Who is to blame for this loss? Is it your fault? Is it someone or something’s fault? This is the blame stage and it’s hard, but you really have to go through it to get it out of your mind and find peace within. Exploring it won’t change what happened but it helped me to find some calm in the storm. Remember we are looking back with a 20/20 vision.
If your loved one died from something medical – could we have chosen a different route? This is survivor’s guilt. What if we had found the problem sooner? Would he have been saved? What if we had never done this procedure? Did we do something wrong? We should have seen it coming! If he could have gone to the doctor every day then they would have found the problem- but is a reality to go every day? No, that’s not even living a fulfilled life- that’s a fearful life.
What if it was an accident- Did he really have to go that route to work? Why didn’t I make him wait just one more minute? Who is to blame for all of these tiny decisions? Whose fault is it? This is a hard answer, but life can be dangerous and accidents do happen.
What if he took his own life? What could I have said to make him feel like living? Is it my fault? Could I have helped him feel better about himself? Why didn’t he seek help? I had to come to the conclusion that God knew this was going to be his challenge and Jay did the best he could. He had a mental illness in a society that has a stigma against seeking help.
Could we all eat better? Probably yes. Could we all take care of ourselves better? Yes. But countless people get sick who are living very healthy lives. The truth is we all will die someday. Many times it is nobody’s fault and there is nothing to blame. We are taught fear from a young age by our culture, families, and media. Through this fear, we are taught that there is something to blame but it isn’t always so. Even if we have lived very carefully and healthily we still may have lost them. What I have found while searching inside myself is as much as I “could have” or “should have” done the end result probably would have been the same. We just don’t have that much control over everything.
There are so many situations and so many factors that it takes some time to go through in our minds. It took me years of study and prayer and everything I could get ahold of in the “WHAT IF?” blame game to settle inside. The answer I found and that I just have to go by is EVERYONE IS DOING THE BEST THEY CAN WITH THE TOOLS THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN. It has helped me not to blame anyone or anything. When I blame then I can’t feel compassion. I need empathy to feel a connection because I believe we are all in this together. I also have come to the conclusion that nothing is going to bring him back and it is what it is. That’s not always easy to take, but it lets everyone off the hook and helps me move forward. I have been spared to live so I am going to live.
Remember you did the best you could. That is enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH!