Guilt for not listening to my own body. If I had listened and taken it easy, maybe Kathleen would still be here. But (my logic says) you listened to the doctors who said all was fine. You didn't know the future. You didn't know...
Guilt that I had given birth to her at a gestation where she could not survive. That I couldn't stop it. But (my logic says) you can't stop a labor. You can't control when it starts, or when it stops.
Guilt that I felt relief once labor was over. Relief that the physical pain was over. Relief that the anxiety of the past seven weeks had come to an end. How could I feel relief when I had just given my daughter the death sentence? But (my logic says) it is 'normal' to feel relief when pain ends, when anxiety ends.
Guilt that I almost didn't hold her! What mother does not want to hold her child?? Her dying child? But (my logic says) you were scared of what she would look like. You were in shock. You did not think clearly. How grateful I am for my nurse who encouraged me to hold her. Who could think clearly for me when I couldn't...
Guilt that I didn't tell her I loved her!! All I remember saying to her was "I am so sorry" and then I just held her, silently. Why did I not speak to her? She could hear me. Why didn't I tell her over and over how much I loved her? But (my logic says) you were drugged. You were in shock. And she knows you love her. You told her in the womb, you've told Jesus to tell her. She knows.
So here I am, feeling guilty, yet reasoning with myself. You see, I know that I didn't do anything wrong. I know I acted on the knowledge I had. I know that I did the best I could for one being in shock. Yet the guilt is still there. Most of the time I'm okay, but then without warning it creeps back to the surface. Guilt.
Maybe guilt and grief just go hand in hand.
How do I explain something I don't even understand. Why am I writing this when I don't understand. Maybe my hope is that by sharing, healing will begin. That guilt will lessen.
Maybe it won't. Maybe what I need to hear is that Kathleen will forgive me. Even if there is nothing to forgive. And if there was, she would. But I just wish I could hear her say it. Say 'I forgive you mom'. I know that's not possible. Or is it? Mackenzie (from The Shack) did. God allowed him to see his dead daughter, talk to her, tell her he loved her, ask for her forgiveness.