Friday, January 27, 2017

The guilt of grief

The guilt. So much guilt. So many different layers of guilt. The biggest is the guilt that I couldn't save him. That I couldn't do enough. That my body failed him by not being able to carry him to term. That I should have known I was in labor sooner so they could have stalled it. That I should have known right away that he was getting sick, that something was wrong, very wrong. Oh and the guilt of all the things I should have done in those last moments with him. We should have gotten professional pictures in the NICU, we shouldn't have had him buried so far away in MN, we should have stayed with him longer, we should have bathed him, we should have had more people see him before the funeral, had them hold him, we should have..., we should have..., we should have...

The guilt of grief evolves. It starts to include the guilt of feeling joy. Feeling guilty for finding happiness without your child on this earth. Especially when that first smile comes across your face or that first laugh emerges from your mouth. The first time you wake up without feeling like the world is coming to an then feel the weight of guilt.

Each of those types of guilt could have their own blog posts, multiple blog posts. And they probably do at some point or another on this blog. But I came to write about the current guilt I am feeling. The guilt that comes with my everyday grief.

I let some dates slide by without as much thought or effort behind them this year. And the guilt is tearing me up. I've been meaning to write this blog post about the guilt for a couple of weeks now. And the guilt of putting it off is there.

January 13th was the 2nd anniversary of the day I miscarried Lark. It went by like any other day. It wasn't until January 15th that I realized I missed it. I didn't post about it. I didn't write about it. I didn't change my Facebook profile picture to a lark. I did nothing. It went by and I didn't think about her (sidenote: decided to refer to Lark as "her" ever since a close friend told me she felt like Lark was a girl. I don't get feelings on the sex of my own babies, but I trust the instincts of my friends.)

Why did it dawn on me on January 15th....well, because that's the anniversary of Marcellus's due date. He was due January 15th, 2012. It's also the birthday and anniversary of the death of my friends' twin boys. So on the 15th the grief was there and it dawned on me I missed Lark's anniversary. Cue incredible amounts of grief. How did I forget about this baby of mine?!??! Even if I only knew of her in my womb for a couple of short weeks. She was still a very much loved and longed for baby. And I forgot about her. Pile on the guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt.

Oh and I mentioned that the 15th was the anniversary of Marcellus's due date, right? Yeah, so I didn't write or post about that either. I don't know why. I just didn't. But hey, let's add some guilt about that.

And then a big dosage of guilt over the fact that I am not doing enough for Marcellus. I should be involved in the various organizations more. I should be better about getting our March for Babies team set up and starting fundraising. I should do more intensive fundraising for our team than I have in the recent years. I should go to my infant loss support group more. I should volunteer, I should speak, I should write about him more, I should..., I should..., I should...

So at this stage of my grief I guess I'm feeling more guilt than anything. 

Dear Marcellus, I want to do more. I want to be better as your mommy. Being your mom is such a crucial part of who I am and I haven't been honoring it or you lately. Or at least I feel like I haven't been. The guilt tells me that. The guilt tells me I've failed you and Lark. I've let things go by without even a mention of either of you. I want to do more, but it is a constant battle to find balance. To balance parenting you...well, your memory, your legacy...and parenting your living brothers. To balance the grief of losing you and Lark to the joy of having your brothers. And when I feel like I'm not succeeding at that I feel guilty. Because mom guilt is something that is even more intense with the death of a child. Because as your mom I should have been able to protect you. I'm so sorry I couldn't. I'm so sorry my sweet boy. So sorry. I love and miss you so much! Even when I'm quiet. xoxox.

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