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Dealing with Grief is the highest challenge in our life. but to do it methodologically it becomes easier. Read it here.

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dealing with guilt after you ve lost a loved one

Dealing With Guilt After You’ve Lost a Loved One

When you lose a loved one, it can be incredibly difficult to carry on, as you’ll find yourself feeling

empty and possibly depressed for a long time following. This is a normal part of the grieving

process, and by facing and embracing these emotions, you will gradually be able to heal and

remember that person in a more positive way.

But another common emotion to be struggling with at this point is guilt. While this is another

common emotion, it is not as adaptive and can be unhealthy. Here we will look at where guilt

comes from and what you can do about it.

Why You Feel Guilt

When someone dies of natural causes or an accident, it is no one’s fault. However, it is very

easy to end up blaming yourself. Perhaps you think if you hadn’t called them over, then they

never would have been in the road when that car came. Maybe you think you could have

encouraged them to go to the doctor sooner.

This is one cause of guilt during grief, but it is far from the only one. Likewise, it is also common

to feel guilt over the way you’ve handled their death. Perhaps you feel guilty for not being

sadder. Maybe you feel guilty for not being more supportive of your family. Or maybe you feel

guilty years later for moving on with your life. Sometimes, you can simply feel guilty for being

alive when your loved one isn’t.

All these things are very normal, but they are not healthy, and ultimately, they need to be

overcome in order for you to move on with your life.

How to Overcome Guilt

Overcoming guilt is about learning to forgive yourself and let go. Because, ultimately, your loved

one would undoubtedly prefer that you were happy and getting on with your life as you should.

This means sitting down and honestly assessing your feelings. Of course, if events had been

different, then your loved one may have died, or they may not have. You could not have known

the future, and you acted as you thought was best at the time. Likewise, everyone else is

equally culpable for their actions or inactions, and most likely, nothing anyone did would have

made a difference anyway.

Likewise, you should not be guilty for being alive or for being happy. If anything, you should

cherish your happiness even more out of respect for those who don’t have it. You owe it to your

family who are still alive to be the happiest and best version of yourself.

Obviously, it is easy to say these things and less easy to believe them. Consider seeing a

cognitive behavioural therapist, and they will be able to help you come to terms with reality and

adopt better coping strategies.