February 8, 2011

guilt, grief and a little of everything else.

Guilt is an ugly nasty word. It's a parasite, a leech that grabs on and sucks the life from your very being. It's something that will eat a hole through the center of your soul. Guilt is a black hole of pain, misery, intolerable heartache, and leaves questions and blame open season to anger. I would be lying to myself if I said I didn't have any guilt. Truth be told, I am filled to the rim with it along with all of the other emotions and feelings that continuously claw their way through my pores. Most of those feelings I want to keep trapped and shut away into the forbidden closet stored at the back of my mind. As the minutes trickle by, hours draw on, and days dwindle by... I am forced to release these monsters from their hiding place. The 'grief' becomes comfortable, a safe place to feel. It becomes a new home in a way, because as long as I can hold onto it, I'm somehow holding onto Savanna, I'm somehow still living with her and not moving on without her.

It seems a constant theme when I read the words of others who have lost, talk to our families who grieve with us, friends whose hearts break with ours, strangers that try to imagine the pain... guilt. As much as I fight the guilty battle, it always seems to peek out amongst the other emotions. I feel guilt that I didn't stay home with her, I could have had more time. Guilt that the babysitter spent more time with her during the weeks than I did. I know in my heart it wouldn't have changed the outcome... but if only I would have had a little more time. Another moment that I can put into my memory bank of a day I held her more, or another diaper I changed. I even feel the guilt over the smallest of scenarios. I didn't get her 6 month pictures taken (she wasn't quite sitting up yet) in hopes that by 9 months she would be sitting up. She died when she was 7 1/2 months. I felt such a connection with her pictures. It's my last link to her, a reminder of how wonderfully blessed our lives were. It is also the way that rekindles my memories. Days where I try to remember her little toes, or the way she would shape her little fingers over her paci--I can look back at those pictures, those snapshots of her life and be brought back to that moment.

When she was still here I would look back at pictures and say 'oh she was 3 months, or hours old, or that was just this morning.' Now when I look back at pictures a new perspective takes place, that one was the day before she died, this one was taken the weekend before it happened, this one over here was a month before she passed. A different kind of milestone has transpired, a milestone that burns and angers, a milestone that shouldn't even be.

I remember in the weeks after her passing, arranging her funeral, organizing the memorial service, I remember being so angry with her. Angry that she left me to make these decisions, she should be making these decisions about me for my funeral (many years down the road). And than in the same slice of thought that I was angry with her, I would be overcome by guilt. The guilt of being angry with her, it's not her fault, and yet here I was day in and day out angry that she left me, hurt that my heart was empty, saddened by the tornado that twisted and turned down my life as its path. I was angry with God for giving her to me and than taking her back. Than the guilt again would settle in, He knew we were strong that we were able to handle this, that's why she picked us. But I don't want to be strong, I don't want to be the one to handle it.

It's a back and forth struggle trying to make sense of it all. I'm beginning to get to a point where I have just stopped trying, trying is so exhausting. So I go through the motions and lock those feelings back into the forbidden closet. They don't jump out at me as much as they did in the beginning, I seem to have better control over them, the movie doesn't seem to play as often. Is that just me refusing to see, to deal? I don't know...

This 'process' of 'grief'... I don't like it. I am not a process.. I am a lost mommy who has empty arms and spinning thoughts. I am a heartbroken woman with an emptiness that can never be fulfilled. There is no process about it.. processes have endings, they have a conclusion and solution; a beginning, middle and end. I'm stuck somewhere between beginning and middle, and whether or not I'll ever make it to somewhere in between middle and end I don't know. I do know that there is no end  though, I will always hurt for her, ache for her, feel empty without her. Yet I know there is a continuation. Life goes on, the world keeps spinning. I know I don't have to feel guilty anymore, I know that I will 'grieve' for her for the rest of my life. I'm trying to move forward and manage without feeling guilty. I want to smile and laugh and feel fulfilled. I want to be whole again. But with those wants comes the guilt and the regret.

So I am here to say. There are no labels, no processes. I am a mother who is lost, and has suffered loss.. but I am not a process... I am a mommy who was once whole and is now broken, I am a wife who cries with her husband, laughs with her husband, recalls memories of their beloved daughter. I am a daughter who falls back into her mom and dads never judging embrace, I am a friend who will listen and be listened to. I am Tabatha. I am not a label--I am not a process. I am mother to Savanna-Wife to J-Daughter to B&R-Friend to all. That is what I am.

2 blessings, thoughts. &. feelings:

Anonymous said...

Hello my dearest sister! I sure do miss you and J. I am soo thankful to hear that you are not going to let that nasty guilt run your life the only thing you need to be guilty about is you gave that little anything and everything. She had a life that was full of love an compassion. And you gave that to her. You should not be a shamed, do not feel guilty, do not shead tears and have this demon overcome you. Savannan will always be looking down being that one precious ballerina in heavens smiling down upon you! You are a beautiful woman and strong, willing, compassionate, encouraging, this list will go on.. I am proud of you and for being your sister I hurt for you I wish i could take it all back and make savanna be here! make my an auntie! I will cry those tears for you I want you to smile and remember Everything you had with her! Its not over! I love you!

Brittney said...

I agree with a whole and full heart with the post above... it's not the end! I know, you know you'll see her again.. that will be another beginning! Another life with Savanna, more moments that you and Justin long for. As I have not lost a child I have lost other family members. Guilt with grief is a natual process of the natural man. I can remember when I lost my grandma how much I wish I would have told him I loved him more and ect. But, I know I'll get another chance. As our Loved ones are in the next life, I can't imagine it's too far from here. I know they watch over us, guide us and protect us. I'm sure Heavenly Father has lots of other work for them aswell. I know Savanna would want you to live life to the fullest! She set a high bar while she was here of living to the highest! I am so grateful for all that you share on your blog. I can't tell you how much I've learned and how much you have changed me. I love you Sista!! I can't wait til the next:)