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Letting Go of the Guilt
Grief Journey, Losing a Child

I’m Letting Go of the Guilt

It feels so strange to say this. I really hope I don’t change my mind. I will no longer take the blame for the loss of my son. I have searched and searched. I’ve blamed and blamed. It was my fault for not reaching out more. It was my fault for whispering that if he needed to go, I understood. I knew he was in a lot of pain when I saw him in the hospital. It was my fault for distancing myself when he came forward about his addiction. It was my fault because as a mother, it is my job to keep my children safe. I’ve blamed myself for ever getting involved with the man I’m with now. Recent happenings have left me saying, “All this just so my son dies?!”

When I looked through his phone, for some reason, all of his texts start on July 7. He and I exchanged 440 messages from July 7 through August 11. None of his other text threads came close. I reached out enough.

When I gave him permission to go, it wasn’t that I wanted him to die. I wanted peace for him. I love him enough to let him go.

I distanced myself from his addiction – but I never turned my back. I was always there for him, even if he needed to lash out.

As a mother, I still feel keeping my children safe is my responsibility. However, he was 21 and living out on his own. There was only so much I could do. While I could always sense when he was in trouble and swoop in just in time, I was sound asleep when he did this. It is not my fault for sleeping.

He did not leave a note in his phone, but just as I suspected, he expressed his thoughts in his phone’s notepad. He claims I left him out in the cold to raise his brothers. I felt guilty until his father reminded me that I didn’t. He was always welcome to be here, too. He knew that. He declined every offer I made. I did not leave him out in the cold. He chose to live his life.

It is also not my fault for meeting a man who made me happy and falling in love. Things sure are icky right now, but it isn’t his fault either that David is gone.

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Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »