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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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.