June 20, 2020

How do you deal with guilt for something that’s not your fault?

Amor Pillutla, 44

During the Covid Pandemic, my wife Nell and I were doing the shopping for her dad and his wife, who was shielding during this period. This was nerve wracking. There were days when Nell or I would cough or sneeze and worry – did we touch something that we shouldn’t have? What if we did end up giving it to them, would we be able to live with it? We were doing our best to be careful but there was no shaking the feeling that we would still feel responsible if something did happen. That it would still be our fault. I knew that somewhere the worst had actually come to pass in some form or the other. Not just in relation to the virus, but in different forms, where a person felt guilt for something that wasn’t their fault. I knew a woman who felt responsible for her husband being an alcoholic. And her child felt guilt for not having loved his father enough. It wasn’t their fault but they still had to deal with it. How? They just put on a brave face and lived with it until a time when the feeling dulled and faded.

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