The grieving process is extremely painful. After the death of a loved one, it feels like the pain will never go away. Although the pain will never fully go away, there will come a day when the heavy burden of grief will feel lighter. While that is a sign that you are healing, with it comes the unexpected side-effect of guilt. Know that what you’re feeling is common and a perfectly normal experience during the grieving process. Here are some reminders to help you deal with guilt after the loss of your loved one.

It isn’t Your Fault

We, as humans tend to want to find a reason for everything, even if it means blaming ourselves. Parents who are grieving the loss of a child often feel that they should have been able to prevent their child’s death somehow. The truth is, you can’t blame yourself for what happened. You must accept the fact that you did what you could to keep your child safe and healthy, but sometimes God has other plans.

It’s Okay to Laugh Again

As the dark clouds of sorrow begin to lift, you’ll find yourself laughing again. You’ll find joy once again in the things you used to love. When that happens, there is a tendency to feel guilty. Your loved one is gone so it feels wrong to feel anything but the sadness that you’ve felt for so long. Remind yourself that it’s ok to feel happiness. Your loved one would want you to laugh and be happy once again.

It’s Normal to Move On

Those who have lost their spouse often feel a sense of guilt once they are finally ready to move on with their life. The thought of dating again seems wrong, but if you’re ready, there’s nothing wrong with moving on and finding someone to share your life with again.

Don’t Dwell on What You “Should Have Done”

When your loved one dies unexpectedly, it’s common to feel guilty about the way you left things. Perhaps you hadn’t called in a while or maybe you had an argument left unresolved. Of course that’s not how you wanted things to end between the two of you. If you had known that was to be the last time you spoke you would have made the effort and taken the time to tell them how much you care. Take comfort knowing that your loved one knows the love you felt for them regardless.

You can’t change what happened and you can’t turn back time, so there’s no sense in beating yourself over something you can’t control. Try to relieve yourself of these feelings of guilt by reminding yourself of the love you felt for the departed.