When I came to this country in 1958, to be a dying patient in a medical hospital was a nightmare. You were put in the last room, furthest away from the nurses' station. You were full of pain, but they wouldn't give you morphine. Nobody told you that you were full of cancer and that it was understandable that you had pain and needed medication.
When we grow older and begin to realize that our omnipotence is really not so omnipotent, that our strongest wishes are not powerful enough to make the impossible possible, the fear that we have contributed to the death of a loved one diminishes - and with it, the guilt.
I grew up in Baltimore, which is, you know, a city of extremes certainly, but my parents were very conservative. But they made me feel safe, and even though they were mortified at what I was doing, they encouraged it. I think because they thought, what else could I do?