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Why all the guilt when it comes to grief?

Guilt for surviving,

then guilt for being able to survive without him,

guilt for not knowing what happened to him,

guilt for not crying enough,

guilt for crying too much,

guilt for thinking only of him since he left and not of myself or others,

guilt if I get distracted and do not think of him for a few seconds,

guilt for the unkind words that were ever said during our short time together,

guilt for everything it seems,




It is hard enough without him,

why must there be guilt with grief?

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Comment by lostwithouthim on August 31, 2016 at 9:02am


I am currently accessing trauma/grief counselling. I do let my grief out most of the time, unless I am somewhere that I cannot let it out. There are times when I think that I will never be able to cry again because I have cried out all my tears. Then at times I am worried that they will not stop. I just wish this hopeless feeling would go away. I want to be at the part of my grief where I am happy when I think of him and our life together, not constantly devastated every time I look at his pictures.

Comment by lostwithouthim on August 31, 2016 at 8:48am


Thank you for your words. Your words are so true, I do feel that I could of saved him, or should of saved him, when in reality I could not. I wish that I could of done something. I don't know how to let go of the guilt.

His family had a memorial for him four days ago in his hometown. I feel that I am now back in those first few weeks, everything is so confusing and surreal. I cannot stop all these thoughts, regrets, words, etc. Everything feels so hopeless.

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on August 26, 2016 at 6:42am

Survivor's guilt is normal after a loss. Its generally defined as "false" or "imagined" guilt - "wishful thinking". The brain (conscience & emotions) becomes overactive making it difficult to think clearly due to shock. The techniques Liz Beth4 used have great merit.

I did the same, however I was not able to during shock. My first few months, I put myself to sleep w/Tylenol Pm whenever I was overwhelmed w/the constant brain activity. By 4 months out I started screaming uncontrollably -shock was being released. That was a great relief of pent up emotions. Even though I was still shaky & confused, I was able to clearly assess my responsibily, if any, as well as resolve it/them. Those I couldn't resolve at that time were worked out during my period of anger (the great mobilizer!).

A sudden traumatic death might intensify guilt as well as keep one at a stand still. If you're experiencing this it would be best to work w/a mental health professional.

Take care of yourself ...

Comment by Callie2 on August 24, 2016 at 4:47pm
Truly very sorry for your loss, I know how hard it is. We have so many emotions we feel during our grief and it like one giant ball in need of separation. I attended a grief support where everyone shared their stories, and you know, we all mentioned guilt. Just like you listed, it can be for many reasons even if some of it is confusing and unwarranted. For those of us that suffered sudden loss, we feel we should have been able to save them. We may have had an argument that day, and the list goes on. Those that were caretakers had their own set of circumstances and reason for feeling guilty about something. So, I think it's fairly normal. We cannot go back and change things but we can learn to look at things more rationally. Understand, we are human and may say or do things we regret. We did not cause their illness (or injury) and their death was not our will. We all grieve differently--some of us can let emotions run freely and some grieve in a more silent and painful way. During grief, our minds run in all sorts of directions making the ability to focus nearly impossible. It comes back with time so be very patient with yourself and work on letting go of guilt. You will get through this.
Comment by lostwithouthim on August 23, 2016 at 7:15am

Hi lee, sometimes it feels as if I am going to make myself crazy with all the what if's, could if's, should if's!! I hear that in time it will not feel this horrible. I am sure that your partner knew you loved him. It is f*cked up that grief makes us think and wonder the things we do. sending positive thoughts your way. I too believe that I will be the love of my life again as well. I have to believe that or I wouldn't get up and out of bed everyday.

HisQueen, I am very sorry for your loss, sending healing thoughts your way...I lost my love on June 11th and it is still very fresh. Keep coming back to this site because the people here are so supportive. This site makes me feel that there is hope. Reading other peoples stories allows me to not feel so alone. I have never felt so alone in my life since he left. It is hopeful to know that the other people on this site have made it through their losses, which gives me hope that I will make it through as well.

Comment by HisQueen on August 22, 2016 at 8:40am

Hi.....  I lost my husband of 2 months on July 8, 2016, he was in a fatal car accident. We called each other throughout the day everyday for some reason that day we both missed each others calls and at 3:30 I said to myself I have to call him then started driving home from work, his accident happened around 3:45, I wish I would have called him maybe he wouldn't have gotten into the accident. 


Comment by lee on August 21, 2016 at 1:26pm

We all have some kind guilt one of my many is why didn't I just keep him home for 5 minutes longer that morning, Mike died in a auto accident I didn't get to say goodbye to him that morning. One thing that I have come to realize these past few months is that even if I did keep him home that morning what about the next time he left the house or the time after that?  One of my regrets is that I couldn't help but to stay angry at him after a argument and we had one the night before. I think he knew that I loved him.  We can't help feeling the way we do I hope that we all can get past our grief and regrets one day and be able to live our lives the best we can until we meet our loved ones again     

Comment by lostwithouthim on August 20, 2016 at 10:15pm

Hi lizbeth4, I too do all those things. Things are so much more easier said than done when it comes to grief. I appreciate your words and I will try to be kind with myself. positive thoughts to you

Comment by lizbeth4 on August 19, 2016 at 11:04pm

Hi lostwithouthim,   I experienced a lot of guilt in the beginning of this journey without my Husband.   Did I do enough the 2 months that he went though his illness?   I replayed the last day of his life over and over again.   Was there anything else I could have done??   Then I thought about the disagreements we had throughout our 31 years of marriage and how stupid they were.   Did he know how much I loved him?   It took awhile but I came to the conclusion that yes I did do all I could for him and having disagreements are part of relationships.  He did know how much I loved him.   I think this is just another part of the grieving process.   Be kind with yourself.  

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