Letting Go Of Blame

QUESTION

Eight months ago I lost my son; I am slowly getting through the pain. The problem is that it happened while my husband was supposed to be watching him, he drowned in our pool. I keep telling myself that it was not his fault but I still blame him, how can I stop being so angry at him?

ANSWER

VICKI:

You have my heartfelt condolences on your loss.

This is something that really needs to be worked on with a grief counselor and possibly a marriage counselor. This is a time when you and your husband need each other most. It is possible to get through this and it has to be together.

If you have a religious affiliation this would also be a good time to seek clerical advice and support. Faith can help people move through extreme tragedy. Do whatever you can to get the help you need – your son would want that for the parents he loves.

I’m wondering if you are saying things to yourself like, “If only I had been there” or “I was the one who was supposed to be watching him at that time” or any “I should have” statement pertaining to yourself? The reason that I’m asking is that if you are then you are feeling responsible and are angry with yourself, this means you feel guilty feeling you did not do everything you could. Be gentle on yourself.

Forgiving yourself first will open the doors for you to take the blame off your husband. You know in your heart and mind that your husband didn’t do anything on purpose. He feels the same pain as you and considerable guilt I am sure.

JILL:
Grief is a deeply personal process, there is no set formula or advice that can be given to someone.

Vicki’s answer was through, so I only have a couple of things to add. It is important that you give yourself permission to feel the anger. If you do see a grief counselor go by yourself first so that you can work through that anger and blame. This will then allow you to process the other stages of your grief and to hopefully reach out to your husband for the love and support that you both need at this time.

Another safe place for your feelings is a support group. I realize that initially that seems like revealing yourself to strangers however the fact that you brought together by a common loss removes the normal barriers. Sometimes it is in that very anonimity that we find the understanding and support that we need.

Without being able to work with you one on one I hope that this advice helps in some small way and I too send you my condolences.

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