A New Kind Of Guilt
Last updated: October 2023
I had a very tricky week recently. To make it selfishly about me, rather than the parents it happened to. A funeral of the most beautiful little girl. Not earth-side for long. Long enough to make memories. Not long enough to fully live. Leukaemia.
Grief for the child
And so I felt crushed with grief. Grief for the parents. Grief that I couldn’t even begin to truly get my head around. How do you get up? Shower. Eat. Live. When your baby (regardless of actual age) has gone. How do you pick the flowers? The casket? The music? And say goodbye? And honour that child. The life they lived. That has been taken too early. Too soon. And so much of that life was lived in the hospital.
And to process this as a mother of a toddler bursting with life. Healthy. Still here.
Survivor's guilt. On a new level.
Why am I still here? Why am I still alive? Why am I still off treatment? Although I’m pretty sure that’s because of my magical girl. Why did another set of parents have to say goodbye to their daughter? When mine didn’t. Haven’t.
And as an adult that’s hard to be at peace with.
It’s been easier this week. But the last couple of weeks I have thought about each lunchtime sleep time. And bath time. And bedtime. When I have a moment to pause. How would I be if this was my last time to do it? Or to not be doing it. To not have to be doing it. Because she isn’t here anymore.
Why am I still here? And with a healthy child?
And that is devastating. And my heart breaks. Breaks for those parents who don’t have to think about the plan for the day and food and sleeps and bedtime. Because their baby isn’t here anymore.
It’s certainly removed any envy I have for those who do go out in the evening because they can (regardless of why). It’s made me re-evaluate some things at the moment. It’s stopped me from wishing that maybe I didn’t have to breastfeed my daughter to sleep. That someone else can do bedtime. That I don’t have to be there.
But I do. And I am. And I am so grateful that I am.
I'm living with a blood cancer that won't kill me
It’s devastating. And I know I’m not really giving what I’m trying to say justice. To not just make it about me and how I feel as someone living with a blood cancer that isn’t going to kill me. To make it about that beautiful little girl.
But the middle child jokes don’t seem appropriate. Or the self-validation to myself that it’s okay that it’s about me and how I feel.
Sharing my feelings about their loss
However. This is a site where I write about me and myself and how I feel…
My heart is less heavy this week. The tears don’t suddenly start. I can be with my daughter without feeling so guilty. And know that with time I will be okay.
And my prayer is that one day, the parents are okay as they will ever be too.
How do you feel about your support system?