How to let go of the guilt after losing a child.
As a parent, a natural feeling is one of responsibility for the wellbeing of your children, no matter how old they are. However, you can only be truly responsible for one person; ‘yourself’.
Since working with Bereaved Parents, I believe all of them have felt guilty for some reason or other, no matter the circumstances of how they lost their child. Our most important role as a parent is to protect our child. We feel we have failed in this most fundamental of all roles when our child dies. Our nurturing instinct turns against us in the form of guilt. There must have been something we could have done, here are a few examples:
- Something I did made me Miscarry
- My baby died inside of me, there must be something wrong with me
- If only I had picked them up and not let them walk home from ‘xyz’
- If only I had gone into their room sooner
- If only they could have told me how they were feeling
- If only I had listened more or seen the signs
- Could I have done something different and saved them?
- What other medication/treatments could they have had to save them?
These are just a few examples of what Bereaved Parents think and feel, I’m sure you could all add your own.
No matter the circumstances of your child’s death, you will probably feel like you let them down in some way. You may even feel responsible for their death, even if that is not justified at all.
We feel a primal obligation and a fierce sense of responsibility to keep them healthy, to keep them safe, to keep them alive. We are evolutionarily wired to protect them to continue as a species.
Mothers may often feel guilty after a miscarriage or stillbirth because of something she did, or didn’t do, during pregnancy.
The uncertain causes of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) can bring a special kind of guilty hell for parents, who think there was something they could have done to prevent the death.
Guilt is almost always present in the death of a child, you may torture yourself by thinking about things you wish you had done or things you wish you hadn’t done.
I lost my son Adam to Cancer (a brain tumor), after Adam had his chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the doctors advised I would need to give him daily injections of growth hormone because the treatment would have stunted the growth of his vital organs. I took their advice and dutifully gave him the gowth hormone via an epi-pen, but when cancer returned, there was part of me that felt guilty.
“What if the growth hormone had made his tumor grow again?”
I tortured myself for some time with this thought, having it go and come back again, but years later I finally thought I had eventually released this feeling of guilt.
After all, I had followed the doctor’s advice, with the best of intentions for Adam, so he would have a long and healthy life. I will never know if he had not have had the growth hormone, whether or not the tumor would have grown back – so there was no point in torturing myself.
In my head, I had let go of this feeling of guilt, but realised, with what I know now, that I might still be holding some resistant feelings of guilt stuck in my energy, which would still be affecting me without me consciously realising it.
While writing this piece in my book, I decided to check in and discovered 130 resistant feelings of guilt for giving Adam the growth hormone.
I then used the Energy Alignment Method to release these feelings of guilt and then aligned to the feeling of being confident that I made the best decision I could for him, with the knowledge I had at the time and subsequently allowed this into my energy to replace the feeling of guilt.
Whenever you let go of something negative, always fill the void with a positive feeling. The technique I use makes it is easy to find and release negative low vibrational thoughts, beliefs, memories and feelings, if you would like to know more then please book a Free Breakthrough Call with me.
Guilt and Forgiveness
In its extreme, guilt can grab hold and never let go, creating despondency that sidetracks the grief process. In fact, we may feel so guilty that we believe we deserve whatever pain we have and that we don’t deserve to feel good, but these are just beliefs and you can let go of them and change them for a positive belief instead. Our goal in guilt is to learn to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is easy to say but hard to do, using the technique I work with, it is possible for you can let go of the thoughts, feelings and Energy of guilt, sadness and depression, please book a Breakthrough call to find out more.
A great meditation is the ‘Ho’oponopono’ which is the Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual, listen to this before sleeping and see if it helps. Check out the Before Sleep Ho’oponopono Affirmation Meditation for forgiveness, reconciliation & transformation at https://youtu.be/yDJYZXlsASg.
It is extremely important to address guilt when the death is by suicide. When someone ‘chooses’ to kill themselves, we know their pain must have been intense and often their hope diminished.
We might ask;
- how could we not have known?
- Surely we could have done something to stop them?
- How could we have been a good parent and not prevented this?
We must remind ourselves that if we could have prevented it, we would have.
On a spiritual level, it may have been their path, in some way their soul may have chosen that experience, which on the human level of experience is impossible to understand, so just think of it as a possibility. If your guilt persists, it is important to seek help to assist you to let go of those feelings as they don’t serve you and can be bad for your health (both physical and mental) if allowed to persist long term.
