The road of grief is paved with many emotions. You can experience denial, shock, anger, fear, depression, and bargaining and guilt. You may not feel all of them, but one emotion many experience is the feeling of guilt. You may find that guilt while grieving comes at different stages of your process.

Early Stage of Guilt While Grieving

When you first lose your spouse, you may feel guilty about the fact that you are still here but your husband is not. You wonder how is that fair and sometimes even wish you had gone instead of him.

So how do we overcome this guilt while grieving early on? Take a moment to sit alone and realize that you had no control over what happened. Feeling guilty while grieving will not change the circumstance. Allow your rational mind to be in charge if you can because your heart is hurting too badly at this point in time.

Middle Stage: Guilt At Having Fun

At some point, you will socialize with friends again. There is no time stamp on grief, so it will vary with each individual. You will find yourself laughing again and having fun.

At first, being able to laugh may seem strange because you haven’t done it in a while. Then you may feel guilty about laughing and having fun, knowing your husband is no longer here to laugh and have fun himself. That’s a common reaction. How do we get over the feeling of guilt at this stage?

The truth is, you cannot stay in the dark throws of grief for too long, nor can you sustain guilt while grieving. It is not healthy for anyone, physically or emotionally. Remind yourself of that and the fact that you need to stay healthy and take care of yourself as best as you can.

Guilt While Grieving in the Later Stages

At some point in time, you may find yourself wanting to date or even remarry. You grow tired of being alone. Maybe most or all of your close friends are married.

The feeling of guilt may reenter your mind and heart. You feel that by doing so, or even thinking about it, you are betraying your late husband or making light of the love you had between you. This is a common feeling as well.

To overcome this feeling, you must remember that we are social beings who do not like to be alone. The love you had for your husband will always remain. You will always be his wife in your mind and in your heart. You loved until death and will continue to love him.

Guilt After Many Years

Life will go on and you may even fall in love again, but the love you had for each other will remain. Your heart, before it broke will always be for your late husband. Your healed, new heart can be for someone new. It’s likely that you are not the exact same person you were before. Grief has a way of changing you sometimes.

Guilt while grieving may occur at different stages of your process. Knowing how to think rationally will help calm the emotion and possibly get it out of your mind completely. Grief is a period of your life, but not meant for us to remain in that place forever. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

Peggy Bell is the author of Life After Loss For Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief eBook: Bell, Peggy: Kindle Store.

Read Peggy Bell’s Tips for Dealing with a Spouse’s Belongings – Open to Hope

Peggy Bell

Peggy Bell is a retired educator with forty years of teaching experience, as well as an author and bestselling co-author. After retirement, Peggy wanted to do more with her life, while continuing to add value to the lives of others. She became a certified personal development coach. Having been a widow herself and knowing first-hand the pain of losing a spouse, she started an online support group for widows and wrote a book called, Life After Loss for Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief. Peggy also empowers women who are overcome with self-doubt to discover their inner truths and thrive in life according to their terms. Peggy is a firm believer that it is never too late to go after your dreams. For more information visit

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