Every birth results in twins – twin A: a vulnerable, needy, immature, unique human individual and twin B: Guilt. (I suppose I had quadruplets when I gave birth to twins three years after Brandon, and Elizabeth’s and Brandon’s Guilt twins grew more demanding when I brought twin babies and twin Guilts home!)
Unlike a unique human individual, Guilt never seems to die. It may seem to others to make no sense, but every bereaved mother I’ve met continues to nurture Guilt. I am no different. Guilt sometimes wraps itself around me. It clings so tightly I need no wrap, sling or carrier.
Did I do – or not do – something when I was pregnant with Brandon that later caused him to develop this weird, virulent cancer? Did I eat or drink – or not eat or drink – something when I was pregnant with him that led to this cancer? Did I somehow expose him to something or not watch him closely enough so that he was exposed to something that led to the development of this cancer? Did I do everything in my power to track down treatment options after he was diagnosed? What did I miss? How did I fail to protect him?
There must have been something I did or didn’t do, because he shouldn’t have died. He should still be here.
My head knows this is stinking thinking. My heart doesn’t always believe or accept it. Guilt lives on…