I’ve not written too much lately. I guess I’ve had a touch of writers block. If truth be told, I’ve also been experiencing more guilt than usual and have let it stop me from sharing what’s on my heart too. I can really only speak for myself in the area of guilt, but there does seem to be an endless supply of it to go along with my grief.
Many times guilt is experienced over anything we might’ve done or not done in regards to the one or ones we have lost. In my opinion, it’s absolutely normal for the grieving to experience guilt at this level. We have lost a loved one and it has more than likely, left us totally heart broken. I feel it’s quite natural to want to go back in time, to change certain things, and since we cannot, we experience guilt.
However, I have found that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to guilt. Like I said, I can only speak for myself in this area. BUT I cannot possibly be alone in what I’m about to say. Can I? Surely not. So here it goes…
I feel guilty for grieving.
There! Finally … I said it.
It doesn’t end there though. I also feel guilty for the way grief has changed me personally; how my relationships have changed with just about everyone I know as a result. I feel guilty for the worry and pain I have, and continue to put my loved ones through, because I cannot seem shake this beast called grief. I even feel guilty about experiencing the tiniest bit of happiness, which doesn’t even make sense to me. It just never ends.
I have often heard it said that we tend to be our own worst critics. I think that this is often an accurate statement. I mean, it is this way for me anyway. I cannot even grieve the loss of my precious daughter’s life without beating myself up or completely tearing myself down. Holy cow! What has happened to me? I didn’t struggle with an unreasonable amount of guilt before.
I’m not sure if other’s have the same level of judgement and blame toward me, that I have for myself (Even though I assume some do). And honestly, I’m not sure if I would ever want to KNOW THAT TRUTH either. I already have my hands full as it is.
Now for my next point.
When someone is on such an incredibly personal journey, use a little caution when wanting to rush them through their sadness and grief. I know, when someone says things like, “I wish you would just be happy” or “Have you tried (so.and.so)”, that they usually have the very best of intentions. The rational me knows these things are from the heart. However, I usually experience guilt when I hear these things. I feel like I’m failing at life, not living up to everyone’s standards and letting, yet another person down due to the grief I’m experiencing.
Guilt is not rational…It’s irrational!
I can tell you that from personal experience, I most likely, am already aware of the things you wish I’d change or start doing to move through my grief. Trust me, I tell myself the things you must think every single day.
Humans are such complex beings. We don’t come with any type of owner’s manual to reference when we get in a jam. It would be such a dull world if we did too. Our emotions and thoughts are so extremely complicated. So much of what we go through as emotional beings cannot be “fixed” at all. Since we cannot fix it, we just have to go through it. And we have to go through it all, in a way that is best for each of us, personally.
What I’ve discovered during my journey is, that simply being present is the best gift you can give someone walking through grief. You cannot change or fix someone’s struggles with their own grief. Personally, I do not reach out for support or help with my grief much at all. It is however so important to me, knowing that there are still people who love me and that they are there, to have my back, in the rare instance I do. It’s important to me knowing that my loved ones still want me to be part of their lives, even if I’m unable to be all I used to be, before my life changed forever.
I promise to participate when I can. I promise to laugh and have fun when I can. I promise to break out of my comfort zone when I can.