Logical or as illogical as it may seem . . . there are things I have (and sometimes still) feel guilty about.
I remember the moment we were told that you weren't okay, and the guilt settled over me like a suffocating blanket. What did I do?
I remember leaving the hospital with an empty baby carrier.
I remember the first time I was angry with God.
I remember the first night I wasn't there to kiss you good night.
I remember the first meal I ate after you were born.
I remember the first night at home while you stayed in the hospital.
I remember pumping milk instead of feeding you like a normal mommy would.
I remember signing consents for your surgeries, procedures and blood transfusions.
I remember the first time I turned on the tv.
I remember the first time I laughed - and you weren't there.
I remember the first time I cried in front of you - I never wanted you to see me cry.
I remember the first night I came home so exhausted that I forget to call the nurse to check on you before I went to bed - I woke up at 3 am and called.
I remember the only day I didn't see you - I was on my way to SLC with Grandma Cindy to wait for your life fight arrival at PCMC.
I remember leaving the hospital to buy shoes so my feet wouldn't get so tired standing by your bed.
I remember the first prayer I uttered that I didn't beg for you to get better.
I remember the next prayer asking for understanding.
I remember praying with your daddy about what to do for you.
I remember holding you in my arms until you took your last breath.
And after . . .
I remember walking away from your new resting place.
I remember the first time I felt peace about your plan.
I remember the first time I talked about you without crying.
I remember the first time I laughed after you were gone - I never thought I would be able to laugh again.
I remember the first morning I woke up without that automatic pit in my stomach.
I remember the day I actually thought, "Maybe things are getting better."
I remember the day I realized that things would never be better.
I remember the day we found out that you would be a big brother.
I remember the first time I felt like I might be able to love another little boy the way I love you.
Guilt is such an interesting aspect of grief. I know it is normal - and I know that it is normal to feel guilty over things that I shouldn't. At the beginning of Gavin's life I woke up every single day drenched in sadness, fear and guilt. One of the most prominent thoughts I have had about grief is that there is no reasoning with it. It is illogical and individual. I know that it is illogical for me to feel guilty about leaving Gavin one afternoon at PCMC to buy comfortable shoes. But I do. It was time I could have spent with him.
I also know that with time guilt can subside and reasoning can take it's place. I tend to be really hard on myself and I am learning that there are certain aspects of life I cannot control. With that realization has come freedom and portions of happiness.
Grief is cyclical. For me, it comes in waves. Sometimes it is calm and sometimes it is like a hurricane. Sometimes I feel angry - sometimes I feel guilt - sometimes I feel sad. However, I have noticed that my anger is less often and the guilt is (for the most part) subsiding. I have to have faith that I was as good of a mother as I could be, given the circumstance. As for the sadness, it still can be overwhelming, but the days are getting better. The comfort of a loving Heavenly Father and the memories of Gavin bring me peace.