Connecting Families to Senior Living

Call a Senior Living Advisor

(866) 568-2989

Ask a Question

How can I accept the loss and guilt of my partner?

Lost my partner of three years. Life was worth living, with him. Bill was bipolar and over medicated. The use of an anziety medication led to siezurs and his death. Now I feel that I should have done more to get his medications regulated in a hospital setting.

How can I go on thinking about this?

Status: Open    Oct 13, 2014 - 06:45 AM

Other, Relationships

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 answers

Expert Answers

Oct 13, 2014 - 04:09 PM

I am so sorry you are experiencing the agony of loss. You may be feeling that part of you died along with Bill and his passing appears to have shattered the “self” you had worked so hard to build alongside him.

The shattering of self is a common experience for people who are grieving and is the first phase of the healing process. This phase is not about moving on but about being broken. It can be helpful to allow grief to just sink in. Your response to the loss of being deeply connected to another individual is undeniably universal.

In regards to the guilt you expressed over not trying to get Bill’s medications “regulated in a hospital setting”, I have a question for you. Did you mean for Bill’s death to happen? Of course, not. Your intentions were to care for him and love him. Most of us maintain an illusion of control and invulnerability over our lives, but the reality is that Bill’s death was nothing you could control.

Instead of guilt, begin to focus on the legacy of good he has left you. The imprint he has made upon your heart. Try to nurture gratitude for having known him.

Slowly, your state of consciousness will expand and you begin to become present in your life in a new way.


Oct 13, 2014 - 04:13 PM

Below are excerpts from Miriam Greenspan’s book entitled, Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear and Despair.

Intention: To Grieve Is to Heal - As you grieve the death of a loved one, bring a clear intention to this process. Trust your heart to guide you. How can you grieve this loss and honor it, while still nurturing your own self?

Affirmation: The Value of Grief - Affirming the value of grief may appear counterintuitive in a culture that values “moving on” from loss as quickly as possible. On one side of a page write down every “negative” thought you have about grief and sorrow, about grieving too much or too little, or about how you express your grief. On the other side of the page, write a set of affirmations in your own words, about the value of grieving. For example: Negative thoughts: I will never get over my grief about losing Bill. People find me depressing to be around now. Affirmative thoughts: Mourning is a universal expression of interconnection and loss. My grief is a measure of my love. Repeat these affirmations as needed, as a reminder to give yourself permission to grieve.

Bodily Sensation - Grief can be a very depleting emotion – physically and mentally. Soothing is much needed. Take 10 deep, slow breaths. Concentrate on long inhales and long exhales. This form of conscious breathing will bring you sustenance when you are faltering or feeling anguished, empty or fatigued.

Conceptualization: Widening Your Story of Grief - Finding the larger context of your pain is an essential step. But it may be very hard for you to see the “larger picture” at this time. You may be hurting too much. Perhaps you’re just numb. Perhaps the meaning of this death or loss is absolutely incomprehensible to you at this time. Perhaps it just feels senseless and tragic. Give yourself time, and trust that you will find some way to make meaning of this loss. At the same time, find a way to get support from others who have endured or are in the process of grieving similar losses. Such support has been shown to be literally life-saving.

The Way of Non-Action: Mindful Grieving - The way of non-action is allowing sorrow to be sorrow. “Medicate, distract, and avoid” is not the best recipe for grieving but be kind to yourself if you need to do any of these things. Distraction is an important balance to grief’s cruel shattering. Find simple, soothing ways to distract yourself: Call friends. Watch an innocuous, non-violent or humorous movie. Take a walk with someone you trust.

The Way of Action: Don’t Let Your Grief Stop You - Grief, like despair, invites stillness. One would think that “action” is either irrelevant or impossible. But certain kinds of actions can help, if they are done authentically and when you are ready. Give yourself the permission to break through your conventional patterns of relationship and take some risks to connect.

Answer this question

Recently Active Members