When someone you love passes away regret becomes part of your grief journey. Whenever we look back on our lives there is always something we regret. Losing a loved one causes us to reflect on things we did wrong, what we should have done or could have said. Regret will tear you up as you grieve if you’re not careful.
Seeking forgiveness for regrets you have from someone you’ve lost isn’t an option. That is the hardest part. You can’t say ‘I’m sorry’.
All of your regrets become part of you and your grief journey. Another step that you have to work through.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope
I lost my paternal grandfather to cancer. It was fast. Really fast. I was pregnant with my son and unable to get home in the end…or for the funeral. For years I was filled with regret for not pushing my doctor and begging him to allow me to fly back home to Texas. My grandfather was very special to me and not being able to say goodbye tore me apart.
My maternal grandfather died suddenly shortly after my daughter was born. I hadn’t seen him in several years because I live so far away from home. Growing up he made me laugh and his hugs were the best. He had a beautiful smile and laugh to match. I was able to fly home with both of my kids and sing at his funeral. I didn’t struggle with regrets as much with him because I was able to say goodbye in a very special way. However, I did find a card that I had “meant to send him” that was still in an envelope after he’d passed. I broke down when I found it because I had failed to send it.
My best friend died unexpectedly. Tragically. It came out of no where. I woke up one morning and she was gone. Regret set in almost instantly. I had let the busyness of my life take over and keep me from her. There had been “no time” for Facetime or Voxer. Life was simply too busy for me to stop and say hi…to video chat and see the little one for which we’d prayed for so long.
Regret will eat you up if you let it.
I first read this chapter from Grieving with Hope months ago. It hit me right between the eyes. I had to put the book away because I couldn’t write about regrets. I had too many and I hadn’t come to terms with or processed them because I hadn’t forgiven myself.
Looking back I know that my life wasn’t balanced properly when I lost my best friend. Our family business was extremely busy, but not so busy that I couldn’t have made time for my best friends. I had lost sight of what mattered most.
My grandfather would shake his head at me if he knew that I had for a minute been concerned about being home for his funeral. He would remind me that he wasn’t there anymore…that he was with Jesus. He simply wouldn’t understand the fact that I lived with regret for years because I missed it.
Changing what I did wrong in the past isn’t possible. Striving to not make the same mistakes again is possible. I have enough regrets to last a lifetime. I don’t need anymore.
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. We’re in the midst of our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.