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How do you deal with guilt and regret

Kay B

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There seem to be so many components to grief. In my past reading I've read there are 5 stages to it. You can move back and forth between them and how long you stay in each varies from person to person. No matter how much I read about psychology and the human mind, it fails me in dealing with my own grief. I can't seem to escape the guilt feelings from loosing my precious angel,whose nickname was Mama. I refused to take the opinion of several vets to have her put to sleep and having made the decision to keep her here makes me second guess if I caused her to suffer. If it did I have to live with that on my conscious for the rest of my years. No one on this earth can answer that question. No amount of prayers will supply me with what I want to know. All the words "you did the best you could" offer NO consolation. So what direction do I go now? My thoughts are so scrambled and intrusive repeating like a broken record going around and around. I am a senior and live alone, I have no family. I have a few friends but they can't help me to the depth I need. I live on a fixed low income so paying for therapy is almost impossible. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. If only I could go backwards in time, would I do anything different? Some are yes's some are no's.  It's been said "knowledge is power". Wish I could remember where I saw, heard, or read that statement. I agreed with it for many years. Now another statement comes to mind "ignorance is bliss". In much confusion I'm trying to decide where I fall on that continuium. I once heard a man who is a psychologist say "if we should've, could've, would've ourselves, we will never get ......". Insert whatever word you want. Guess my question is can the cycle be broken without adding to existing guilt? All responses welcome. I better go, I feel another wave of tears about to come.

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Those 5 stages of grief were meant for those dying, not for the griever...read here:

The 5 Stages of Grief debunked
The Five Stages of Grief debunked

I have been through much grief in my life, particularly the last 15 years.  You are right, psychology can't take away our grief, I have learned you can't circumvent it or ignore it, there is but to go straight through it and learn to coexist with it.  Be extra kind and understanding and patient with yourself, we have to be our own best friend, all the more so!

There is a beginning to this journey but not an ending, there is no time when it is "over," no "moving on" from it, but we can hone our coping skills and learn to adjust as much as possible.  Keep reading and learning, it has been very helpful for me in my own journey.  I am very analytical but there is no answers to the "why" or anything that satisfies us in this, my only consolation is my faith that we will be together again.

Memorializing, honoring them, helps some as it gives some positivity into this very hard situation.

Wishing you peace and comfort come to you...

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