the ocean and says, “It makes a difference to that one.”


Our family was in a similar situation when we were taking care of my grandmother who had Alzeimers disease. We couldn’t go anywhere as a family and we couldn’t let her go to church anymore. Even though we loved her, she was a burden on the family. Her funeral was not very dismal and few people cried. In reality, we were pretty excited about seeing all these people we hadn’t seen in years. I don’t think it was disrespectful for us to feel a measure of relief at her death because she was in a better place. We did cry and grieve, but it was a strange thing.

I don’t know if this helps, but I was reminded of it.


I don’t thik it is sinful. When my mother-in-law died it WAS a relief, because she suffered terribly and the strain was great on the family watching this. We mourned her, of course, because we missed the person that she was and we shared as a family many memories, but when it came to her death, it was a relief that all that pain and suffering was over.

In fact, sometimes I think we delayed her death because we all gathered at the end at her house and she was never left alone, for days. Day and night someone was with her. She finally died during the night in the few moments she was alone, when my father-in-law got up to go to the bathroom. I thought that was rather odd, but I have seen this a couple of times in the hospital. I think she wanted to die, but did not want anyone to see her die.


Remember love is an act of the will. You may have a feeling of relief once someone passes away, and hey, I have been there. But you remain loving to this woman! God bless you!

I watched my grandma be put in a nursing home, I would have much rather been going to her funeral. That’s just the truth on how I felt.

Not sinful at all.


I am so glad that I am not alone with thoughts like that.
It really helped reading these answers.
Thank you!



Dear Kathrin

Not sinful in your case. Only if you indulge them and give full consent may they be serious. But didn’t St Paul say, " Charity covers a multitude of sins." So even if your imperfect like us all maybe you’ll bypass purgatory if you keep it up. Keep up the good work and don’t worry about seeing the world so much. Those people are Jesus and they need you. It’s a voluntary choice for you but you will find true happiness on the path your on now.

God bless and peace to you:)


The problem is also that i am very scrupulous.

After reading your reply now I felt a pang of fear!!! I know you are right in what you mean to say, and I agree, and I love being on the path I am on now. But then suddenly all those weird thoughts come up.

For example right now:

  • So does that mean whenever I have somebody I visit they need me so much that I have to change my whole life perspectives and absolutely stick around with that person? In my case, give up all thoughts about travelling or other life plans? And what if there are more than one people, and they are in different places?
    A spiritual advisor told me once it is ok to go my way, the Good Samaritan also went on his way and let somebody else keep on caring for the other person.

Or do you mean just generally, be a giving person, be there for people, without feeling too responsible for every single one?

  • And then, suddenly the thought, and that was another scary one: If it takes that much to bypass purgatory (that is, not going my way at all, not following my heart where it leads me, because I have to stay by that lady now for example, or somebody else I might encounter, tomorrow or whenever)… the thought, suddenly, hm, do I want to bypass purgatory then, do I want to be “better than others”?
    And then the absolute feeling of guilt!!! Almost making me feel sick: “How can you even think that!!!” And now I really felt for a while maybe I had to give up my life dreams because they made me think something like that, that means they are too important for me.


Any advice? Am I way off? Which side of me is right? Both? Is there a middle way? Do I have to do everything and stay with everybody? Or is it ok to visit different people, and then when it doesn’t work out anymore still go the way I feel called?:shrug:


Kathrin -
I will respond by addressing points from several posters. I was a caregiver for an elderly parent. Towards the end, I was tired - oh, so tired, I didn’t know how I’d go on.
1 - I’d heard that caregivers undergo “caregiver release” or “relief”. And that’s the term that best describes my experience. When my parent died, I’m ashamed of how I acted (aside from my immediate prayer at the bedside). I can’t remember much but I didn’t weep perhaps because the death was expected (but the loss was great). Yet, I recall holding up a now-limp arm in child-like amazement, which had been stiffened in prior weeks due to what was thought to be capsulitis. But I didn’t react the way I hear some do afterwards. Looking back I’m astonished and embarrassed. What happened to me? This was a person I LOVED. Was this caregiver release/relief? I wish I could relive/undo that day.

2 - I was told by someone later that the wake was more like a wedding. A strange remark, since it wasn’t to me - but I think seeing family members arrive who I hadn’t seen in many years - I became more like a welcoming host rather than a child in mourning. That child arrived in later weeks - and hasn’t left.

3 - And as to the often-agreed-upon idea that people pass once we leave the room - With all due respect, I don’t believe it. I, too, stood watch constantly - my parent died perhaps less than an hour after I drifted to sleep next to them. After all the caregiving. All I could think of was Jesus’ words, “Could you not watch one hour with me?” I believe God takes the soul when HE is ready to take them. I don’t think our souls have a choice…There is an appointed time and place - and it is more than we can imagine - until our time has come, God help us.

I think we’ve all experienced those quick-passing moments of thoughts as you described. Yes, they are frightening and micabre - mostly because they are so out of character from the person we know ourselves to be - But it happens. Always pray.


