I have struggled greatly with guilt since my husband's suicide. Our relationship was tumultuous as his addiction and mental health issues worsened over the past few years. I was at my wit's end and was using "tough love" as a means of hopefully encouraging him to seek the help he needed to get sober. We were separated at the time of his suicide and he blamed me. God, how that hurts. Oh how I have cried and begged and pleaded for his and God's forgiveness. I've also sat at his graveside and begged for another chance, as if that even makes any sense.
I attend AlAnon and NarAnon meetings (support groups for families of alcoholics and addicts). Yesterday, a man (who is a recovering addict, sober for several years, and has a lot in common with my husband) broke down in the meeting and cried about the pain he had put his ex-wife and children through during his active addiction. He said he knew that they had suffered greatly and he would give anything to take it all back, to fix it somehow.
At that very moment, I felt like it was my husband speaking directly to me through this man. It dawned on me that, as much as I seek my husband's forgiveness, he probably needs mine too. I'm more than ready to give him that. I'm just so sorry I cannot tell him face to face.
So for what it is worth, I just want to shout this from the top of a mountain "I forgive you honey. For everything. I know it was not you, but your illnesses that did these things. I watched them gradually overtake you. I know you tried to stop them. I miss you. I love you. I always will. I wish you more peace and comfort than anyone could ever imagine. You deserve it!"
This post originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum and was reprinted with the permission of the author.