After the loss of a child, a parent’s guilt is almost inevitable, there may be things you wish you had done or things you wish you hadn’t done.
In the weeks, months and even years after losing your child, you may often struggle to be patient with yourself or be able to forgive yourself. You may experience the emotional torture of never knowing if your actions like mine, with giving Adam the growth Hormone, could have changed anything, but you can truly 100% let go of this guilt when you do it on all 3 levels, Mentally, Emotionally and Energetically, and you can stop being haunted by your grief and these feelings of guilt, as you move forward with your life, learning how to go on living without your child.
We love our children and we do our best to keep them safe, so, when our child’s health fails, or they are hurt, or they die, we are immensely affected. Intense pain washes over us and sends us spinning out of control as we try to make sense of what has happened. We hold our stomachs, grip our chest and drop to our knees because of the intensity of our pain. We feel as though we have failed as parents in protecting our child. We failed and we feel guilty.
Five stages of grief (DABDA)
It’s not uncommon to think of the five stages of grief as a linear series of emotions as first outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her classic book, “On Death and Dying” written in 1969.
I prefer to think of them as happening at any moment in time, sometimes feeling like they are all happening at once, I’d like to introduce you to my version of DABDA.
The first four, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression are better thought of as fluid feelings that are part of a much larger set of emotions that come and go as they please, like waves that torment us with their unpredictability. But what about the fifth stage of grief? Acceptance. Acceptance means coming to terms with what has happened and accepting the loss as part of our new reality that we learn to adapt to. To find true acceptance, we must learn to let go of all the negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings that we hold in our energy, so you can work your way to loving yourself and having that true inner peace.
So how do we release guilt?
We start with forgiveness;
- Forgiveness for our actions and inactions
- Forgiveness for the actions of others
- Forgiveness for what did and didn’t happen.
As you are exploring this other thoughts and emotions may come up, but all of these can be released with the technique I use.
Next, we explore why we feel guilty and what makes us feel guilty.
- We may feel guilty because we believe in our hearts that we have failed.
- We may feel guilty because we are still here and our child is not.
- We may also feel guilty because we hold ourselves to extremely lofty standards.
- We may feel guilty and not understand why.
First, we need to remind ourselves that feeling guilty is a natural part of the grief process. This is particularly true when we are grieving our children.
Next, we need to ask ourselves the following questions.
- Can we accept our feelings of guilt as natural?
- Can we accept that we may not be perfect?
- Can we accept that we may have failed and still be okay?
- Can we tell ourselves that we did the best we could with the situation we were given?
This Acceptance is the very path we need to release our guilt, but I believe you need to do this on all three levels; Mentally, Emotionally and Energetically.
Releasing guilt is a practice. It is a practice where we can begin to find some safety and certainty. We can actively choose to participate in this practice each time we are reminded of our guilt. We can acknowledge our guilt as a natural response to grief. We can begin to forgive ourselves for all the things we should have done. We can forgive ourselves for the things we didn’t do. This sounds simple when put like this, but like many things is easier said than done, but using the technique I share with my clients, you have a method for releasing whatever comes up for you in 5 simple steps.
If you would like to know more about these 5 steps . please make sure you register for the 7 day Guided Journey into healing.
It takes time but this level of acceptance is possible. There is hope as the pain of your loss begins to lessen to a dull ache to make room for something new and it then becomes possible to move towards the Sunshine and be happy again.
And, as we practice forgiveness, we learn more about ourselves. And as we learn, we grow and expand out of our comfort zone. We begin to see ourselves in a new future, in a new reality. We grieve. We feel guilty. We can even find acceptance that our child is forever gone.
In time, as we forgive ourselves, release guilt and find acceptance, we begin to look for ways to move forward with our lives, as they are not as we want them to be. We heal and are healed.
I went through this process, little by little but still holding onto many negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, some consciously but many unconsciously, until I discovered the Energy Alignment Method in 2016 (24 years after Adam died and 18 years after my Miscarriage). When I discovered this transformational technique and used it to transform myself, an amazing new method for dealing with negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, being able to transform these to positive ones and truly change how you think, feel and behave.
Having seen what it could do, I trained in this transformational energy technique to help empower other Bereaved parents to transform their lives and learn how they can actually be happy again.
Please book a Free Breakthrough Call with me and I can show you how.