Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: About five years ago, I lost my 21-year-old son to suicide. Of course I was devastated. I was a single parent with Dustin until he was about 12 years old. I can't help but feel that some of the choices I made affected his life in a negative way. I have a lot of guilt, and I miss him terribly. Although it has gotten easier to live with this loss, I do feel stuck in my grief a lot of the time, and I really want to move on with my life and live again. I know my son lives on the other side—I get signs from him, and I've had friends that have been to psychics tell me different things. I know it in my head, but dealing with it in my heart and soul is a different thing. I need to release myself from this guilt and move on with my life and do what I believe I am supposed to be doing now that Dustin is gone. He was so loved, and I still get emails from his friends telling me how much he helped them in their lives. Please, how do I let go of the guilt and go on with my life—not just go through the motions, but really start to live again?
— Linda B., Sun City, California
I get the feeling you are actually living a life that is productive, not crippled by grief. If you are asking how to be entirely grief-free, most mothers would attest that it isn't possible. Accept that grief can be a normal, manageable emotion. Your bond with Dustin is based on love, and when love is lost, it can still be love, but with associations of sadness, regret and guilt. So the realistic question is this: Can you have love-with-grief that is life-enhancing for you? I think the answer is yes. It's a matter of making the love always greater than the grief.
May I suggest turning to productive expressions of love for your departed son? Here are a few:
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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Published on July 21, 2010