Grief and GuiltThe greatest grieves are those that we cause ourselves. When we have only ourselves to blame in a particular situation, our personal guilt directs itself inward and cycles through our consciousness until we can gain perspective and move forward.
In other situations of shared guilt, the blame is spread across the involved parties and this serves to foster a communal healing process instead of the internalized guilt that consumes our very beings when we solely place blame on ourselves. This essay will discuss the elements of guilt as related to the nature of grief. Conceptualizing grief as a personal response to loss can help illustrate how in times of grief, self-directed and self-inflicted guilt manifests itself to a deeper and more personal level. This process can develop over time or instantaneously, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you and your friends are out driving and everyone is talking and distracting the driver and the car gets in a fatal accident that kills the driver, the guilt will be spread between the survivors because they will feel equally responsible for the death of the driver.
On the other hand, if the driver is not paying attention to the road and the car wrecks and everyone but the driver is killed, the driver will solely burden the guilt for all of the passengers’ death. This personal grief and guilt will expand to a much deeper scale than the shared guilt than the first example. It always helps the healing process to let go of all of the internalized pressure and guilt one has. Having this knowledge can help people who are internalizing their grieving and guilt because they will realize that they need to unload their burdens through their support systems in order to minimize their grief and guilt.