how do you not let the guilt of moving on with life eat you alive?

Christina - posted on 02/14/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I lost my son 1 1/2 months ago now and I feel as if people are just over it... So I keep most of my feelings inside and whenever I am alone I cry... I am already back in school and at work and my life, excluding the loss of my son, is back at it's fast pace and I feel such incredible guilt for it.. When people tell me I'm so strong, i dont take that as a compliment because I feel as if I shouldnt be... My bestfriend lost her daughter more than 7 years ago and I was pregnant with my second child,I was so scared and told myself I could never live with the pain...Now the unimaginable has happened to me as well and I feel like a horrible person for being able to laugh at jokes and play with children mine or other peoples, even eating or getting a good nights sleep and especially when I have a good day when I only cry once or twice... I dont know how I should feel because I have 3 older Children so I have to move forward for them but I also feel in a lot of ways that to move on from this I have to block a lot of it out and the times that it becomes too real for me to handle I end up crying uncontrollably... This pain is the worst feeling ever and really I dont know what I am asking except, how did other women who have lost their children deal with the pain without going insane and how did you move forward from it without feeling like a heartless person?

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Becky - posted on 02/15/2009

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I think any mom who has lost a baby goes through exactly what you're going through. I think one of the reasons it's so hard to lose a child who is very young is because the loss does not effect other people as much as it effects you. You're kind of alone in your grief and it sucks. If you don't take antidepressants, I might recommend them. It's been almost fifteen years since my daughter died and antidepressants weren't real widely accepted back then. Looking back, I think I definitely needed them. I was a MESS. I always say that if I see someone else acting how I acted back then, I will recommend that they get some counseling and some pills! You should not feel guilty about getting a good night's sleep, eating, laughing, etc. You need to take care of yourself!

Libby - posted on 02/15/2009

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Wow, we have a lot in common.  I also have 2 older children, my daughter was stillborn at 20 weeks on December 3rd, 2008.  So, I too have this new thing going on in my life, this stupid pain.  I wasn't able to go back to work though.  I had actually lost my job in September, but I wasn't worried about it b/c I had a baby to look forward to.  Now that I don't, I just don't think I could handle looking for a job, putting in applications, interviewing, getting hired, and then working.  I don't want to work for some reason.  I just have this overwhelming desire to be with my children as much as possible and I think it's somewhat unrealistic to find a job that will let me work from 830-2 every day, and off when school is closed, etc.  I just want to be with my boys.  So, I made a compromise, I started babysitting 2 weeks ago.  It's not much money, but it's the tradeoff I will take so I can be with my boys.  They are only 7 & 4 1/2, and I wish I could've stayed home with them when they were babies, but I want to be there as much as I can, while I can. 



I don't have a whole lot of advice to tell you how to deal with this pain.  I too feel guilty for having to deal with life.  But if it wasn't for my boys I probably wouldn't deal.  They keep me on the routine.  But they do make me happy, which makes me feel guilty.  They make me laugh which then makes me sad.  I wondered when I was pregnant if it would make my sister in law happy for me to lose my baby b/c she lost hers a little over two years ago.  She and I don't get along very well, and it seems like that mostly happened when she lost her child.  And here I lost my daughter and I feel guilty for wondering all of that.  I know I didn't will it to happen, but it's just so coincidental. 



Basically the way I've been able to cope is because my husband has been everything I've needed him to be.  This past week was sorta bad.  I think it's mainly hormonal, but I just haven't felt right.  I feel like I'm on the outside of my body looking at myself and I don't recognize me.  Other than that, when I need to cope, I find relief in the arms of my hubby.

Amanda - posted on 02/15/2009

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I don't think you ever get over the loss of a baby, I know i havn't and like you i have felt like every one else's life is moving forward but mine has stood still. I did what your doing i hid my feelings from people and cried alone but i came to a point when i couldn't pretend anymore that i was ok. The only way i could move forward was to stop pretending and to be open about my feelings and not to cry alone.The pain does get easier but you will never forget as it will always be a part of you and eventually you will have the strength to carry on. I know it's said many times but Time IS a great healer you just have to believe!

Angela - posted on 02/15/2009

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One day at a time. It's alright to cry whenever the notion strikes as well, especially when the loss is so soon. I think its good that you are marching forward with life, as it does not stop. But that doesn't mean you can't designate a day, or a couple of days just for your son.



I'm moving ahead slowly in life, but I keep going on because my son already lost a brother, he doesn't need to lose his mother. However some nights I cry. I keep his framed photo by my bed and say goodnight to him before I go to sleep. Yes sometimes the guilt comes with having to move on, but you cannot live in that guilt otherwise your life, and the life of your loved ones will pass you by. Of course like I said, that doesn't mean you cannot grieve. Remember, you are not a heartless person. From what I read your a person wanting to find a way to live after a tragedy that most people who've not gone through something similar, cannot relate to.

