The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: I Can’t Accept My Father’s Death From COVID-19

I was not there for his last breaths. I was not there for his last words. I’m trying to combat my guilt.
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

I need help with grieving and my feelings of anger toward this microscopic virus that has taken my father. I know that even when somebody is terminally ill, there’s no way to be fully prepared for loss. But isn’t grieving even more difficult when death comes out of the blue, with no warning, in a matter of two weeks, and the person you know and love is suddenly no longer alive?

I was not there for his last breaths. I was not there for his last words. I’m trying to combat my guilt, because I have lived in a different country from my father for the past seven years, and have been able to

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