Feeling Guilty After the Loss of a Child

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neagle Code Question

Hi David,

Five years ago I lost a child. I feel guilty about it, and it’s blocking everything else in my life. In the last six months of her life when she was sick, I could have spent more time with her. I could have made different choices.

How do I move past this? This is blocking me everywhere.

Neagle Code Answer

I’m sorry for your loss.

Grief is extremely painful. Sometimes we internalize it towards ourselves when we’re angry that the person we love left. I don’t know if you’ve ever explored that or not, especially when it’s a child. It’s hard to be angry at a child when a child dies.

But here’s what I do know: we’re all going to lose people we love. Death is a part of life. We start dying from the moment we’re born.

Everyone is here in this life to interact with people in order to learn something.

I’d ask yourself, “What is this supposed to teach me?” You had this experience for a reason; she had this experience for a reason. But now we’re working with you.

What are you supposed to learn from this, that will make your life better?—that will make it more fulfilling, more enriching, and which will add more contribution? What do you need to learn?

When you get really clear on what you need to learn from this, you’ll start seeing something open up in front of you that you don’t currently see. I can’t tell you what that will be. But every bit of awareness we gain, everything we become aware of, leads us to the next phase of our life, the next opportunity.

It’s always to help other people in some way, to enrich our life, to enrich their life, or to contribute or be of service. It’s never for you to suffer or beat yourself up over.

Also… it’s perfectly fine to be angry that she left.

Not feeling guilty doesn’t mean you didn’t love her. People think, “If I don’t suffer, or if I don’t feel guilty, that means I must not have cared.” And that’s not true. That’s a lie from the pit of hell. Don’t take that on.

The other truth is that we always could have done something better. You did what you did. You were who you were, because of who you were at the time. You couldn’t have possibly known the outcome that would happen…to the point where you could reverse and reevaluate how you should have behaved. Nobody can know that.

To beat ourselves up in hindsight doesn’t help us move forward.

So it’s about looking at: what do we need to learn to move forward?

She knows you loved her. And she’s there; you can talk to her. I don’t know if you do that or not, but you can and you probably should. She’s all around you all the time; she always will be.

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