Guilt is seemingly never far from any of us. When we're grieving, it can become a frequent visitor. Surely someone, somewhere is to blame for all this. It might as well be us.
From the Grieving Heart:
Today guilt came visiting again. I can't seem to shake it.
I get better for a while, and then a cloud descends. I feel responsible. I should have known. I should have said or done something more.
Is this just me trying to hold on to you somehow? Am I wanting to feel responsible? Is this my heart working overtime to make sense out of you leaving?
Yes, I feel guilty. There’s a constant, dull pressure on my chest. Too much is unknown. I want to lay blame somewhere. I admit that guilt feels good sometimes. It gives my emotion a target, someplace to go.
All of this seems so big, and I feel so small. It's all above my pay grade and way beyond my abilities to resolve. I wish my heart would heal and be more at peace. I feel so unsteady and shaky right now.
In the end, I know feeling guilty doesn't help. It won't bring you back. Nothing will. Does anyone else feel this way?
Guilt seems to come and go.
Guilt often hides in the recesses of our hearts and pops up at the most inconvenient times. We think we've resolved things. We seem to have let go a little and forgiven ourselves for whatever we might have done or said, not done or not said. Then we wake up and find guilt hanging out in our living room. It smiles and begins its accusations all over again.
We said before that guilt will come knocking, repetitively. We can refuse to answer, but we can't stop it from making noise. It sneaks in when we're not aware. Before we know it, we’re thinking those guilty, it's-all-my-fault thoughts again.
We could get discouraged with ourselves. We could get angry and swear that we’ll never feel guilty again. We could venture down darker roads, assuming responsibility that isn’t ours and wondering what punishment might fit us the best.
On the other hand, we can remind ourselves that this is the nature of guilt -- it keeps knocking and popping up, again and again. When it comes, we can acknowledge this unwanted visitor and then release it. Release, release, and release again, as many times as necessary.
Grief is heavy enough without guilt attached to it. We breathe deeply. We tell ourselves that guilt's voice is not our own. We see it as the foreign invader it is and forgive ourselves yet again.
Affirmation: I'll release guilt and forgive myself as many times as necessary. Grief is heavy enough without allowing guilt to become my constant companion.