What I Regret After The Death Of My Spouse

Suffering and Healing | |
Updated On: March 9, 2023
regrets after death of loved one

It is true that one only realizes how valuable something is to them once they have lost it. Especially after a demise, the regrets after death of a loved one can completely engulf you. Making peace with loss can take a long time, especially when it comes to us suddenly. One’s mind is then filled with regrets and things they could’ve done differently.

We often go about our everyday lives without worrying about the things that could be taken away from us. But that’s how it happens. It comes suddenly, changes your life in a flash and you are left completely taken aback. Loss and grief are sinister little things that creep into your life and change who you are.

Dealing With Biggest Regrets After Death Of My Partner

When you lose your life partner, the whole world seems to shake and crumble around you. To wrap your mind around losing someone you loved so much is already an uphill battle. Moreover, coping with loneliness further can be a severely harrowing experience.

You overthink every little detail, try to remember the smallest moments you shared, just to feel that shred of love that you shared, again. The worst part is when you try to think of all that you could have done differently. All the could’ve, would’ve should’ve scenarios start circling your mind when dealing with regret.

Maybe the time you could have spoken to her on the phone for an extra 10 minutes, helped her with the dishes last Saturday or thinking about when you could have simply apologized to your husband in that little fight without saying those hurtful words.

Men and women who had recently lost their spouse, following a happy and long marriage, shared some of their deepest regrets after the death of a loved one. Their reflections on how they could have been better partners are valuable for those who still have the chance.

Related Reading: How Saying Hurtful Things In A Relationship Affects It

1. I wish I appreciated her more

“My wife used to religiously call me every evening around 6 PM to enquire about when I would be home. At the time, I found this irritating and would often quickly dismiss those calls to get back to the business at hand. It has been 6 months since I lost her to cancer, and now hours go by without anyone waiting for me to get home for dinner. I feel her loss the most in that moment. I wish I could turn the clock back and get just one chance to tell her how much I appreciated those calls. I regret not saying I love you and thank her profusely for caring for me” – Businessman, 62.

We take our partner’s unconditional love and time for granted and end up prioritizing everything over them. Somewhere along the line we forget to appreciate all that they do for us. Take this time to let your partner know how important they are to you.

2. Wasted time fighting

“My husband and I fought over many big and small things. My normal response to a disagreement would be not speaking to him for days, sleeping in the children’s room in anger, or eating complete meals in silence. I wish I had not dragged those fights into days, most of the times it was about my ego. I wish I was less stubborn. Now that I am dealing with so much grief and regret, I am overcome with all the things I could have done and said differently. ” – Homemaker, 56.

dealing with regret after death of loved one
If you make rash decisions and say hurtful things, you might be dealing with regrets when a loved one dies

Sometimes we hold on to grudges for far longer than necessary because we tend to think we have infinite years together. And as we know, even eternity with our soul-mates is not enough. The death of a spouse is not something you go about expecting each day. But one can still make more effort to be grateful in their daily lives, whether a death or loss is imminent or not.

The next time there is a disagreement, think about what is more important to you and don’t let the little things cost you days with your partner. There are many conflict resolution strategies that you can try to make your marriage better.

3. What would she have wanted?

“When she passed away, I did not even know how to begin to honor her the way she would have wanted. I wish I could discuss with her where she wanted me to give her silk sarees and jewelry. Now that she is gone I can only guess what she would have wanted me to do with them.” – Lawyer, 71.

widow/widower stories

Even though death is inevitable, we avoid the talk about last wishes. The conversation makes us uncomfortable and we don’t like to think of a life without our partners. One is already worried about plenty of regrets when a loved one dies. You really do not want to skip out on their last wishes. Hard as it may be, sit down and have the conversation, so that, when the time comes, you can carry out their last wishes.

4. Didn’t value him enough

“I was always comparing my husband to my brother-in-law and was quick to remind him of what he lacked. More often than not, I made him feel inferior and always undervalued his achievements and commitment to me. I would pick him apart for the smallest of mistakes and pushed him beyond his means to work for my affection. With him gone, I realize I have lost my strongest supporter and the one person who would have never left my side. I am now terribly missing my husband who died and I wish I could tell him how much I value him. ” – Interior designer, 41.

We are quick to find fault with our spouses and fail to recognize the value of our biggest ally, and someone who would go to the moon and back for us. It is much easier to criticize someone than to show someone you care. This is one of the biggest regrets after the death of a loved one.

The next time you meet your spouse, make them feel loved and tell them how they make your life better.For those of us who are lucky enough to still have a few more years with our loved one, let us remember their significance, and not lose sight of their worth, just because we expect them to be there forever.


1. Does regret last forever?

They can unless you find a way to work through them. Coming to peace and dealing with regret after the death of a loved one can take a really long time. But if you sort out your feelings, get the help if you need any, and work out your emotions – you can overcome these feelings.

2. Is regret an apology?

In a way, yes. But it is not enough unless there is an actual apology. It is like the emotion that precedes being apologetic.

3. Do regrets every go away?

They can. Once they have taken their toll on you, you will eventually become stronger, learn to let it be and grow out of it better.

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Readers Comments On “What I Regret After The Death Of My Spouse”

  1. It is true. Many times we take love affection tl dedication of our spouses for granted. In the process we never appreciate them NOR recognize the worth of them. May be in our office we struggle day and night for recognizition but same we fail to recognize and appreciate our spouses. Time is counting our days here and hunting all of us, Yet we fail to recognize and appreciate when they are with us. What is the value of money or position for that matter but in the process we may loose precious moments. Inspite of this our spouses still continues to shower their love and affection on us and by the time we realize it is too late. Let us wake up and cherish the moments together whatever time we are together.

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