There are lots of emotions and thoughts that one has when their child has died. Okay, I can't speak for anyone else here. I have had a lot of thoughts and the range of emotion that I've felt is fairly wide. One of the things I keep coming back to is the guilt that I feel for how we've handled her death.
There is some guilt related to choices I made while she was alive. Spending a bit less time with her so I could go home and sleep, for example. Or, letting my time get used up by talking with doctors and nurses instead of simply talking to her and letting her know I was with her. But, most of my guilt comes from how we've reacted to her death. The grief is there, inside both Audrey and I. But, life doesn't seem to allow for us to just focus on it or to wallow in it. So, we mostly put it aside so that we can handle the things that need to be taken care of each day. There are still two other children in our family that need our love and attention and they easily distract us from thoughts of Eva. But, when I hold Naomi, I often feel guilty that I am not holding Eva. It brings me a great deal of happiness and comfort to be with Naomi, but it makes me feel guilty for allowing myself to feel good with her as if I am somehow taking something away from Eva's memory. I wish she was here and that I could give her what I am able to give to Naomi, but I don't have any way of making that happen. Nevertheless, the fact that I cannot be even-handed in what I give my children kills me. I love them equally and each needs different things from me, but I can't give Eva anything now other than moments of sadness and reflection.
I feel guilty that I am home and getting back to a normal life and she is dead and has no life at all, normal or otherwise. I feel I should be paying some great price for this or that I should be tearing my world apart in grief. But, I'm not. I'm laughing and joking around. I'm actively obsessed with fantasy baseball. I am enjoying pieces of homemade carrot cake. I'm back at work, typing emails and making phone calls and doing all the things I used to do when I was able to make it to the office every day. I am grateful that the whole situation with the pregnancy and Eva's heart has finally come to a conclusion, but I feel horrible for getting any satisfaction out of that. I would never have chosen for things to end this way and I wish I could go back and change it, but I can't help feeling relieved that it is basically over and that we can move on. Am I dishonoring her in feeling like this?