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Still More Coolness

Guilt

I have said in the past that being a parent means coming to terms with guilt. At the time, I was thinking in terms of guilt for actions that may send my children to a therapist in the next twenty years, but now, in the wake of Jasmine's death, I see that there is so much more to that.

I have written about my guilt over my part in the decision to turn off her life support. That guilt is easy to write about -- it's expected, understood. Of course I would feel guilty about it. The guilt I haven't written about, because I feel like such a shit about it, is the guilt I feel over being relieved in some ways that we no longer have to deal with the medical bullshit we had to deal with for the past ten years. Or the guilt I feel that in some ways, Jasmine's death has freed our family to make decisions we never could have made if she were alive, or that we would have had to make very differently. I feel guilty that her death seems to have been a catalyst for growth in many ways -- in my writing, in the direction my life takes, in my relationships with friends and family. I feel sick over finding any good in her passing. It feels like a betrayal.

I feel guilty that I don't write or speak often enough of my grief. I worry that people think I'm not grieving or hurting because I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. I write a lot about every day life, which, for the most part, is good and is going on. I feel guilty that I don't write more about Jasmine, that I might somehow fail to express that the smile literally drops from my face at least once a day because I am struck by the realization that she is gone.

I know, I know, before you rush to leave a comment that I shouldn't feel guilty, or that Jasmine wouldn't want that, I know it's okay to find a silver lining. I know it in my head, anyway. But in my gut feeling any relief or appreciation for the turns life has taken this year feels like a slap in the face to her memory, almost as if I were saying I wish she had never been born in the first place. I hate trying to hold the conflicting feelings in my own heart, of relief and the deepest grief. And trying to explain it is hard. And how can I at one moment feel light-hearted and the very next feel as if every feeling of joy has been completely sucked out of my life? Sometimes I feel like I contracted multiple personality disorder. Or like I'm an infant, stripped of the ability to mitigate or channel the intensity and direction of my emotions when they surface.

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Recent Entries ...
Go Here - Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006
Short, But Sad Good-bye - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005
Jasmine's Story ... Our Story - Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
Ache - Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005
Twists & Turns - Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005

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