After a loved one’s passing people often feel guilty. They wish they could change things. An expression which may go, “If I had it to do all over again, I would have done things differently.” This could fall into a category of what can be considered normal guilt.
Other normal guilt expressions may be described as:
1} I should have been nicer.
2} I should have said I love you.
3} I should have made an appointment for him or her to go to the doctor and then taken him or her.
4} I should have helped more with the garden & yard work.
5} I should have done more chores.
6} I shouldn’t have been such an angry bitter person towards him or her.
7} I shouldn’t have been so argumentative all the time.
8} I wasn’t there when needed in the end and now I feel so guilty.
Normal guilt is wishing that you could have done more. Perhaps you could have been more understanding and caring, had a better personality towards them, were there for them as they drew their last breath, if you weren’t. Maybe you feel as if you were somehow responsible for their death because they refused to go to the doctor and refused to quit bad habits like smoking. You may feel horrible because of infrequently or never telling them that you love them.
Normal guilt is regrets. Regret is something that cannot be changed after the death of a loved one. It is something that you will have to accept and forgive of yourself to move forward.
A person may go beyond normal guilt into excessive guilt, guilt that can eat at you.
Manifestations of excessive guilt can be described as:
2} Weight Gain
4} Self Destruction-Self Mutilation-Cutting
5} Avoidance of Friends & Family
6} Blaming Self
7} Dwelling on Past Regrets
8} Unable to Accept and Forgive Self for Past Regrets
9} Physical Pain
10} Chronic Illness
11} Chest Pain
14} Inability to Feel-Loss of Emotions
16} Suicidal Tendencies
Excessive guilt is the inability to cope with loss and regrets. People trapped with excessive guilt will probably need counseling and will not be able to overcome the manifestations overnight.
If excessive guilt is left untreated a person may attempt or commit suicide or become physically ill to the point of causing a stress-induced heart attack or other life threatening illness-condition.