Self recrimination > helplessness

Posted on April 6, 2017. Filed under: Family, Parenting, Suicide | Tags: , , |

I feel guilt sometimes – did I do enough to keep my husband around? Especially in the last 24 hours of his life. I could have called him, reached out to his friends and family more, forced him to communicate more, said all the things I thought of since then.

But then I learned that guilt – a result of feeling that you actually had the power to do something but didn’t – is *easier* than helplessness – a result of knowing that ultimately, you don’t really have the power to guarantee the health, safety, and life of the people you love most. Allowing ourselves to open up to our own helplessness – that scariest of all things – is supposed to help with the grief.

This concept of helplessness is most uncomfortable when I think of my young daughter. That I can do my very best – that I can even do all the very exact, right things – and still harm can come to her despite my best efforts. What a frightening thought.

 

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