Feeling guilty for having fun

I lost my beautiful mum in January. I’m starting to feel extremely guilty every time I catch myself having fun or enjoying a moment with my daughter’s or others in general. I feel like I should just be sad all the time. Is it normal to experience this? I feel bad that I’m here enjoying a moment when my mum has passed away in such sad circumstances. I feel as though I shouldn’t be enjoying life right now and I’m disrespecting her in some way, even though deep down she wouldn’t want me to feel this way, my feelings are in such conflict with themselves.

I feel exactly the same and I too lost my mum in January but I know she would want me to carry on she often used to say to me ‘there is nothing you can do’ . I like to think that we are strong because they were strong and for my mum her health had deteriorated so much she wasn’t enjoying life anymore and I hated seeing her like it and not being able to see her happy.
The majority of the time I’m ok, I’m coping, I am surprised that I am not an absolute mess as I was so close to my mum. Maybe it’s delayed grief and shock I don’t know. I have my moments but I seem to be coping. I’ve still got to sort her flat and I’m sure that is going to bring it home full blast but I know I will get through it. Like you I still have children to think about and a supportive husband and life is for living. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, just because we smile and carry on doesn’t mean we don’t miss them every minute of every day, they are always in our hearts xx


About a month after loosing my Mum I remember laughing a program on TV. It felt guilty, but I also recognized that laughing was a stress buster. i didn’t feel happy, but laughter was a good release.
If you are getting a moment or an hour where are are feeling good, then embrace it.

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Yes that’s exactly what’s happening to me im having like a few odd moments of laughter, mostly through my children. I was trying to suppress it because of feeling so guilty that I was enjoying the moment. Then I realised that in that moment I wasn’t thinking any bad thoughts or worry about my mum, it really does help when feeling low. Thanks I will try to embrace it and just let it happen more.

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Yeah I get that. It’s lessened now but to start with it was extremely strong, the feeling of guilt when I caught myself laughing at something. I was also worried that people would think that everything is back to normal for me too. Just because we can laugh, doesn’t mean we are over someone or moving on with our lives. We are allowed to feel happy, laugh, it’s only natural, I’ve said it before but if you put yourself in their shoes, it makes sense. I think, well, if I died next week, would I want my family to be miserable forever or to enjoy life and laugh again. The answer is obvious, so guilt although is normal, you don’t need to punish yourself for feeling in a lighter mood some days and even have a big laugh. If you are sad, that’s fine, if you are happy, that’s fine too.

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I laugh. It’s not genuine belly laughs. It might be an impulse laugh at something on the telly. I go out with friends and laugh. But I don’t feel it deep down. It’s all a front. But I do enjoy my children. And I do have genuine moments with my family that bring me joy.

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Thank you for this, I never looked at it from my mum’s point of view really. She wouldn’t want me to be sad, she’d want me to have fun and make the most of my life. I suppose it’s just part of the grieving process, I get the guilt so often coupled with extreme anxiety.

100% agree. Our loved ones would not want us to be terribly upset or to suffer. I also have guilt, remorse and bubbling anxiety. The anxiety is just under the surface.
The news is also adding to my anxiety.

Hello DWR6989, and everyone else who feels overwhelmed sometimes -
I wrote something about guilt in one of the other threads … it can trip you up so easily, but what you wrote here:

is absolutely true. Swinging between the extremes of feelings, stumbling through the confusion it causes, not knowing what to do or even who you are can lead to desperate times. And it is desperation so many of us feel when faced with a fact of life which is so fundamentally unchangeable. The death of a parent, the loss of so big a part of your life, for truly you are partly your Mum, is overwhelming. It is early days yet for you. There is no frame, or order that grieving is kind enough to keep to; no fixed set of rules and rituals you can follow to fix this as you could a cold or broken bone. But it does seem like your Mum has left you a pretty wonderful legacy in making you someone who can smile and laugh, even against the backdrop of pain and confusion. What an elegant lady she must have been!
Sven x


Wow such a beautiful message, you have just made my day! She was such a wonderful person and the best mum I could have ever wished for. I feel like a part of me died with her, she would want me to go on and be the best me I can possibly be. Thank you for your message it has really helped.


I feel exactly the same after the loss of my dad approx 5 weeks ago, I feel bad if I do something fun, or anything to look after myself like exercise. I feel I should be sad all the time, and that exercising and dancing means that I’m forgetting my poor dad who suffered in hospital. Your right thou your loved one wouldn’t want you to be sad… but guilt is a strong and common emotion that we experience through the grieving process. You are not alone and one day we will be able to live and laugh without feeling guilty. Remember our loved ones live on in our heart… when we are having fun… I’m sure that would make them happy too.

I’m taking one day at a time… I’m sure your doin just fine :), it’s out ov our control when our loved ones die, and we r expected to just get on with life like nothing happened​:scream:. When we do get on with life we feel guilty :pensive:… it’s like we just cannot win. Life is for living and we hold our dearest in our hearts when we are getting on and enjoying other relationships. We can do this… we will be ok.

Love n hugs abbey x

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I also feel like this with exercising and having moments of happiness or laughter, I always feel like I should stay sad because if I’m having fun it means I’m moving on! Your right though, life is for living and our loved ones definitely wouldn’t want us to be sad all the time, they would want us to do what they brought us into this world to do, have fun be the best you, you can be and enjoy every minute of everyday of our lives. I’ve started to use this as my motivation to start allowing myself to be happy and enjoy a moment without feeling I have to be sad. Love and hugs back to you x

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