How Do You Say Sorry to a Dead Person? A Medium’s Perspective

As a medium, I recognize that blame, guilt, and regret are often topics bereaved struggle with after a loved one has passed away. Many times, things were left unsaid and we feel sorry for the way we left them. We can be uncertain about how to say sorry to a dead person.

As a general rule, sincerely expressing you are sorry in any way is enough to let your deceased loved ones know of your regret. From their perspective in spirit, your loved ones already understand why you acted the way you did, and are aware of any regret you feel.

People sometimes feel that when a loved one has passed they have missed their opportunity to say they are sorry forever. And I would really like you to know in your soul, that this is never true. Your relationship with your loved ones is eternal. It does not end when they go to heaven, but it does transform. And in your continued relationship, there is every opportunity to apologize and find healing together.

In this article, I would like to explore how you can apologize to loved ones in spirit and also how your loved ones view blame and guilt from their broader non-physical perspective. It has been my experience that seeing your relationship from their vantage point can greatly assist you in dealing with feelings of both guilt or blame.

How do Loved Ones View Guilt or Blame?

It is important to note that deceased loved ones never bring up blame and guilt during my readings. In other words: I have never brought through a loved one who has blamed a living person for past deeds. And I have also never heard a loved one express how guilty they feel about their past. (Regret, yes. But never guilt.)

So why don’t loved ones feel blame or guilt? I believe it is because:

    • Blame is the negative emotion where you believe another person is the problem.
    • Feeling guilty is a negative emotion where you believe you are the problem.

Loved ones in spirit don’t believe people are problems. Those negative emotions do not accompany deceased loved ones to the spirit world. They are very much negative feelings that only the living experience.

Instead of feeling blame or guilt, loved ones do express regret. They acknowledge and see the full consequences of their actions in life and apologize for them. And if you wish to apologize to a loved one, they see the full reasons that have led up to any mistakes you may have made. But the focus of spirit is always on healing, growth, and learning. They don’t hold on to negative emotions as we do.

From their perspective in the spirit world, your loved ones know that in life we all fail. There is just no way around it. Living in the physical world is not easy and a person who doesn’t make mistakes has never existed.

Our purpose in life, therefore, is not to never make mistakes but to learn and grow from them. In fact, that is why we come here in the first place, to live and learn together. So those who feel they should never make a mistake ever are sort of missing the point of living. Instead, our loved ones want us to learn from our mistakes and use them as a vehicle for growth.

From the perspective of spirit, apologies are appreciated because of the healing they provide to you. And you can use any means to apologize such as:

    • Offering a prayer.
    • Writing a letter to a loved one with an apology.
    • Sitting across from an empty chair to express your feelings.
    • Doing a good deed your loved one found important during their life.
    • Remembering and honoring a good time you had together.
    • Lighting a candle in their memory.
    • Sharing a story in their memory.

All of these are symbolic means of offering an apology. But you can use any means that feel appropriate to you. It is the intent, thoughts, and feelings your loved ones connect to. The ritual you choose is mostly for you.

Is it Wrong to Feel Relief When Someone Dies?

Sometimes bereaved feel relief after a loved one passes because their last years were very difficult or their palliative care took such a toll. You may experience feelings of relief after their passing and question whether it is wrong to feel relief when a loved one dies.

It is understandable to experience relief when someone dies because suffering and uncertainty end. You can feel grief for the passing of a loved one and simultaneously feel relief about the end of suffering or uncertainty about their fate.

Feeling relief doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. We are allowed to feel relief when our suffering and that of our loved ones ends. And, it is in fact, a very common and natural reaction that plays a role in most grief processes. It may be good to know that your loved ones in the afterlife experience relief as well about the end of their suffering. And they do not feel guilty about it.

How do you Cope With Feelings of Guilt After a Loved One Passes?

The loss of a loved one can be an overwhelming experience. Those who are left behind may doubt if there was anything they could have done differently or if they did not do enough. It’s common to question your choices after the fact such as:

    • Why wasn’t I at the hospital sooner?
    • Why did we argue about little things?
    • Why didn’t I see something was wrong?

In my view as a medium, if there was any forgiving to be done from your loved one’s perspective, that has already occurred at the moment they cross over. Blame, anger or resentment do not accompany loved ones to the spirit world.

And while it takes a longer period for living to process those types of feelings, remember that in the afterlife there is no time. So your loved ones can forgive in what would seem an instant to us.

Saying sorry to a dead person or asking for forgiveness really isn’t about them. They understand their life and the reasons for their passing perfectly and are at peace. And they also understand that we feel guilty because we care so much and they see it as an expression of love. They do wish for us that we simply feel love instead of guilt, but they understand why we may not be ready yet to set feelings of guilt aside.

Other reasons why we may feel guilty often have very little to do with our loved ones or even with our own actions. Sometimes feelings of guilt are about the extreme uncertainty we experience when confronted with a loved one’s passing, and our need to feel secure. So how does this work?

After the fact, our minds have a tendency to ask what we should have or could have done differently. That is a perfectly normal response to an uncertain situation. But it is also important to realize that there are no answers to these ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve questions’. So our mind can agonize over them for hours or even days or years on end without ever reaching a helpful conclusion or finding closure.

The result is that those left behind can be in a constant state of self-blame going over every little detail of what they might have done differently. But while it is understandable that we want some sort of security by going over the ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ves’ in our mind, these ruminating thoughts only offer the illusion of security.

We will never get a satisfying answer to them because the premise of these questions is that people should never die. While spirit wants you to be safe, it also recognizes that the meaning of life is not to simply avoid death forever because sooner or later we all die. The meaning of our lives then is to connect to others during our lifetime in a meaningful way. Because our relationships are everlasting. And the fact that you are taking the time to read this and think about your loved one proves you have already been successful at forming an eternal meaningful bond.

So acknowledge that often, our mind would rather blame itself than confront the uncertainty that we have no control over some things. It is normal to have these feelings and we can’t just flip a switch and turn them off. But also be aware that spirit only cares about the good stuff. They see the whole plan for their lives including its ending. From their perspective, nothing has gone wrong and nobody is to blame. From the spirit world, their experience continues and they aren’t missing out on any of the important things but are instead focused here with us.

Honor and remember the good times. Think of all the times where you were there for each other. Share a laugh or a beautiful memory, and know that they are right there with you, always.

With gratitude,
Rick Vandermeer