xojane logo

George had always taken care of everything — doing the cooking, paying the bills, deciding what we should do for fun and driving us there to do it.

When he was diagnosed with metastasized male breast cancer in 2009, he chose to handle his treatment on his own. He drove himself to and from chemotherapy. He stopped off on his way to work to get his chest zapped with radiation before continuing on with his hour-plus commute.

He would not let me come to the hospital with him. He directed his doctors not to talk to me.

I thought he was the most considerate cancer patient in the world.

George was in denial about his condition. He swore to me that he was getting better, even though his body was failing.

He died in the hospital three days later on April 10th, 2013, still believing he would get better and come home.

And I still feel mired in shame and regret. I look fine, but what if people saw the real me, the angry, uncontrolled me I’d been when George was dying?

My burden following my husband’s death was knowing that I was a terrible caregiver and a bad person.

Read more on xoJane.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

The Cruelest Marriage Penalty

The Cruelest Marriage Penalty

There’s a lot of talk about different kinds of marriage penalties in the tax code (when being legally married puts you at a disadvantage relative to...



It was two months after Mum died. I would not meet anyone. I would not answer messages. I would not talk about my feelings. I didn’t want to chat. I...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.