Linda, sorry I missed you on Chat. I have found that working on Bernie's garden has strengthened me. I am doing something for him. There is a big stone, and I had a plaque made, but it has not been put up yet. Pics when I do. Wishing you courage and strength. David.
Hi Linda, I wish I could help you forgive yourself, I found this artical, but I don't think we ever stop grieving....
Forgiving Yourself after the Loss of a Loved One
If you are suffering from feelings of guilt after the loss of a loved one, even though the death was not your fault, Dr. Phil has advice on how to forgive yourself so that you can move on.
Know that it isn't uncommon to play the "What if?" game: "What if I could have stopped it?" "What if I had only known the accident would happen?" "What if I could trade places and it could have been me who died?" etc.
You may also find yourself feeling guilty if you catch yourself smiling, having a good time or simply enjoying life after your loss.
Although there is no set timetable for grieving, if a substantial period of time has passed and you are still not allowing yourself to move on past the grieving process, allowing yourself to be crippled with guilt for something that was not your fault, ask yourself why.
Understand that in any situation, even one like this, people don't engage in a behavior that they don't get a payoff for. Is the fact that you can't move forward a payoff in itself? If you feel the only connection that you have with the deceased is your grieving, could that be a payoff? Is the guilt a payoff? Are you punishing yourself because you feel you deserve to be punished for being a bad mother/sibling/friend/spouse because you let your loved one die?
If you won't move on past the grieving process because the grief is your current connection to the deceased, ask yourself how terrible it is that your precious loved one is being remembered as a legacy of pain that you choose to carry around. You're focusing on the moment he/she died instead of on the moments he/she lived and the joy that he/she brought to your life. Isn't that a terrible burden to place on your loved one?
If you want to forgive yourself, understand that guilt is all about intention. Is there a bone in your body that wished or intended for something bad to happen to your loved one? If not, why are you feeling guilty?
There comes a time when you have to say, 'Enough is enough. If I give up the pain, I'm not going to lose him/her.' How long you grieve or how deeply you hurt does not reflect how much you loved. The fact that it's been two, five or 10 years and you are allowing yourself to live life doesn't mean that you love him/her any less. It doesn't mean you've forgotten your loved one.
When you are ready to let go of your guilt and grief, it may help to speak out loud to your loved one, expressing your continued love for him/her while affirming your decision to let go of the grieving process: "I love you, but I have to let you go. I will love you until the day I die, but I'm going to let you go."
Hi Linda, My only child/son Joe was 42 in August and a young man who was inebriated struck my son on his motorcycle just between 11 and midnight as he was pronounced expired on April 5, 2010.
I've always thought if only I said or he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just one grain of sand would have changed everything. Now after watching a SciFi show and hearing what others believe that what happens is written or it's fate I wonder. On the show Haven last night a man was sent to the past. He met his grandfather before he was ever born. Nothing was able to change the death of his grandfather even that he saved his life 2 times during his time in 1955. The third time the obituary was handed to him and he was passed on. We can't seem to change it.
Maybe they are just too good and have struggled enough here on earth. I do believe there is a heaven and a good life ahead of us. My son had some rough roads on earth but he always had a smile and was loved by many. They take the love with them.
If you need to cry, scream and write your son messages on facebook or in a journal then do it. I talk with my son by writing to him so do some of his friends. It's a release like a paper psychiatrist. You'll feel a connection to him. And you'll be able to feel him in your heart. Look in the mirror when you want to see him. You will feel him if you let yourself he can be right there with you if you believe he is. It's a good feeling.
Linda, I symathise so deeply with you. My Bernie was 45 and had a nice studio room at home with me. His dogs were so imortant to him, and the 16 y.o. is still as shocked as I am that he left us 14 months ago. Only the good die young, my Ma would say, so the Good Lord excused them from taking the rough road that we sinners have to travel. But after this sacrifice, we shall all be together one day, and for a much longer time, Eternity.
Linda, we umderstand your pain and know exactly what you were saying about having another child. If I did not have other children I'm not sure I could go on without my Kaylee. I know I need to be here for them, so, in my case it does make it easier. I hope you will stick with the site.