Wanda - posted on 02/15/2009

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Dear Christina. You are not heartless, we save that title for the morons who play mind games on moms. Yesterday was the 7 month point, I get weepy around the 13th of every month. I set goals to keep me doing things I find pleasing. I like music so I seek my faVORITES ON YOUTUBE. I work with my cameras. I visit friends.

Ya your're not over it and they are........the intensity of pain is within you.... others can not be held back and for you to sit in black doom and gloom is where a lot of us have been. For me it was important I go through the motions of being functioning so others could be set free not to worry. Having to be strong is part of the mom role, start making it a skill by taking control when you are able, also set limits if it helps.

I allow the length of a hot shower to grieve in the bathroom, do NOT allow loss of controll in my car. I do mental checks , Questioning myself if I am bothering others less often. When it is that fresh and raw sometimes you have to just stop and do deep breathing exercises. Treat yourself right, little personal indulgences for awhile are OK. Take the kids to a Dairy Queen, or get a sitter... buy some magazines / puzzels & find a sunny cafe window to spend time in public. Go to a library? my daughter checks out games for the wii.l

Goals help empower. If tears still come uncontrollable then learn to recognize what might set them off, at least you will be a little prepared.

cELEBRATE LIFE'S GOOD THINGS BECAUSE everyone deserves TO BE CONTENT. Use your good perfume, add cream in coffee ,plus work to look good in public.... so primp and select jewelry = the world will be observing??? So put on a fresh outlook. Journal the crazy thoughts. Walk, bike and get moving as exercise is good. As you are ready = you control your life more and emotions of loss and pain take over less.. Participate , learn to say private sunspoken "thank yous" for the rare good moments of joy and smother out self pity . Use the coping skills that help calm, for me it helped to recite sayings, words of music etc. A friend use to say "time to put the big girl panties on" and be a grown up when she had to get HER ACT TOGETHER.

Little letting of steam words like.... that sucks !!!!! or bite me !!!!! is easier for all humans near, over whine , sniffle, pouts, and fits of putting on a pity show.

Get a designated friend"lifeline" supporter = someone willing to listen then call when it feels nutsy.

A golden rule is do not make a situation worse than it already is... we can be our own worse enemies. Give yourself a break , light a candle, make coco, purchase a stem of flower. Good Luck.

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Stacia - posted on 08/05/2009

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Christina - Your situation seems very close to how I have been feeling. I lost my daughter @ 17 weeks on June 17, 2009 and I have the very same feelings that you have. I have three wonderful boys (Kaid, 3 yrs; Twins - Evan and Lucas, 9 mos) and that is the reason that I try to be positive everyday. I have focused my attention to them and losing Natalee has made me realize how truly special my kids are. They are the reason that I get through everyday...and don't think I don't still cry about our lost baby because I do. There is a wonderful website that I have made a memorial for our angel (www.october15th.com) & I also ordered a necklace in memory of Natalee - maybe this will help. It has helped me a little, but I am still having a very hard time with it.

Cherie - posted on 08/05/2009

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My sweet angel Daphnie died back in April and I feel like it is up to me to live a good life for her since she was only 16 months old when we were in a car crash. I also have a 6 month old and I know it is terribly hard most days because the pain is the most unbearable pain we will ever feel. But you have to give yourself time and cry when you feel like it. Find support where you can. Is there anyone that can watch your other children while you can have time to yourself? If anything you could just have time to do something in honor of your baby's memory. Hope u feel better soon. My prayers are with all who are going thru this difficult time.

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oh Christina bless your heart, guilt is a awful thing to go along with your grief. I lost my precious daughter Kimberly 11 yrs ago. There is not a day that I do not think of her and miss her. But, like you I have other children, 2 girls that now have blessed me with 7 grandchildren. Kim was 16 when she was killed and I will tell you that I honestly do not remember a whole year of my life. Regardless of how strong people think you are, you will have your moments when you will meltdown, you have to ~ that is just a part of the grief. I still have some days when I do not even want to get out of bed, its a process that will take so much time. I never lie to a mother that has lost a child, you never "get over it" as some think you should. You learn to live without out your child, you learn to live your life different and you love the children you have just a little bit more. I had a tendancy to love mine a little to much, very over protective and scared that if they left something would happen. But, I had to let them spread their wings and fly...Somedays you will feel like you are in the ocean with the waves pulling you under and you standing up only to have the next wave take you under again...but the days will get better, you will learn to keep your footing and take a step towards the shore. It is not easy, and you will have set backs...but keep faith in your heart and know that you are not alone in your struggle ~ any time you need to just vent, talk or cry ~ do it!

Diane - posted on 08/04/2009

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after my 15yr old son Ashton died i feel more guilty for not living my lfe to the full.i try hard to get up every day and smile and look forward to the future.its hard but i think i should be making the most of my life with my daughters im living and experiencing it for my son who cant.x

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