Maybe the question is really what I posted in my other post yesterday - how much of an dependency should I “make” out of a relationship like that? Not that I want to say “oh, she’s just an almost stranger I started visiting, I can just forget her again”, I am not like that, every person is precious, be it a relative or not. BUT maybe when I do these things, visit somebody, etc, I start feeling TOO responsible? Like now I am already worrying, am I even allowed to go on vacation for 2 weeks in May or June???

I guess that’s where the thoughts come from :(. I start feeling so obligated that I don’t know how to deal with it anymore.

I think I should better pray that the woman’s children start visiting her more often again!!!:wink: Now THAT would be a POSITIVE relief. Not that I wouldn’t want to visit her anymore then. Just I wouldn’t feel so… I lack the right word.

I have other people I visit too, but with her it’s more difficult because I am not sure how much she understands of what I tell her? She has hardly been talking anymore.


((((kathrin))))…I answered your other post/topic first-so I will be brief here- she is never alone…not for one minute-she has angels around her always…so come and go as time allows and your heart dictates…but live your life…she’ll be ok…trust God in all things and release the guilt-it’s self imposed and serves no purpose.:heaven:…God Bless


Dear Kathrin
If you have scruples seek spiritual direction is best. It’s good to do things because we want to and not because we have to. Try to have a spirit of freedom in all you do. Be a slave to God and not your good works, prayers etc. It’s important to do the good things but not because you feel you have to. In any case you really need good spritual direction and regularly. Follow your director to the letter too. And allow yourself to have peace of mind knowing your doing Gods will when you obey your SD,
God bless you friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:


I visited the woman today and she was doing very poorly.
The people at the hospital reached one of her sons but it is not sure if somebody will come.
I stayed with her for a while, put my hand on her shoulder, stroked her hair, talked to her quietly. I felt a lot of love.
They had put the little stuffed animal I had brought her on her stomach, it looked so cute.

Yes I feel love for her. Since she was doing so badly today and it really isn’t sure how much longer she will live I will try to go again tomorrow, after work.

The thing that worries me still - despite all the love I felt for her, I still had those feelings of relief a bit too, like a responsibility would be lifted from my shoulders. I talked to a friend about this for a long time. He thinks it is normal if you are in touch with people who are old and sick to count on somebody dying when you think about your plans for life. As in, it is ok to have dreams of going away for me, that does not mean I am WISHING for the woman to die, it is just realistic to think that she may.
It gets very complicated though for a scrupulous mind like mine. See, my problem is also that often when I have found something that makes me happy, a dream to dream, a prospect for the future, my mind tries to find things that make me feel guilty about it. Like in this example: Maybe I can’t even dream about going abroad again sometime because that would somehow mean I would be counting on the woman to be dead by then… Argh. See what I mean. What do you think?? Scrupulous, selfish, or normal?

I just have to focus on NOW. NOW I can give love to this woman. Be there for her. Leave it all up in God’s hands. If it is God’s will for me to go somewhere else, it will work out that way, no matter if the old woman is still alive or not. If it is God’s will for her to die soon that will happen. If it is His will for her to be healed it will happen. If it is His will for her children to take care of her again that will happen. And if it is His will for me to take care of her, that will happen.

It doesn’t really matter if I am afraid it might be too much of a burden. I just can’t know right now. It just makes me feel guilty that there is this feeling of something like relief mixed in when I think of the responsibility taken from me again. Like, now I can make plans again for my future without having to think I have to stay right here… And then I feel guilty and think, maybe now I am not allowed to make any such plans because I had those thoughts of relief… see what I mean?

While really I should just focus on now and how she needs me NOW.


The woman died this morning.

One of her sons did come last night I heard and stayed with her for quite a while. That made me feel so good.

She was really very sick and people who have known her say it is better she could finally go.

I lit a candle for her at church and prayed.

I am so glad I went by again yesterday and be by her side for just a bit even though I think she was sleeping.



Oh, Katrin … I am sorry.

I did read your post last night about going by but didn’t post anything.

However, afterwards, I was thinking. I wonder how it might feel to be ready to die. Do you ever wonder if she too thought about what a relief it will be to pass on.

I’m glad that you went by too.

All are in my prayers.


(((((Kathrin)))))))…Bless her heart- he was probably who she was waiting for…and bless yours for caring-your concern and love surrounded her and I’m certain she knew you were there…but be kind to yourself too from now on-it is not your job to deliver them into death- God and His angels will do that- you are a caring soul along the way…if you think of them as runners heading toward the finish line- you are the one giving a much needed drink to sustain them along the way -but even if you miss a runner or two-all will still cross the finish line-better for the journey- just because you tried to give them something along the way-none of them expect you to carry them across…((((((hugs)))))) God Bless


Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s no vice to think of others before yourself, but there’s a difference between that and thinking of others instead of yourself.
I’m the same way in that I feel I have to come to everyones rescue, but once one accepts that so much is really beyond our control, including those dark little thoughts that pop up every now and then, we realize the best gift we can give those around us is to take care of ourselves as well.


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