I’ve been thinking a lot recently about guilt – guilt surrounding the death of our baby. Or actually, more accurately, kind of a lack of guilt. It sounds so ridiculous – after all it’s RIGHT THERE in the stages of grieving. Guilt is supposed to show up sometime. Isn’t it?

As I’ve mentioned before, I think we were spared some amount of guilt – when we prayed about whether or not we should deliver Oliver and my water broke right away, it kind of took away any  possibility of feeling guilty about having made the wrong decision. So I haven’t felt guilty; not in the usual sense.

I am feeling guilty though. The thing I feel guilty about is being okay. I truly feel okay. I’m sad but not completely broken. I miss him, but I’m not pining for him every second. (There are moments though). I see other babies in our neighbourhood and I don’t feel angry or bitter or jealous. I think about having another baby, and you know, I want to do that – as soon as they let us.

But I worry about this. Did I not attach to him enough? Did I not love him enough? Am I glazing over a lot of emotion in a way that makes me okay right now but will crush me later? Am I not honouring him enough by *missing* him more?

Don’t get me wrong – I do miss him SO much. I think about his tiny hands, or the way his skin felt under my lips, or the gaze of his eyes and it just about stops me cold. My breath catches in my chest and I have to take a minute to come back.

But am I supposed to be okay? Am I supposed to laugh and be happy? Aren’t  I supposed to be more broken by this? I don’t really understand.


In other news, my grandmother’s funeral was lovely – truly a celebration of life and it was wonderful. It was great to see everyone; to share memories; to celebrate her. The best thing I took away from that though was the fact that everyone talked about what a happy, gentle person she was – how kind she was and how much she cared about people. There were nurses from the place she lived that got up to speak about her at the memorial – people that cared about her so much that they’d taken the time to prepare speeches and share them with our family. There was even a lady there who was the cleaning lady – she cleaned my grandma’s room for her. She prepared a speech as well. I thought it was an amazing testament to the life she’d led. And you know, the most beautiful part to me was that no one said “And gee, it’s a shame she was so bitter and sad about the whole baby loss thing.” You’d never know that she’d carried this sadness inside of her – because she was happy. And complete. And she had a really good life. And I think at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can wish for, babyloss or not. And to know that she had it in spite of this horrible tragedy….I am so glad she had it because it means that maybe I can have it too.


3 responses to this post.

  1. First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful name, Oliver. This is such a tough road to travel.

    Guilt – so powerful. I swear I didn’t know what guilt was until I became a mother.

    I think the way you are feeling is completely normal, for you. Everyone is unique and different in how they grieve and remember. You speak with such love for Oliver, that I know for sure.


  2. I’m glad that your grandmother’s funeral was lovely. She sounds like such an amazing woman. A lady who is showing all us babylost mamas the way. We don’t have to let bitterness and sadness define who we are.

    I have certainly felt guilty too. I can also honestly say that I didn’t know what guilt was until the girls were born.

    I know that it is easier said than done but I don’t think you should feel guilty. Only you know how to grieve Oliver, how to remember Oliver, he is your son, you are his mama. No one else can tell you how to go about it, there is no ‘appropriate’ or right way to do it.

    And I can only echo Leanna, you speak with such love for your son.


  3. Posted by christybhatnagar on June 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks for the comments, both of you – I really REALLY appreciate it.I’ve been struggling with this lately – always something right? You’re right that it’s easier said than done Catherine….but it is really nice to have “permission” in a way to not feel guilty and to just….feel. Feel what is. And thank you both, so much for saying that you can see the love there for him. I do love him, so much. It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m mentally turning this into a “thing that happened” instead of a life that was lost. Like accidentally painting a room a wrong colour so whoops, better try it again. It’s so much bigger than that though.


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