I lost my mother in law last week.  I miss her so much and am riddled with grief and guilt.

 

She and I had our differences.  I hadn't seen her in over a year because of distance and we had some items to work through (at least I did).  But shamefully, I also tried to cut my child out of her life.  She hadn't seen her only grandchild in person in almost a year before she passed suddenly.  It was not intentional, I was just annoyed at times and it was never a good time to visit.  She was very understanding.  We sent a couple of pictures here and there and spoke on the phone a few times so that she can hear her grandchild. I find out now that she valued those moments so very much, which makes my grieving and guilt so much worse.  I could have done so much more, so, so much more. I always thought I had time.  I never, never thought I would lose her so suddenly.  We'd been talking about going to see her and life happened and the visit never did.  I am so ashamed. And I don't know how to ask her for forgiveness now.  I loved her and I hope she knew that.  I could have done more and my family would've had more lovely memories with her instead I selfishly went about my life.  I am so sorry now but it's all too late.  She was a wonderful woman who deserved so much more than I offered.

 

I cry all the time, every morning, and throughout the day.  How do I get pass the guilt, shame, and regret? 

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Willa, Your Mother-in-law's soul went to a perfect place where she only feels love. Please do not beat yourself up over the coulda, woulda, shoulda's. There IS a God/Jesus/Holy Ghost and He made everything perfect for her when He brought her Home. I have many regrets also. I know it's just me, who can't let go of my guilt. Mine are with my only child and my Grandmother. I was a typical bratty 17 yr old kid and would talk back to my Granma Billie. She's the kindest woman in the whole world. No one loved me more than her. I took advantage of her kindness, thinking I'd have time to make things right. It never happened! My only child, just turned 30 yr old Candace Watso, asked me to move w/her temporarily because her and her husband weren't getting along. My room-mate said if I moved I couldn't come back, so I told Candace I couldn't.  My Grandma, while in church and praying for me, had a stroke and passed a few hours later. It was New Year;'s Eve '74. It still haunts me to this day. I never loved anyone as much as I did her. She raised me after my Mom and Dad were divorced. My Dad got custody of us kids. My daughter died because I didn't move with her. I lived in CA and moved to NV to be near Candace. My room-mate wouldn't let me come back if I moved, so Candace was alone when she died. Her husband took their girls and went to his parent's home.  Candace passed 4/09/10. I'm talking to Susan Sanderford on Nov. 9th to hear if Candace has things to tell me. Please forgive yourself because your Mother-in-law understands. Sorry if this isn't more chronological but my mind's not here anymore. God forgives, ask Him.

 

Melinda,

 

I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother and daughter.  I don't have to tell you that grandma's are special.  As you said, you were a typical 17 year old.  We all talk back and your daughter probably did the same with you.  It did not mean you did not love your grandma, just as you know that when your daughter talked back that it did not mean she did not love you.  It is hard when we open our hearts to people and then they are taken away so suddenly.  It leaves us just a little emptier than before.  I know I did not cause my mother in law to die, I just could have made our time together better.  I hope you find some peace after your conversation this Friday. 

Melinda Ellen Guinn said:

Willa, Your Mother-in-law's soul went to a perfect place where she only feels love. Please do not beat yourself up over the coulda, woulda, shoulda's. There IS a God/Jesus/Holy Ghost and He made everything perfect for her when He brought her Home. I have many regrets also. I know it's just me, who can't let go of my guilt. Mine are with my only child and my Grandmother. I was a typical bratty 17 yr old kid and would talk back to my Granma Billie. She's the kindest woman in the whole world. No one loved me more than her. I took advantage of her kindness, thinking I'd have time to make things right. It never happened! My only child, just turned 30 yr old Candace Watso, asked me to move w/her temporarily because her and her husband weren't getting along. My room-mate said if I moved I couldn't come back, so I told Candace I couldn't.  My Grandma, while in church and praying for me, had a stroke and passed a few hours later. It was New Year;'s Eve '74. It still haunts me to this day. I never loved anyone as much as I did her. She raised me after my Mom and Dad were divorced. My Dad got custody of us kids. My daughter died because I didn't move with her. I lived in CA and moved to NV to be near Candace. My room-mate wouldn't let me come back if I moved, so Candace was alone when she died. Her husband took their girls and went to his parent's home.  Candace passed 4/09/10. I'm talking to Susan Sanderford on Nov. 9th to hear if Candace has things to tell me. Please forgive yourself because your Mother-in-law understands. Sorry if this isn't more chronological but my mind's not here anymore. God forgives, ask Him.

 

Willa,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss and that you feel so consumed by guilt and shame.  It is easy to blame ourselves for so many things that went wrong or what we didn't do or should have done, etc.   And I think that is a fairly normal part of the grieving process, particularly when a death is sudden and unexpected.  How do you get past it?  You need to forgive yourself for being human.  I believe that your mother-in-law knows what is in your heart.  Do you think she would want you to feel so awful?  I doubt it.  And it would be a shame that her legacy for you is how badly you feel.  Grief is a process, it takes its time, it goes in its own direction and it catches us by surprise.  I sometimes feel badly about things that happened in the last few weeks of my mom's life, my impatience in particular.  But I can't let myself go there because I know that I did the best I could under the circumstances, that I am human and I am not perfect and my mother loved me no matter what and would forgive me anything.  When she died I knew I did the best I could for her and it was good enough.  Please be kind to yourself.  Offer yourself the same compassion, kindness and forgiveness that you would give to another in a similar circumstance.  And in the future you may find a way to make an amend to her, if that's what you feel you will need to do.  My husband wasn't there for his parents when they died.  His brother shouldered all of responsibility.  My husband felt badly about it for a long time but was eventually able to make peace with it and forgive himself.  And then he took wonderful care of my mother--driving her places, talking with her, being available for her.  He said that it was his way of making amends to his parents, by being there for my mom.  Your loss is very new and very raw right now.  Be kind to yourself. Your mother-in-law would want it that way.

Thank you Beth.  She was a wonderful and forgiving person and I do know she would not want me to feel this awful.  I hope time will heal some of the anger I have for myself.  I would give almost anything to have another opportunity with her, to tell her that she is loved and that her grandbaby loves her too, that we will never forget her.  Thank you for your kind words and I hope to get to where you and your husband are in the future. 

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