Relief from Grief

Having someone close to me die recently, I have been surprised at how powerfully grief effects my mood and my physical body.  I try to think things like, “Death is a natural part of life.” or “They had a good life, and it was a gift anyway.”, but those thoughts don’t seem to help much with my emotional and physical reaction.  It seems to me the main element of grief is guilt.  When someone dies, I reflect on all the things I could have done and didn’t.  I realize that the opportunity is passed, and I did what I did, and I didn’t do what I didn’t do.  Now there is no more adding to or changing.  So I judge myself for my actions and more especially for my inaction.

Even for loved ones who died long ago, guilt effects my mental health, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and my intellectual, emotional, behavioral and physical well-being.  The key for me is to tell the truth about it.  I was in relationship with this person. and I did spend time and life energy with them.  And to the extent I am not satisfied with the efforts I made, I can commit to being more proactive and spending time with the people I love who are still alive.  Commitments like that are good for my self-esteem and make it easier to forgive myself for the things I failed to do.

Lastly, I have noticed that this loss brings out the best in some in my friends, allowing for more honest, genuine and connecting conversations.  I am comforted to realize I am not alone in the experience of a profound loss.

Blog by: Claud M