It seems to me that there are two distinct pieces or faces of the journey with grief. There is absolutely the piece of missing a loved one, the sadness and sorrow that accompanies the death of a family member or friend. That kind of gut wrenching, heartfelt knowingness that you will never get to be with them physically, mentally, or emotionally again. That space they filled in your life is now and forever more empty.
Then there is that piece of I wish I hads and I wish I hadn’ts. This for me is the tough spot, the knot in grief that seems undoable. Your friend or family member is dead and you can not make it up to them – time ran out on the two of you before you could make the amends. Before you could apologizes for things you did in your own estimation that you think you should not have done. And then there are those things you thought of doing that you failed to do and you think in your estimation you should have done them.
What to do?
Fess up! Write a note to your loved one and express through the letter what you did and did not do in your relationship with them that you feel badly about. Read it over several times, make sure you are complete as you can be. Then head out in nature somewhere special for you, take a friend if you wish, and do a simple burning ritual and as your note of confession goes up in flames and smoke let go as deeply as you can of those very regrets setting both you and you loved one free.
Warmly and with love