Monday, April 25, 2011


My therapist said today, "It sounds like you hold a lot of guilt about things" (this was our second session), what an understatement!!!  I think I feel guilty about almost all my thoughts and feelings, okay maybe that is an overstatement, but you get the idea.  Some of the context about where this statement came from I am not going to divulge on here, but a lot of it had to do with my grief process and how to identify myself without my baby boy by my side.  Specifically, today a woman said to me, "it's so nice to see you happy again" or something along those lines and I instantly felt guilty.  I shouldn't look happy it has only been a month and a half since I lost my son.  I feel like I need to time warp back to the early 1900's and wear black garb for a year with a veil over my face.  At least that is how I feel in the inside, even if I have a smile on my face and casually shoot the shit.  Silas is never not right there in the forefront of my thoughts.  So don't be fooled.  What you see is only an empty shell of the person I once was.  I feel guilty when I fool you, but like I said earlier I need to embrace those short moments of reprieve.

Oh, but that guilt is strong.  What kind of mother can feel moments of happiness?  Are they truly happy moments anyways, I think not?  Am I really a mother though?  What makes a mother?  Today I referred to myself as a mother and felt weird like this person I was talking to was going to look at me weird or perplexed?  Where is my baby to prove that I am mother?  If I am a mother, what kind am I being that I can't even keep my baby safe?  And, please don't comment about how great of a mother I am, I am not fishing for compliments and nothing you could say will alleviate the deep seeded guilt about not being able to bring my baby home and doubts about what that means for me as a mother.  I think I will always feel guilty and ashamed about this.  Trust me I wish it was different, but this is my reality now, as shitty as that may be.


  1. For what it's worth, I believe you are really a mother. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. You have a son, Silas, who you love, looked after and would do anything for.

    I wish I could take the guilt you feel away from you. I think it is part of being a mother, that we feel responsible for our children's safety and, if something does happen to them, we feel to blame. Even when there was nothing in the world we could have done differently.

    I've also longed to go back to those days of formal mourning with black clothes and so on. Maybe just so people would know that, even if I was smiling, it wasn't the entire story. xo

  2. Oh, I hated when people said "I'm glad to see you smiling" or "You are so strong- I don't know how you do it" etc. I always felt guilty, too. Like if I was too happy they thought I didn't care, or if I was too sad they would avoid me. It's so frustrating!

  3. You are a mother. Never question that.

    I can relate so much to the guilt and definitely need to blog about it at some point. But for now, I will just say, like you, I feel like my grief is being *judged*. It's this horrible phenomenon that you can't quite anticipate - being self-consious about how you grieve and how others perceive you grieving. I am right there with you, both inside and outside of this, as I feel the same way yet find it such an odd thing to be concerned with. Sending much love and hugs your way. xo

  4. By the way I just posted this on the Forum but figured I'd comment it here too, as it is so relevant to your post.

    "Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS but she IS NOT, all at once. She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity." ~Author Unknown

  5. I don't want to try to "soothe" any of your identity doubts. But I absolutely have to say that from my point of view, you are not just a mother, but one of the most inspiring mommies I have ever met. While you did not openly "gush" much, I sensed that everything you did, you did for your baby. You two were/are one. And now that you have one of the most heartbreaking stories a mother can tell, I can't imagine anyone judging your grief. Only sad, wondering, and perplexed about how to help. I so admire your strength and courage to grapple through this process genuinely and painfully, and now sharing it openly and vulnerably, as empty/redundant as those words surely sound by now.