Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guilt part 2

I've had a tough week. I've been incredibly busy at work and my stress levels have definitely reached a high, which I know have contributed to how terrible and emotional I have been feeling. Mix in the fact that I haven't been sleeping due to insomnia and you have a pretty toxic combination.

Part of what is keeping me up at night is that lately, I have been feeling a lot of guilt. However, it's a different guilt  from what I was experiencing before (although some of the coulda, shoulda, wouldas will always be there for me). Now, my guilt is due to two different factors - my healing and my other regrets.

Everyday, I know I am getting stronger. I feel it. I am able to go to work, hold normal conversations and generally get through the day without having complete and total mental breakdowns. Sure, I have my days but the really bad ones are becoming further apart. This should make me happy, right? I am healing and that's supposed to be a good thing. Only, it's not. It actually does kind of the opposite. It makes me feel like a terrible mother because I am going on in my life and moving on. It makes me feel like I am dishonoring Naya and that makes me so sad. I don't want to move on. It feels like the further I move on, the further she is from me and my life and I hate that. I don't want her removed from my life, I want her in it. And so I feel guilt and trepidation about healing. Isn't that some irony?

Another thing that has really been bothering me lately are some of the decisions I made while Naya was in the hospital. I feel guilty for putting that poor little girl through so much pain and suffering with all of the medical interventions we did to try to keep her alive. I know that I am looking at everything in hindsight and going back, I probably would have made the same decisions but god damn does it hurt thinking about it. I just keep imagining how much pain she was in and I hate myself for allowing and encouraging it. It just kills me that my daughter spent the majority of her life in pain and I prolonged it just so I wouldn't have to deal with her death. It breaks my heart that much more.


  1. You're a mother, Jamie. You did what any mother would have done. You can't feel guilty for trying so hard to prolong her life, we all wanted her to recover, you gave it all, anyone else would have done the same.

    During your blog posts while she was in the hospital you talked about how much of a fighter she was. That she would let you know when she couldn't anymore, and she did. But she too was with you, willing to fight for a recovery. Honestly, if it wasn't for all the interventions she probably would have been in even more pain, and had a truly agonizing end. I wish I could take that guilt away, but I can't. You will have to ebb and flow till you get there.

    Don't apologize for healing. The fact that you're writing this, that you carry her in your heart with every breath you take, that honors her, not the tears you drop.

    Don't remember the legacy of Naya as one of sadness and grief. Be that one of joy and intimacy, the extraordinary connection you shared with her as you former her every being within. Don't feel guilty. You are always honoring Naya. That could never be taken from you.

  2. I feel so much of the same guilt, so I understand it completely. moving on, and living life is hard when you just want to grasp onto what was and what really should be. I so feel you on that.

    You know, the thing with making life and death decisions is that there are no easy answers... I'm sure you would feel much of the same guilt if you didn't ask her to fight... If you didn't ask for these interventions you would still be wondering, "what if?..".

  3. The length of your grief does not equal the amount of love you had for you daughter. It's very obvious you loved and still do love her. She knows it, she felt it when she was alive and she feels it now up in heaven. The best thing you can do to honor her is to heal and keep her spirit alive through your love and stories.

  4. Thank you all. I do realize that the healing is healthy. I guess I didn't realize that the healing in itself would actually hurt too. The grief cycle is so strange.