Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Comfort guilt

I think we all have one, at least in the early stages.
A "what if", "if only I had ..." or "I wish I hadn't done, said, thought X, Y or Z". The coulda, woulda, shouldas that we use to torture ourselves, long after we have stopped believing there is any rationality to these thoughts.

I have mine. It doesn't really matter what it is - he is dead, and no amount of clothes-rending or breast-beating is going to bring him back. But friends seem to worry that I won't let go of these feelings. We argue, they rationalise, even to the extent of talking to their own doctor on my behalf to prove that I couldn't possibly be right. But still I hold on to my guilt and the exquisite, scab-picking pain that goes with it.

It is an odd sort of comfort blanket that we wrap ourselves in and carry around with us. The warped logic of bereavement makes it easier to believe that he died because of something that we didn't do or did wrong, than to try to come to terms with the sheer crappy randomness that can, in an instant, stamp out the life of an otherwise fit, healthy, wonderful human being.

Perhaps one day I will be able to dig a hole and bury this feeling or put it in a box along with the flashbacks and other bad memories. Perhaps this is a necessary step on the road to acceptance. But for now, my little guilty friend seems to be showing no signs of wanting to move on and I have no idea whether to actively encourage him to go or allow him to leave in his own good time.


  1. Oh gosh. Star posted a regret recently too. I think I will write up my list of regrets. I have a bunch of them.

    (Yes, it goes away. Yes, you can keep picking if you like. No, it's not pathological. In some ways, I think it's a comfort.)

    Oh gosh. Another "coming attraction." Good thing I'm unemployed....



  2. Gee thanks. Now I have Sinatra going round my head in addition to everything else!