Grief- Is my painful guilt and grief related? How long should my grief last?


Grief and guilt are related and these are two really great questions and I will answer them the best I can.

I too have guilt since my dad died- the guilt can come from many sources And can also seem to appear out of no where too. It may be a song you hear that triggers these painful feelings, this heaviness.

As caregivers sometimes we feel like we didn’t do enough, the shoulda, coulda woulda syndrome.

If only I said the last I love you or what if I handled a situation better. Or maybe I should of done this or that differently. Or why didn’t I visit just that much more. And many other things that can be keeping you up at night.

The things that are left unsaid or a situation that plays over and over in your head- especially if you weren’t happy with the outcome- become feelings of guilt. Trust me I know all about it, especially being Italian and growing up on Long Island, New York. If you’re not from New York and you don’t have a connection there, then you may have never heard that being Italian and/or Jewish means you are instantly plagued with family guilt, (you know who you are) now add New York and then the death of your parent, and now you have the perfect recipe for this conversation, this grief combined with guilt. Mama Mia!! Oy Vey!

Please know it’s normal and you’re not alone. So many people I speak to have these same exact feelings, being Italian or Jewish or not, these feeling of guilt are real.

Just like any other aspect of grief, guilt is similar, this too shall pass. What to do in the process? Forgive yourself, self care and self love. I know it may sound difficult, but put a few good practices in place and you will feel less pain. Please refer to my book, I have an entire section of self care and self love. If you can’t afford the book and need it, reach out and I will send you a copy.

How long should my grief last?
There is no exact length of time for feelings of grief. Grief of a parent can last for years- it’s unpredictable and comes in waves. Certain times of year can often trigger our grief, especially at holidays and birthdays alike.

I like to light a candle on my mom and dad’s birthday. It helps me remember them and reminds me of them.. During the holidays and other times of the year, I will make meals that my parents used to make all the while I feel their presence and it brings me comfort. When we sit down to eat these meals I like to bring them up in conversation, talk about the good times, maybe how they prepared the meal and create some laughter too. (laughter is good for the soul ) Let’s find joy in the memories, this will help with your grief and guilt too.

Please remember grief has no schedule and can even sometimes come out of nowhere. Be kind to yourself. And know that this too shall pass. Time is our friend when it comes to grief.

Call a friend or family member that you can talk to especially if you live alone or even if you have a house full of people. We need support, we need people to talk to.

Sometimes it’s knowing that there is nothing wrong with you as you experience guilt and grief.

Remember, YOU are stronger than you think you are. I repeat YOU are Strong!

You got this! I got you!
Sending love,