"I did it wrong"May 06, 2022
Many people who have lost a spouse think they did it wrong. I did, too. We spend a lot of time revisiting, ruminating, and rehashing. It often sounds like:
He was sick and we knew it was coming, but I should have known that it was actually happening in that moment.
I knew he was passing, and I should have been standing closer to him.
I should have been able to save him.
I should have been able to say goodbye.
I didn’t say the right things to him.
No matter if the death was sudden or expected, the brain likes to find fault. It reviews the circumstances time and time again, analyzes from every angle, rehashes the alternate possibilities, and offers thoughts like, “If only I had……”
It’s the job of the human brain, after all, to keep us alive. To the primitive brain, any traumatic event equals danger. So, in analyzing the event, the brain is attempting to learn more about it to prevent said danger from happening again.
And there are other reasons that its easy to remain focused on what you did “wrong.”
At some level, the brain may be attempting to renegotiate the outcome. Of course, that isn’t possible, but part of the brain is still trying to understand the world without his physical presence.
Also, if you’re not focused on the events of his passing and what went “wrong,” then you’re faced with the reality of the loss. In other words, the brain chooses regret over the deeper pain of loss.
Or depending on your situation, your brain might be choosing anger over the more difficult emotions that would otherwise present themselves.
In any case, “I did it wrong,” is just a thought. It might feel true to you, sure, but it’s a thought that is keeping you stuck in the misery, unable to find your way forward, bearing the heavy burden of regret.
One precious life did indeed end. But not two.
Regret can be lugged around for years. It’s exhausting. It is suffering. And it’s optional
It’s entirely possible to make peace with the past and stop any extra, unnecessary suffering so that this isn't one ounce harder than it needs to be.
You deserve that.
This is what we do inside of Life Reconstructed, my coaching program exclusively for those who have lost a spouse. It’s for those who want to stop bearing the burden of regret and start creating a life with living. If that’s you, simply click here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
Learn more about Life Reconstructed.
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