If only I could turn back time-Regret in bereaved parents


If only I could turn back time-Regret in bereaved parents


Sim C W; Heuse S; Weigel D; Kendel F



Pediatric Blood and Cancer




psychosocial; qualitative study; palliative; bereavement; regret


INTRODUCTION: Regret about loss is one of the most intense types of regret experienced in life. Little is known about the bereavement regret of parents whose child has died of cancer. Although knowledge about parents' experiences after their child's death is vital for supporting these families, parents' regret is mostly hidden from the treating clinical staff. This study aimed to explore these parents' regret themes and their impact on their future lives. METHODS: An explorative questionnaire was sent to bereaved parents who lost a child to cancer. A total of 26 parents responded to the questionnaire. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. RESULTS: Regret experiences were shared by almost all participants. The focus of regret issues include parenting and interaction with the child, reflection on existing values, dealing with the disease, and neglecting the remaining siblings. The regret experience had an impact on prioritizing values, future lifestyle and contacts. CONCLUSIONS: Regret seems to be a general phenomenon among bereaved parents and strongly influences the grieving process, in the sense of reflecting on past experiences to reorient for future actions. As this study was explorative, it is significant toward deepening the understanding of bereavement regret in future. These insights are crucial when working with affected families to help them decide important issues they can care about now and will not regret later.


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Sim C W; Heuse S; Weigel D; Kendel F, “If only I could turn back time-Regret in bereaved parents,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 24, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17398.

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