Monday, 26 March 2018

Guilt & Grief.

I'm not a big fan of describing grief as a "journey", I guess it's because I never wanted to have to embark on it. My counsellor has a better description and explains grief as "waves" of up and down moments. I much prefer this idea of waves, some days I have my head above water and other days I'm only just staying afloat. Some days I can laugh and smile throughout the day and others I'm drowning in this overwhelming sadness. But that's okay. It's okay to laugh and it's okay to scream, because that's all part of riding the waves. And eventually, not anytime soon, the storm will settle and I will learn to live with my new "normal". 

It's still less than two months since Jonah's birth. It's a very surreal feeling, it almost feels like years ago because so much has happened but at the same time it feels like yesterday. I'm no expert at this grieving process, I'm just doing what I need to do to get from one day to the next and survive. And some days all I do is survive. I make sure Violet is kept busy and enjoying herself, but we do sometimes just spend time outside where I need not talk to anyone else and can shed a few tears if I need to. 

Grief brings all sorts of unwanted gifts with it. Sadness, anger, frustration, exhaustion, and guilt. And I have a lot of guilt. Guilt for what happened to Jonah, guilt that I'm not with him and guilt for not appreciating that I am with Violet and she still has her mummy. I felt my whole pregnancy that I was torn between my two children. I wanted to protect Jonah so much, that I couldn't do the things with Violet that we had always done. Towards the end, I wasn't able to lift her or carry her and that was really tough on her and me. But now I'm still torn between them both. I'm here with my precious little girl, however the price I paid for that was loosing my little boy. There was no option to keep Jonah alive, but that won't stop these feelings haunting me. 

As a mother your instinct is to protect your children. I would walk on hot coals for my babies. They are and always will be my number one priority. So what do you do when you're no longer able to protect your baby and to prevent the worst from happening? The moment I signed for my surgery plays over and over in my head. I had no choice, I know this, but it doesn't make it any easier. My body failed me and more importantly failed my little boy. I tried so very very hard to protect him, to keep him safe and I wasn't able to do that. I guess that's the thing about grief, it makes you irrational. I had no control over what happened but I do and always will feel responsible. This is something I'm really working on with my counsellor. 

And then the guilt creeps in again. This time the guilt for not appreciating that I'm still alive. Not appreciating that I'm still here for my beautiful girl when she needs me and not appreciating that amazing work the surgeons and staff did to make sure I lived to tell the tale. I am appreciative, so so appreciative to those wonderful people who gave me their blood and saved my life and made sure I got to see Violet grow up. I will always be thankful for that but it will never bring my little boy back. 

It will get easier because it has to get easier. The worst has happened and I'm somehow still standing. The days will be brighter and filled with more hope. And I know someday I will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But for now, I'm just riding these tidal waves in the hope that I can stay afloat. 

Katie xx

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