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A bereaved father in great distress with a tremendous feeling of guilt

by Kumar

I am a bereaved father. My son was coming home after completing his 4th Sem Engineering Exam. He lost his laptop in the Bus. When he informed me about the incident, I got angry and scolded him for not taking care of his valuable belongings. He went back to search.

The incident took place in the evening. He phoned that he was coming to the Rly station (his voice was not clear) and will talk later. This was the last communication. I waited for one hour. When I tried to contact him, his mobile was out of coverage area. I lost contact with him.

I thought that he boarded the train and might be in the journey. After searching for two days his dead body was found near the barrage. The police declared it a suicide. The forensic lab was not able to establish the cause of death.

From that day I am in the great distress with a tremendous feeling of guilt for my act. I am unable to cope-up with the loss. I always feel that I could not manage the situation and my words hurt him. I feel responsible for the incident.

Dear Kumar,

My sincere condolences to you in this awful tragedy. The pain will remain with you for the remainder of your life. But, slowly, time will reduce its unbearable intensity.

Scolding your son for losing his laptop was normal. Your words were only intended to improve him. It was tragic that the words had this fatal effect. Your responsibility now is to carry on with your life.

Accept the pain. Guilt is nature's way of reforming us. But, do not let constant self criticism dig a permanent channel of pain in your mind and destroy your work and health.

You can prevent that from happening by becoming conscious of self accusatory messages. They are not valid. Awareness of the entry of such messages into your mind will eventually stop them and can bring you peace.

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