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Guilt Mother Died Before Healed Relationship?

Joan JerkovichApril 29, 2014

Six months before my mother died we had a falling out. Before we got back to repairing our relationship she passed away suddenly from a heart attack. It’s been an emotional up and down roller coaster. I never really got to talk to her and say goodbye as she had stopped talking to me six months. Every day I wake up and am constantly thinking I can’t believe that she’s gone. It’s been hardest knowing we were not on speaking terms when she died and I can’t take that back. I feel so guilty, any help?

               I’m so sorry for your loss and this has to be incredibly hard and conflicted based on the way things happened. Of course, if either you or your mother could have known she would be taken away suddenly, you would have healed your relationship before that time.

               This is so sad, and the last thing I would want you to do is get down on yourself or judge yourself harshly for living this “emotional up and down roller coaster” as you call it. Grieving takes time. Allow yourself all the time you need to get through this but if you feel you are getting “stuck” in grief, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a pastor, counselor, or find a grief support group.

               Here is something to keep in mind as you try to move forward: Look at your relationship as a whole. Hold dear in your heart the connection and love that you and your mother had through her whole life, not just these last months. Celebrate in your memories the beauty of what you had together. Be grateful for the good things your relationship held for both of you.

               Don’t focus on the rift you had just before your mother died. All relationships have their ups and downs. We fall apart only to come back together again. Think about it, the people we are closest to and love the most are the same ones we have the biggest fights with! It’s called being emotionally connected and emotionally invested in the relationship.

               The one thing we don’t get to plan in life is our death. We have no say over how it unfolds, when it happens, who will be with us, and who won’t. I’m guessing that fact makes control freaks crazy! So, let go of the controlling thought that is holding you hostage to your grief; the thought that you should have been there when your mother died.

               Make amends in your heart. Tell her you’re sorry and that you love her. In my belief world, she’s with you and will hear every word your heart has to share. Share the love while letting go of the guilt. It will move your grieving forward in a more natural way.

Listen to the podcast “Guilt Mother Died Before Healed Relationship” to hear my Life Coaching caller tell this story in her own words and post your comments. We learn from each other!


Joan Jerkovich, BCC Board Certified Life Coach

Joan Jerkovich, BCC
Board Certified Life Coach

The Joan Jerkovich Show
News Radio 1150 KSAL
Saturdays @ 6:00 am CST
Podcast posts to Mondays

Click HERE to anonymously send Joan your question!


Join the conversation & post your comments anonymously @ We learn from each other!


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