Grieving Guilt

I’m feeling guilty.  This week has been full of ups and downs for me.  Days I thought would be bad were ok.  Days I thought would be ok were bad.  Monday, my first day at home without Chris had potential to be bad. It was the first day.  My original plans with a friend got canceled due to a sick kid.  But two other friends came through and filled my day.  I survived.  Tuesday, all went as scheduled- I returned to bootcamp, but early and on little sleep.  It was fine. Spent the afternoon with a friend on the couch mostly.  The time spent was lovely but at the end I lost it because I couldn’t imagine spending so much time on the couch for the next six weeks.  The thought of it just felt so awful.  I know I could be doing things- house projects, volunteering, shopping- things.  But I have zero motivation at this point.  It’s an accomplishment for me to run an errand.  Going to the grocery store for milk and eggs caused me a surprising amount of anxiety.  So I’m in this awful catch 22- I hate spending so much time on the couch watching TV but I cant seem to get myself to do anything but that.  I cried to Chris when he came home, about how I hate being home.  I hate it.  The feeling of why I hate it is hard to put in words.  Maybe I hate being with all this grief?  I cried all through the evening. I was mush.  Wednesday was better.  Yoga and brunch with some friends, my therapist and an open afternoon, which I filled with some little things around the house (watering plants! Folding my clothes!) and some TV.   When Chris got home, I got teary again, but this time for a different reason.  I didn’t cry as much that day as I did the day before.  I had felt ok in the afternoon.  And I felt guilty about it.

 

My baby died two and a half weeks ago and I had an ok afternoon alone?  It doesn’t feel right.  I know there is no prescribed way I am supposed to feel, but I felt somehow I was being untrue to Mabel.  I distracted too much. I didn’t think about her enough.  Earlier that day I talked to my therapist about similar feelings.  I’ve been invited out to dinner with some newer people tomorrow night and I don’t know what to do.  In my normal life, I would hop at the chance.  There is a part of me in this new life of mine that really wants to go.  But another part of me thinks it’s totally inappropriate.  Who goes out to dinner within weeks of their baby’s death?  There will be people I don’t know and if they knew that I was out after such a tragedy, what would they think?  Plus I am so not fun right now.  My therapist says I should go.  She disagrees that it’s inappropriate.  Chris thinks it’s ok too.  My therapist says not to worry about being fun- that I should fake it until I make it.  If I do that enough, eventually I will feel fun.

 

I ‘m afraid of appearing too “ok.”  I’m afraid if people think I’m doing ok that they’ll think I’m done.  That Mabel is behind me now.  They’ll have different expectations of me.  They’ll stop asking and calling and visiting.  I’m afraid if they see me too happy, there will be this sigh of relief that they don’t have to worry about me anymore.  And if I’m happy they wont want to mention her because they thing it’ll make me sad.  But these moments are just that- moments.  I still am sad- even when I’m happy, if that makes any sense at all.  Much more of my time is spent thinking, “how am I going to get through this?”  I’m not done.  Mabel is not behind me- I don’t think she ever will.

 

The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears.  If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of her name.  It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul.

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6 thoughts on “Grieving Guilt

  1. Your last paragraph reminded me of the song “Maria” from West Side Story. Mabel. Say it loud, and there’s music playing. Say it soft, and it’s almost like praying. Mabel. Never stop saying Mabel.

    Here and reading every single word in Boston. Mabel’s birth story. Mabel’s passing. Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience with us. I can’t imagine any type of scenario in which your Mabel would ever be forgotten. She is the baby who made you a mother. She is the baby who paved the way for the safe delivery of her siblings (as you so eloquently wrote).

    I think you should go out tomorrow night and meet these new people. And if anyone is having a baby shower…well, then I don’t know what. That would be just crazy.

    Hugs, sweet Meghan, mother of Mabel.

  2. Oh, Meghan. You’ve been on my mind and in my thoughts and prayers so much. What a beautiful thing to share Mabel’s story. She was such a little angel. There is something special about the child who makes you a mother and she will always hold that special place in your heart. I pray for you as you grieve. I pray that God will bring you divine comfort. That you will feel held and loved and comforted. {{{Hugs}}}

  3. Even though your posts move me to tears, they are the first ones I want to read. I loved the birth story. You make me connect with what you’re feeling, even though I haven’t lost my child. That’s powerful and incredible writing. Mabel was/is so blessed to have you as her mother. Mabel was beautiful and every day I come here to read more about her beauty and how much you and Chris love her. I can’t say what isn’t or isn’t appropriate in grief. All I know is that Mabel made you happy and her loss made you sad. It seems that you should feel free to rejoice in her life and mourn her leaving you so soon- being both happy and sad seems completely logical at this time. Hugs and love from a faithful reader in South Carolina.

  4. Hugs. Even a year and a half later, I still have these same feelings. All you can do is process whatever feelings present themself.

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