the many faces of guilt

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

i know guilt, in particular catholic guilt. this form of guilt was very carefully instilled at a tender age by father cliff. father cliff could never understand why i missed church to compete in horse shows. he never failed to raise his voice when i told him in confession that i had missed church, and would ask why i had not attended church before the horse show began. i was wise enough not to attempt to explain that i arrived at the show very early in morning and was heavy into competing by the time church started. after his scolding he would tell me to recite 5 hail mary's and 10 our fathers and send me on my way.

the kind of guilt i have been experiencing lately is not resolved by reciting the lords prayer. there are two kinds of guilt associated with grief. one is guilt that those around me feel and the other is the guilt that i feel.

a friend's guilt over a second pregnancy, brother's guilt over not meeting cooper, guilt over the curse of a doctors family, or guilt over having a perfectly healthy baby the day before cooper was born are all types of guilt i can handle. i can look at this face of guilt and know that the love those people have for jamey and i is what causes their guilt. it is how they deal with their grief over cooper's death.

the guilt that i am having a harder time with is my own......i feel guilt over not holding cooper the two hours before surgery, instead letting his yaya hold him, guilt over not staying up with him all night after surgery, instead opting for rest., guilt over moving forward, wanting another baby, guilt over feeling happy and having fun, or guilt over going a day without crying. i know that this would not have changed the outcome, does not mean that i loved him any less, but i in the quiet moments of the day i am haunted by own guilt. i know it is irrational thinking on my part and i also know that it is part of the journey. but i dont know how to move through it... how to let myself off the hook.....

it is a face of guilt that i am not familiar with and i know that reciting the lords prayer or the hail mary is not going to resolve it. and i am sure that father cliff would not be able to tell me how to process this kind of guilt......

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being transparent. I found your blog through Susan's mention, and I'm crying as I read. In August, at 24 weeks of pregnancy, I was rushed into an emergency c-section. My precious daughter lived for one amazing week. And ever since, we've been coming to terms with a life without her. This post struck a cord. It's so easy to chide ourselves over what we could have done differently, what we should have done differently. It's a hard road ahead. Know that I'm thinking of you.