Unfortunately for many of us, the pain of losing somebody we love, or people we have had a mixed relationship with, can be made worse by the presence of regrets. Mourners can be left struggling with thoughts like, “What could I have done differently?” “I wish I had gone to visit him or her more often.” “We were not very close, and now we never will be”.
When grief situations are touched with regret, each mourner must search for a way to find peace within themselves. Obviously events, words and actions that occurred in the past, can not be changed. There are two main options available when dealing with regret, either suffer indefinitely, or find a way to forgive oneself and perhaps make changes about how to behave in the future.
People whom have spoken too often in anger may resolve to become more diplomatic and patient in their communication. Those suffering because a person they cared about died without knowing how much they were loved or respected can choose to become more expressive. If saying intimate things is unfamiliar to you, perhaps writing a letter or even a song or poem may be easier.
If you wish you had visited more often when a loved one was alive, look around at friends and family members still living and reach out more regularly. When physical distance is an issue using emails, phone calls, Facebook or sending cards can still be very satisfying.
Some mourners are able to forgive themselves for past disappointments more easily by writing a letter to the deceased and saying how they feel now. Others can make a financial contribution or volunteer time to an organization that their loved one would have supported.
If you are struggling with regret, it is vital to understand that you can only change your current self and future behavior.
Ready to avoid future regrets in the future? Try this healing technique called: Choose 5 Memories
People who tend to be aggressive or unappreciative with loved ones could benefit from this healing technique designed to reduce accumulated tension: Transition 10
Many of us are so stressed out or overwhelmed by our daily responsibilities that our behavior becomes less skillful. This article about ‘Avoiding Caregiver Burnout‘ may help.
One of the hardest circumstances for grievers to recover from can be losses due to suicide. If you or someone you know has been effected by suicide, please forward them this information about a great organization called: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
As always, please share any comment, suggestions or advice with our other readers in the comments section below.
Best wishes to you,
Republished with permission from Body Aware Grieving.
I recently wrote a letter to my mother, who died 15 years ago. The purpose was to get my regrets out in the air, say my “sorry’s” and my “I wishes”. I should not have waited so long. My hope is to encourage people to say everything they need to say before it is too late. You can read my letter here: