A reader writes: I know this is probably foolish to ask, but then again the way I have been over the last 2 months anything can be seen as foolish. I have been told by others that have suffered a loss to expect to see my loved one within a few months after death........ I wait, and I wait, and I'm still waiting... I want so much to tell her one more time that I love her ...as I sit in the dark I look and listen for her.I'm scared also, I'm afraid she will be angry with me for not doing more, for not noticing the cancer growing in her brain, for not realizing she was sick, for putting off our wedding another year.. I'm so afraid that I let her down, even tho the thoughts I have are unrealistic I still have them and can not understand why I would be afraid to see my beloved...So my question is this... will she come to see me as I have been led to believe? And is the fear of seeing her appear before me normal?
My response: I'm so very sorry for your loss, and I can feel the anguish in your words as you struggle with guilt over what you think you should have, could have, would have done differently, if only you had known then what you know now. But the sad truth is that you did not know, and even if you did, there is no guarantee that your knowing would have made any difference. Your fear that your beloved may be angry with you may serve to explain why you haven't had the experience of seeing her in an apparition or a dream ~ but keep in mind that not everyone has such mystical experiences, and if you don't, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.
If you feel a need to do so, consider what you could do to make amends to your beloved. Find a way to genuinely apologize to her, and ask for her forgiveness. For example, you could write her a letter, or have a visit with her spirit. Say aloud or in your mind whatever you didn’t get to say while she was still living. Be as honest as you can be. Then have your loved one write a letter to you. What would this person say to you about the guilt and sadness you’ve been carrying around? Ask what it would take for you to forgive yourself, and see if you can begin doing it. Try saying out loud to yourself, “I forgive you,” and say it several times a day. Remember, too, that no one else can absolve your feelings of guilt ~ only you can do so, through the process of intentionally forgiving yourself.
In any event, you're not the first to be wondering about such post-death apparitions and dreams. If you visit our Grief Healing Discussion Groups and read the posts in these particular threads, you'll find interesting discussions of what are called mystical or extraordinary experiences of the bereaved: Lost Mom A Year Ago/Feel Her Here and Signs/Messages
- Extraordinary Grief Experiences
- Grief And The Burden of Guilt
- Guilt and Regret in Grief
- Writing As A Healing Tool in Grief