Why Guilt Is a Common Part of Grieving and What You Can Do About It
Coping with a loss is one of the greatest challenges that people face , and the associated pain is often overwhelming. For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for people to experience unexpected or difficult emotions after the funeral service and while grieving, and one of these is guilt. Keep reading for advice on coping with feelings of guilt while you grieve.
Grieving and Emotions
Feelings of guilt are among the most common symptoms of grief. People can feel guilty about something that they did or didn’t say or do after losing a loved one, or about feeling relieved when someone passes after a long battle with illness. While still coping with the loss, you might find yourself smiling or laughing about something, and then feel guilty about feeling happy. Finally, many people feel guilty about events that led to a person’s death, imagining that they could have said or done something to prevent it.
Grieving Versus Depression
Grief and depression resemble one another in several ways. However, grief can be thought of like a roller coaster that’s filled with ups, downs, and moments of happiness and laughter. On the other hand, depression often causes ongoing and constant feelings of despair and loss and may lead to a sense of guilt that is pervasive and intense. If you believe that your feelings of guilt are a symptom of depression, then speak with a mental health professional right away.
Grieving and Coping
For many people, the feelings of guilt that they experience are a natural part of their coping process. However, there are several steps that you can take to make coping with guilt easier. First, identify what you’re feeling guilty about and share this with a counselor or trusted friend. Also, be aware of your thoughts and disrupt ones associated with guilt. Finally, consider joining a support group or taking advantage of grief counseling, which can be incredibly beneficial for coping with grief and feelings of guilt.
Chapel of the Chimes Hayward offers cremation, funeral planning, and grief support services near Hayward. To contact our funeral home, please dial (510) 400-4442.