Normal Guilt

October 10, 2013

Shortly after Sofia died, I got email from an old friend, someone I haven’t seen in years (unless Facebook counts, which it really doesn’t). She told me about her own experience with stillbirth and said she was available whenever I was ready to talk. I emailed her yesterday because this whole having-to-go-back-to-work thing is, well… is. And while we’re still trying to come up with a time to talk, what she emailed back was incredibly reassuring.

Yes, going back to work is hard, but it’s also good because it’s normal. But then it’s not good because it’s normal, and how can we possibly feel normal after what happened? We shouldn’t feel that way.

And that’s how I’ve been feeling. Guilty. I have a perfectly normal afternoon, reading a book, knitting, getting caught up on The Daily Show. And then I feel guilty because I shouldn’t be feeling normal. My world has been shattered. How can I not feel broken all the time?

And that guilt? That feeling that I should be feeling something different? That’s normal. And I think, more than anything, that was what I needed to hear at that moment. Yes, I will continue to feel guilty. And that’s okay. That’s part of the process. And I have a friend who has been there before me who can reassure me that there’s nothing wrong with that feeling. I may not like it. I may feel guilty about feeling guilty (Catholic, remember?). But that feeling? It means that I can still feel joy. I can still feel peace.

I’m still human. I’m still normal. Even when I feel like I shouldn’t be.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Normal Guilt

  1. Maria

    I have heard (in one of my many counseling trainings I’m sure) that the human body cannot stand the initial stage of grief/trauma for more than a few days/weeks, it’s physically too demanding and will make you sick. So it will find you ways to get a break, even if you don’t feel like you should.

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