Regret & Guilt

Regret is a normal part of losing a loved one.  Thoughts can easily go to the past with statement such as “I could have…” “I should have…” “I wish I would have…” done something different.  These thoughts can paralyze action in the present.  We can learn from our past, but we cannot change it.  Learning to cope and deal with feelings of regret is critical for effectively moving forward. Surviver’s guilt often goes hand in hand with feelings of regret.  People often feel unworthy of remaining alive when a loved one is taken.  Feeling of guilt can prevent the surviver from moving forward and making the most of their life.

We Cannot Change the Past
We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret and remove the burden of our sins. His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart, and a determination to do better and especially to become better.
Deiter F Utchdorf

Leave the Past in the Past
If you don’t leave your past in the past, it will destroy your future. Love for what today has to offer, not for what yesterday has taken away.
Marc and Angel Hack

  From the Editors Desk

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    There is a song by Hillary Weeks called, If I Only Had Today, that I heard this weekend at women’s motivational retreat. Quite honestly, it was really hard for me to hear.  I struggled to fight back the tears and stay composed.  I even thought of bolting from the room,...
  2. The Sun

    I kept expecting this grand moment when I would feel whole again. I pictured it would be like what I had seen in movies. I hoped for the rooftop scene in Beauty and the Beast when all of the sudden, light radiated from every pore as the Beast was turned into something...
  3. Empowerment to get through trials: Staying Present

      This idea is so critical for getting through trials!  I just cannot say that enough.   The present is the only time that we can use our agency. The past is done and cannot be changed. We can learn from it, but cannot affect it. The future is beyond...

  Real Stories

After a fatal car crash a surviving teen faced with great pain and loss, turns to God to find answers to his soul’s deepest questions. 

  More From Our Blog on Regret and Guilt

  1. Letting Go of Regret and Guilt through Forgiveness

    Letting Go of Regret and Guilt through Forgiveness

    Over the past 3 years I lost 6 family members, starting with my wife of 8 months, then dad, grandpa, an uncle, grandma, and another grandma. It’s been extremely difficult having so many deaths in such a short time, but I have noticed a pattern. The initial feelings that have...

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  2. Regrets that Paralyze You

    Regrets that Paralyze You

    Regrets can paralyze you.  They can serve as roadblocks to keep you from moving forward.  They can snatch you, suck you back and spiral you down into grief. We all have regrets… it’s simply part of living and part of making mistakes, but what we choose to do with those regrets...

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  3. Dear Sweetheart, I forgive you!

    Dear Sweetheart, I forgive you!

    Dear Jason, I still remember the first time I looked into your dark brown eyes and how drawn I was towards you. I could sense the innate honestly that was behind them. It was like I could see your soul and I loved it. I had known you forever and...

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You did your best and it was good enough!

I’ve been given a sweet gift from Heavenly Father by knowing that even though I wasn’t perfect during the trying times as my husbands health deteriorated, I did my best and that was good enough. Deep down isn’t that what we all strive to do. We must be kind to ourselves! We have a very difficult road ahead of us without beating up on ourselves for the past.


If I have a regret or a “what if” I finish the thought and then push it away.

I don’t dwell on those things. There are no do-overs, so there is nothing I can do about them. Some of those regrets, the wishes are very tempting to indulge in and it’s hard not to dive in for a while. Instead I voice “I wish… ” and then move on. If I have a good thought I spend more time with it, sometimes it’s worth the possible pain. So I guess I try to face my feelings fully and then move on.


Question & Answer

What things help to overcome regrets and guilt?

More Videos

A Surviver of 9/11 talks about his struggle with guilt and pain and the trauma of that day.  He shares how his faith has brought him closer to God and made him a better person. “All can discover, embrace and walk in the true faith of their Father, which faith will make them whole.”