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The F-Word

Forgiveness is hard. Forgiveness is especially hard when we have lost a child. We try to justify our loss. Someone needs to be blamed. In some cases, someone is responsible for our loss, and I hope the justice system works in these cases. In many other cases, such as a fatal illness, an accidental death, suicide, or an overdose, there may be no one to truly blame. Instead, we blame ourselves, we blame God, or we may blame our child. By finding someone to blame, it helps to make sense of a loss that doesn't make sense.

For me, I blamed my son, Mark, and I blamed myself. Mark chose to take his life. He should have reached out and sought help. Maybe he did and I didn't see it. Blaming him didn't last long, before I turned the blame on myself. I should have seen the signs. I could have asked the question, "Are you thinking about suicide?" I should have done something to prevent his death from happening. These "I should have's" and "I could have's" will not bring Mark back. Blaming Mark or blaming myself, is not going to bring Mark back. All it does is create negative thoughts and emotions that will slowly destroy me over time. What is the solution? Forgiveness.

Many people think forgiveness is for the person we forgive. It feels like we are letting them off the hook for the wrong they did. Forgiveness is not for them. It is for you. Forgiving those you blame removes the negative thoughts and emotions, like anger, vengeance, and hatred, and lets them go from inside you. That may also reduce your stress, your heart rate, and your blood pressure. Forgiveness is for you, especially if you blame yourself, like many of us do. Make the effort to take a deep breath and forgive yourself, and anyone else you may be blaming. You will do yourself a huge favor!

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