Posted by Danny
I didn’t really understand guilt associated with death. I’ve had a whole lot of feelings over the past few years but not guilt.
How does that one pop out of nowhere two years after Lisa’s death?
I don’t have feelings of regret related to how I handled her illness or death. I think I did pretty well given the circumstances. I had hope. I stood by her, and she was strong for me.
But I regret in a different kind of way. I think my feelings are centered around my ability to move forward. I’m laughing again. I’m spending incredible time with my girls, and I have the benefit of watching them grow. I lay on the bed with each one each night. We talk about their days. We talk about the future. We have our inside jokes and a good dose of daily zaniness. We pray.
And Lisa doesn’t get to do any of that. I am the beneficiary of a stronger relationship with my children, because we are each others’ lifeline. Our bonds grow deeper each day.
In my head I reverse our roles and think of myself – watching Lisa on this earth with our kids. How sad I would be – separated from her; unable to hug my kids; not sharing in the day-to-day joys they bring. It tears me up.
I know she is with us, I feel her strength and presence. But she can’t tickle or hug. She can’t respond to their questions. She can’t share a memory from our past.
Although at times it feels like she is right here, I refuse to believe she can see us. That would hurt her too much.
I think in earthly images with a very limited view of the breadth of the universe. Perhaps she can see and feel more than I can even imagine. At times, what I imagine is sorrow and separation – not the joy and peace that I should.
She once said to me, “You have the hard part. You have to put the pieces back together when I’m gone.” It has been so hard; and yet, I live. I wish we could share this life – six months here, six months there. What I’d give for her to have one night at bedtime with the kids. No. I get it all.
Wrapped in my slowly growing contentment with life is a heightened sense of guilt. Guilt and sadness for her, for what she is missing.