Dealing With Guilt After a Loss - Adventist HealthCare

Dealing With Guilt After a Loss

Topic Overview

It is common to feel some kind of guilt or regret after losing a loved one, an opportunity, or a valued way of life.

If you find yourself feeling guilty about a past action or inaction, set aside time to think about your feelings and work through the following exercise.

  • Write a list of your "should haves" and "shouldn't haves."
  • Remind yourself that we all have things we would do differently if given the chance.
  • Identify any regrets that you can act upon, such as thanking a friend who you never properly thanked for an act of kindness.
  • Forgive yourself for those regrets that you cannot act on to correct.
  • Recognize what you have done well, and congratulate yourself for it. This may help you put things in better perspective.

Be gentle with yourself during this exercise. When looking back on something in your past, you can usually see the situation more clearly and think of a better way to handle it. Remind yourself that you did the best you could, given your circumstances at the time.

If you are having trouble forgiving yourself, talk with a trusted friend, a member of the clergy, or a health professional. Sharing regrets or guilty feelings with another person often helps us overcome them.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

Credits

Current as ofJune 28, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Sidney Zisook, MD - Psychiatry

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.