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How can I cope with guilt after the death of a loved one?

These exercises may help you ease feelings of guilt following a death:
  • Write a letter. Express your feelings to the person who died. Read it aloud in a favorite spot or perhaps in a place where you can feel his or her presence. Keep the letter with you so you can read it or add to it whenever you like. This may be especially helpful if you didn't get to say goodbye.
  • Consider good and bad. Write down the good things about the relationship or experiences you are glad to have shared. Then note what worked poorly in the relationship or things you wish you hadn't shared. Accept that people, including you, are imperfect. You can't always give or get love in the way you might wish to do so.
  • Talk to a friend. Try to find a good listener who won't attempt to tell you what you should be feeling. Discussing your true feelings with an empathetic friend can help lighten the burden of guilt and may reveal other perspectives that you are overlooking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.