Depending on the circumstances behind your husband’s death, one of the regrets you may have is the fact that you did not get to say goodbye.  Everything ended abruptly and without warning. You may be saying things such as, “I didn’t get to tell him I loved him. I didn’t have one more chance to hug and kiss him. I do not know how he wants me to go on. ”

This type of regret is a common emotion. When the death is due to a tragic and unexpected circumstance, the emotional and physical pain may be even more intense. It sometimes makes the grief much harder to deal with than it already is.

While we cannot bring our husband back to fix this, we can do some things to hopefully lessen the pain. There are three suggestions to help you do this.

  1. Talk to him. If there was a place of burial, you may want to visit it alone and have a talk with him about how you are feeling. Sometimes being at the place where he was laid to rest may let you feel closer to him. It may be easier to talk to him there.
  2. Plant a memory garden. You can plant a garden in your yard where you can have some reflection time. Maybe plant his favorite flowers or greenery. The scents from the garden can remind you of him and make you feel closer. If planting a garden is not an option, then consider getting a houseplant. Put it in a special place of the house will you will see it often.
  1. Write a letter. Symbolism is a powerful tool. Try sitting down with pad and pencil and write him a letter. Tell him all the things you are regretting, all the things you wished had been said and done. Release all of your emotions out on paper. Don’t leave anything unsaid. When finished, you either can keep it or get rid of it. Many people choose to burn it and let the smoke symbolically mean you are sending up your message and releasing those feelings. It may bring you a sense of freeing your mind.


Not being able to say goodbye is difficult. I know, because it happened to me. There were a couple of things I wish we had discussed prior to his death.  I blamed myself for it, because even though he had been ill for a long time, I did not want to discuss what would happen after he was gone. I felt that discussing it was acknowledging that I believed he would die soon, and I did not want to upset him.

In hindsight, I wish I would not have thought that way. I have called it a valuable lesson. I learned never to let things go unsaid. In life, there are no do overs.  In death, it is the same way. I followed my own advice, however, and did one of these three suggestions. I was able to feel better about it over time. I felt that somehow he got the message and understood.







Peggy Bell

Peggy Bell is a certified life coach, author, speaker and educator. She helps widows get through the grief process, moving forward to find their new normal. She was widowed at one time and now has a desire to help lessen the pain for them if possible. She helps them, and other women who feel lost or disconnected to discover their life purpose and authentic happiness. Her latest book, Life After Loss For Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief is was released in June 2019. Peggy is the author of two children's chapter books, co-authored in two anthologies, written her own blog posts, guest blog articles, magazine articles, and newspaper articles. She has appeared in local magazines and on podcasts.

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