Regret: it’s an emotion we can all relate to and something we have experienced many times prior to the loss of a loved one. What’s interesting about regret is that it can come as equally with action as it does with inaction. We can regret doing something as much as we can regret having done nothing at all.
In life before loss, however, there is always the sense that tomorrow is another day. That even if we took the wrong path there would always be the chance to set things right.
I often say nothing can prepare us for the finality of loss, and I think in this same way nothing can compare with the powerlessness and frustration of wanting to go back and do things over or do things “right”. How hard it is for a griever to live with the fact that because of the finality of this loss, whatever went “wrong” can never be changed.
We can get stuck in this frustration. And we can punish ourselves for the things we “should” have done, the things we feel we “should” have said, the things we wish we’d done differently…
There are many reasons a griever may be feeling regret, but here are just a few examples: