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I've known my friend, Tessa, since we were in the first grade together--I'm now 21 years old, so this is a pretty long span of time.

 

Her mom, Wendy, and my mom became friends and eventually our families became really close even though Tessa and I grew apart a little bit over the years.

 

Still, her mother and my mom were like best friends. I used to spend a lot of time at her house when I was younger and she was honestly one of the sweetest, most giving people you could ever imagine meeting.

 

So, when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about two years ago, I was just so confused and scared. Then, when I researched pancreatic cancer and found out that upwards of 90% of people die within a year of diagnosis I just panicked.

 

My mom, who has a background in the medical field, was with Wendy all the time. I go to college about an hour away from my home town, but my mom would always tell me that Wendy wanted to see me. That she was asking how I was doing in school and life.

 

But I just couldn't bring myself to go see her. I don't know why. I just really couldn't do it. I'm terrified by the thought of losing the people I care about--and this was just like a nightmare coming true.

 

I just felt more guiltly when my mom told me, "I was visiting with Wendy today and she was sleeping. When she woke up, she said, 'Is Krystal here? I dreamed that she came to see me.'"

 

That made me feel so terrible that she was dreaming I'd come to see her because I was too afraid/weak/nervous--I don't know--to actually go.

 

She passed away in January of this year. I was so...numb when I found out. I just...I don't know why bad things happen to such good people. Still, whenever I think about the fact that she's gone, I start crying because it's so completely unfair.

 

I guess I've dealt with her death since it's been almost a year, but I still feel really, really guilty that I never went to see her. That I never said goodbye.

 

I know that she would understand why I couldn't bring myself to see her like that, but I just feel so selfish. I mean, she was facing death and I couldn't even go see her.

 

I feel so selfish even asking this, but is the guilt something that's going to fade with time? Or should I be working at trying to get over the guilt?

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I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your friends mother

 

And I'm also sorry that you're having to deal with the guilt.

 

Have you tried to talk with your friend Tessa and explain your feelings to her? Let her know that you feel guilt because you didn't go see her mother. Explain your reasoning about being afraid. I think it's okay that you were afraid. Death is such a hard thing to deal with, and I think we all find different ways to cope.

 

I don't think you have anything to feel ashamed for. Tessa's mother is in heaven now and knows why you didn't come see her. There's no way she would find fault in what you did. How come you still do?

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