Regrets & finding peace

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  

– Soren Kierkegaard, paraphrased from “Journals and Papers 1843”

In grief – and in life – love often falls short. We are never quite the person we mean to be, especially with those closest to us. This can be felt acutely while caregiving or after a loved one dies. Memories of the moments when we were not our best can come rushing back. In grief groups I facilitate, residents often share regrets as we explore the process of finding peace.  

Here are some suggestions:  

  • Tell your story. It can be liberating to share regrets with a trusted friend or counselor. In early grief, it is easy to fixate on our shortcomings, but when a story is shared, it can soften and expand.
  • Gather more information. If you are troubled by some aspect of the death, it may be helpful to talk to a physician or hospice professional who can help you understand more about what you have experienced.  
  • Write a letter. Are there things you wish you’d done differently or things you still want to say? You could put it all in a letter to your person. If you’d like, you can also imagine what they might say and pen a response from them. 
  • Do what you can, with what you have. Although we can’t change the past, the learning we experience through loss can be transformative, opening our hearts so that we can live more fully and love more steadily into the future. 

 -Chaplain Jenny Schroedel  

Grief Support (offered via Zoom)

Regrets & Finding Peace
Wednesday, June 19, 7-8 p.m. CT
We’ll discuss our own regrets and the process of finding peace. 
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Finding Meaning & Purpose through Loss
Tuesdays 7-8 PM CT, June 11-July 16
In a season of loss, it can be difficult to see the way forward. We’ll discuss meaning-making and finding purpose as a path to healing.
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Optage Hospice Chaplain Jenny Schroedel facilitates grief groups across PHS sites and in the larger community. Jenny is also an author, most recently of Naming The Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death.

If you are interested in joining a group or establishing one at your community, contact Optage Hospice at 651-746-8200.



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