Emotional and Mental
Grief Series: How Do I Get Past the GuiltPublished: Jan. 5, 2022
Feelings of guilt are a common occurrence in the grieving process. Whether you are feeling guilt because there were unresolved issues between the two of you or you are questioning if you did everything possible to help the other person, guilt can be debilitating. Some people become haunted by questions like, “What if I would have insisted he saw the doctor earlier?” or “I should have let her stop treatment when she wanted to.” or “I wish I didn’t lose my patience with him so often.”
- Talk about it. When we feel guilt, we are often ashamed to admit what we feel guilty about and keep those thoughts to ourselves. This just amplifies the guilt. Find a trusted person to talk to who will just listen to you.
- Identify what you are feeling guilty about. Perform a reality check on what you have identified and determine if you are being irrational or illogical.
- Stop the “What ifs”. Focus on what you do know to be true and what you can directly control. Remind yourself that you did the best you could with what you knew at the time.
- Forgive yourself or forgive your loved ones for decisions or behaviors you now wish had been different. It can be a lot of work to forgive and it may be necessary to seek help with this from a professional counselor.
- Make a conscious effort to remember the positive interactions that occurred throughout the experience. Remember the loving way you did take care of your loved one. Remember the thoughtful, informed process you both went through to make certain decisions.
- Think about what your loved one would want to say to you at this point. How would he help you to be free from the guilty feelings?
Written by Amy Monzingo, MS, LMHP, LMHC, Best Care EAP counselor, the 12-part Grief Series deals with all kinds off issues individuals go through on their grief journey. Whatever the cause of your grief, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss and eventually move on with your life.
- Part 1: I'm Suffering From Heartache
- Part 2: My Caregiver Role is Over, Now What?
- Part 3: I Don't Want to Talk to Anyone
- Part 4: I Am So Angry
- Part 5: I Can't Imagine the Holidays Now That My Loved One is Gone
- Part 6: How Do I Get Past the Guilt?
- Part 7: I Still Talk to My Loved One
- Part 8: Memories are Painful
- Part 9: People Think I Should Be Grieving Faster Than I Am
- Part 10: What Do I Do With My Loved One's Things?
- Part 11: What Stage of Grief Am I In? (coming in June)
- Part 12: How Do I Handle Special Days? (coming in July)