Guilt, Guilt Go Away

noun  |  /gilt/
feeling of anxiety or unhappiness that you have done something immoral or wrong, such as causing harm to another person
Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Guilt is something that is often carried with us for something that we did that we didn't feel right about. I remember feeling guilty the first time I laughed after losing Rob to his battle with depression. I looked around to see if anyone witnessed my laugh. What would people think or say to the fact I laughed? Was it okay that I had a moment away from all the grief? I felt guilty of the things I possibly didn't see or do that could've potentially saved his life. The guilt of not understanding the depth of his pain consumed me and the effects of guilt took over. Guilt is a universal feeling we all experience at different times during our lives and for many different reasons.

If you've lost a loved one like me, perhaps you've felt pangs of guilt while moving forward into a new relationship, wondering how your friends or colleagues would react to your timing. Or, after months or years of being a caretaker for someone who had lost all means of self function, you feel guilty because their death was a sense of relief. I felt that sense of guilt when I was told that if Rob survived after being taken off life support, he would live in an unconscious state. I didn't want him to live like that and asked God to take him. I felt tremendous guilt and these feelings were hard to share and admit to my support system. Guilt can consume us, foster anxiety, and can cause us to agonize over the situation which results in emotional damage.

As hard as it was, the best thing for me to do was accept. Accept what could not be changed, accept the loss and the devastating impact it would have, and accept life would be different than any life I had ever imagined with Rob not in it. Acceptance is not an easy thing to do, but if we don't accept we get stuck in the dangerous could've, would've and should've cycle. By accepting, we are releasing our guilt which allows us to move forward. It can take a long time to find and fully embrace acceptance, but once you do it is truly freeing and quite liberating. Just because we release these feelings of guilt, does not mean our love for our loved one has changed. The love is always there and at times it even becomes deeper. Love never dies.

Here are some benefits to battling your guilt today: 

  • When you accept your feelings of guilt, you will instantly feel "lighter" as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
  • It is highly likely your physical health will begin to improve from the absence of continual mental and emotional stress.
  • Dealing with guilt will allow more positive thoughts and emotions to arise from your being. This in turn creates a much more positive life experience and will allow good things to flow into your life.
  • Releasing your guilt is a great act of self-love.

We punish ourselves more than anyone, and create our own suffering. So be more loving to yourself, accept your perceived "mistakes" and move on. Your soul will thank you for it!

And as you move through life, you will feel probably feel guilty again and again. But do your best to recognize it, accept it and let it go rather than allowing it to accumulate. Dealing with guilt is an ongoing exercise, but over time it will get easier.


Source: Gateways to Inner Peace


  • Guilt has been less of an obstacle to me since my husbands death by suicide, than trying to fill in the gaps and identify ‘who I am now’. I’m no longer a ‘wife’, partner to share good or bad events with, a lover to be silly with, dance to ‘our’ song, or someone to just hold on to when feeling down or sad. I’m no longer the wife, to discuss the ‘good ol days’ or ‘remember when’ times with. In fact I have no one left who remembers way back when.
    Yes, I still have the role of mom and grandma, and that’s good, as it’s always been. But my identity has huge holes in it, and I feel at a loss as to who I am now?

  • What a great article. Letting go of guilt is probably the second hardest thing in this journey. Second only to losing my daughter to suicide. Thank you for sharing this

    Julie Gregory

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