A conversation with a friend experiencing the death of a family member made me reflect on how hard it is to lose loved ones. No book in the world or friendly word can prepare us for the pain which comes from saying goodbye.
However, the way we think while grieving can amplify or diminish our anguish. It is natural to have regrets about things we wish we had done for the person we loved. No one is perfect. But when the stream of our thoughts is filled with expressions such as “I wish I had…”, “Why didn’t I?” and “If only …”, we feel overwhelmed and lost without hope or comfort.
On the other hand, when the statements we make to ourselves change to “I miss you because you were…”, “I cry for you because…” and” I remember this about you…”, we experience the real feeling of loss, not guilt. As we think of all that the cherished person meant to us, we give ourselves an opportunity to celebrate the life of the one we miss. And as we slowly celebrate life, we have a chance to heal.