“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
– Leo Tolstoy
I recently lost my grandfather and I remember feeling a pang of intense guilt about something I said. Rationally, it doesn’t make sense for me to feel guilty because right up till the last moment I took care of all his needs. However, this webinar was an eye-opener for me in understanding the relationship between guilt and grief and a realization that what I experienced was completely normal.
In Ram’s experience, most grievers experience some guilt associated with grief. This is more evident when the loss is of someone younger or someone we were responsible for. Questions like what we could have done differently arise and we often end up blaming ourselves for the loss. Even if there isn’t any direct association, we still take up the blame for things that are outside our control.
When a loss is involved, one of the questions that follow is ‘why me? It’s a difficult question because there is no visible answer to it. The only way to get over it is to accept it, which Ram explains by sharing the story of Gautam Budhha and the grieving woman.
A woman comes to Buddha with her dead child asking him to bring the child back to life. Buddha promises to do so if the woman can get mustard seeds from a house that hasn’t experienced death. The whole story revolves around the fact that loss is an inevitable factor in our lives and we have to learn to accept it. The failure to accept can adversely affect our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
Remorse and Acceptance
Lastly, Ram talked about how remorse paves the way toward acceptance. Over time, the guilt we experience turns into remorse, finally leading to acceptance. One of the practices Ram recommended was that of Ho’oponopno which helps you free the self from the burden of grief. This helps in reframing and fine-tuning the experience into something useful instead of forgetting it.
The biggest takeaway for me was how there is no time limit for grieving. Feeling guilty about any kind of loss is a natural thing to experience. Lastly, what helped me the most was the way Ram talked about acceptance and how it is the key to getting over grief.
I would recommend this session to know more about the relationship between grief and guilt. Please do share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on CoachNook.
Webinar: Masters of Coaching Series – Grief, Loss and Guilt
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This session is also available as audio-only on our podcast. Listen below or find Coach to Lead wherever you listen to podcasts.