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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > Having ok days and I feel guilty

We lost our son 4.5 months ago. We have two older daughters and with their activities and work I am really busy. Friday and Saturday I felt like I don't get enough time to sit in my grief and feel my feelings. Life is pushing me forward and I don't like it. I finally got some time to myself on Saturday and looked at pictures and cried. Then yesterday I didn't feel as sad which made me feel guilty. My feelings aren't as raw and free flowing as they were earlier and that makes me feel guilty. How can I have an ok day when my son died? When I am sad I feel close to him so when I am not sad I don't feel him as much. My husband and I keep commenting that it feels like our life with our son wasn't real. It feels like such a long time ago that he was here and we were a family of 5. It is like he just disappeared, like he was a dream. I feel so guilty about still being alive and being able to function and enjoy moments when he is dead.
May 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Dear Denise,
as you said, you are the mother of three... if you think about it, before the big tragedy, you had moments of happiness with one whilebeing angry with other... but you never stopped loving them!
The grieving journey is long, because you will never forget... the raw pain melts away, with time, and you start to have more good days than bad... and it is ok!
It is ok to keep living... to laugh, to be happy again, to enjoy liitle things...
After I lost my second son a friend come to me and talked about her life history... she had not lost a baby... she had lost a sister and her mother too, because eventhough her mother was alive, she became obssessed about the lost one, and neglected her older living daughter...
Her warning to me was important because it made me remember that I was mother of two, even if only one required my attention... and after 2 years, I am the mother of three... I never forget it ... I will never forget him... And raw, savage moments still come, from time to time...but less and less frequently...
And its ok!
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Denise you took the words right out of my mouth, I too feel the same as you, mostly it doesnt feel real like a dream/ nightmare to be exact. People and councillors have said to me im still in shock and its too horrible to deal with so our mind plays tricks on us when something so traumatic like this happens. Im not entirely sure but I do know the guilt, sadness and emptiness you are feeling, I am feeling it right there with you. Sending you a big hug
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA
I understand completely the feeling that your life with your son was just a dream. My wife and I lost our first child, Joseph, four and a half years ago, and that feels like a different lifetime. We have since had two living children, and life is busy and mostly happy. But I definitely remember in that first year feeling guilty when I would notice that I wasn't feeling as sad that day/week/month. Eventually--I think during the second year--I realized that I just needed to trust the grief as it waxed and waned. After that first year, I realized that I wasn't going to forget Joseph, that I thought (and still think) about him about every day, and that sometimes I'd feel really sad, and other times I would feel ok. For me, my grief cycle was also very much tied to the seasons of the year. Joseph died in December, and that first spring, I was so angry that the world was getting so beautiful when my life felt so awful. And then fall brought dread because winter was coming, and that was Joseph's anniversary. The second year, I remember being relieved that spring came after the winter, and comforted by that inevitable cycle. I really linked it in my mind with the way my feelings of sadness would come and go. I was comforted that the sadness would return (a connection to Joseph) and comforted that it would go away again for a while. Your love for your son will not go away. That is the constant, and not measured by the degree of your sadness (even though it sometimes feels like it). Sending you love and wishes for you to be gentle with yourself. Trust the grief.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Thank you everyone. I feel like I need to honor Asher in my grief. I don't know how to do that. I desperately want Asher back. I got Sheryl Sandberg's book and while skeptical I really like the book. It helps with my guilt. I want Asher, he was my option A. I would do anything, even die, to get him back but I can't bring him back so I feel forced to option B. I never wanted option B but here I am. Our option B is to try to for another baby. It gives me something to look forward to. Asher died in December as well and I do feel this pull of the season. Everything is new, fresh, but yet I am still grieving. I guess the dread and sadness will come back in the fall. I also don't like appearing happy. I don't want other people to et the impression that just because I smiled, had a conversation without crying, or laughed that it means everything is ok. I don't want them to move on from my loss because I haven't and I don't want to be left alone or for Asher to be forgotten.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Hi Denis, I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my daughter in 2013 and my son was 3 so I was pretty busy too and life just kind of took over. I realized only recently that I let myself get caught up with getting back into the norm so quickly and that's what brought about my guilt. I wasn't okay but at other times I was and both were okay. I wasn't letting my son down by grieving my daughter, nor was I letting my daughter down by taking care of myself and my son. I wanted them both, whether she was here or not and still do. Please try to be kind to yourself, it's ok to feel ok just as it's okay to feel like shit. It's heartbreaking that he isn't with the four of you, but he's in your heart and soul, a part of you always.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJo-Anne
Denise sorry for the typo, I hate autocorrect
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJo-Anne
The passage of time is a brutal reminder that everything has an expiration date on our planet. Grief changes. Lighter days just creep in. I was almost disgusted by it, that life just marched right on and dragged me along, kicking and screaming. I felt like I was leaving her behind once again, like I did at the hospital. It took me a while to stop fighting against it, to let time do a bit of healing. Which it does. I hated that phrase with a passion but still came to accept that there is some truth in it.
May 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterB
Yes I am disgusted by it. I don't want to move forward, I want to go backwards.
May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Oh Denise, I totally get it. It's been a while for me now (5.5 years), but I vividly remember this guilt when life picks you up and carries you forward. It was maybe six months after our son died. My husband and I were playing with our dog at the beach, being silly, and I laughed, truly laughed for the first time since our son died. Right after that laughter, I broke down in bitter tears... such a dissonance of emotions, it's impossible to describe, and even harder to live through. I am so sorry you are going through this. You are not alone...
May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMira
For me, it took a very long time to get to a place where I actually wanted to feel better, heal, find some peace and acceptance. It just seemed so wrong to feel better. But it did happen, and it was at that point when this guilt eased off. This is hard to work through. Sending you love and strength!
May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterB