Help me deal with passing of a close relative...

Seaweed, I am so very sorry for your loss.   For years after my father died I felt the same guilt you do.  Even though I was a great daughter,  I couldn't stop thinking of all the things I should have done for my dad, or with my dad.   Then I had my own daughter, who is now 29.   It wasn't until I experienced the immeasurable joy of being a parent that I understood how much happiness I had brought to my dad.   Don't feel guilty for not spending more  time with your grandma. You visited her a LOT.   You were also living your life, which is what she wanted.   I am sure she thought of you a million times a day and every time she did it gave her happiness.   She wanted you to have a good life and to live your life and you did !!  You were and are a loving and devoted grandson.  She was sooooo very lucky to have you.  

seaweed said:

Thank you everyone for the comments of comfort and valuable advice. It is a time for me that is indescribably painful... I have lost family members and friends before, and I knew inevitably this day would come, but I was not prepared for it. I feel guilty that I have not done enough for her, did not visit her frequently enough, i should have tried to take her places (especially recently since I am jobless for the last 2 months, I should have been there for her...). I feel that I took for granted having someone so precious in my life and I could not recognize how fragile their presence was... Now I stand in regret, sorrow, and a tremendous feeling of emptiness. My heart is filled with "I should haves" and a void that I cannot refill ever... The only thing I have is tears and more tears...

Seaweed I am so sorry for your loss.  Almost 4 years ago my father died very suddenly and unexpectedly.  I was like a zombie and felt broken with grief and guilt.  So much guilt.  The following month my maternal grandmother died, and then two years later my dad's mom died.   I felt like a zombie sometimes and then would break down out of the blue.  The guilt though...sometimes it is worse than the grief from the loss. 

I will tell you that on the days that I have had clarity, I know that my grandmothers and especially my father would NEVER want me to feel guilty, ever.  I know that.  You should know that too.  You know the love you and your grandmother shared.  Put yourself in her shoes.  If you had died before her, would you want her to spend one second feeling GUILTY?  Of course not.  Try to let that go - guilt is just destructive and pointless.  As a wonderful yoga teacher I used to have would say at the end of our classes "Forgive yourself for everything you are blaming yourself for right now.  You did the best you could with what you had at the time."   Looking back it's easy to say oh I could've, should've, etc., but you know what - you did the best you could.  You did.  Forgive yourself.

As far as grief, it is as individual as a fingerprint.  You can't go around it, you have to get through it.  You will find your way.  Like people on this thread have mentioned, there are lots of folks right here on MOL willing to "talk" to you.  There are grief support groups.  There is counseling.  Sometimes there is just needing to stay in bed with the covers over your head for a day.  

This is so very raw for you right now.  That's ok.  You don't have to have a plan right now - you can let yourself just be.  You can crawl under that blanket.  You can be sad and you can cry.  But be kind to yourself, remember to treat your grandmother's grandchild with the love she had for you.  And when you need to talk, come here, take a walk, try out therapy - find out what helps you.  Some things will, some things won't.  We all have to get through it in our own way.  And, no, nobody's grief is exactly like yours, but everybody who is reaching out here or who you may encounter if you decide to go the support group route knows what it is to grieve and you can take their hands, virtually, or otherwise, and move through yours when you're ready.  Today, take care of yourself.  

Wishing you peace.  

I do love our courageous and compassionate community.  I take something of value from each of your posts.  

A beautiful thread ...

So sorry for your loss, seaweed.

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