Guilt and Grief

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Posted by Jason on January 23, 2001 at 20:26:30:

I'm 32 and so was my wife when she passed away from breast cancer on 12/09/00. We had an 18 month old daughter and my wife was in the hospital to have our second daughter, who was born five weeks early on 11/02/00. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer which had spread to the liver a couple of weeks later. We had one month from the time our second daughter was born to the day Julie died.

I'm staying at home now being a full-time dad, until both my girls are in school, at which time I'll go back to work. They're doing fine. I'm going through some weird emotions. I stay so busy most of the time that I don't have a chance to reflect very deeply on our loss--except at night when the kids are in bed. Then it hits me like a truck.

My greatest worries and sadness stem from the fact that neither of these girls will know the greatest person I have ever known. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I'll never be able to convey the essence and goodness of their mother. I also feel very guilty. I feel as if I'm short-changing my girls because I know, without a doubt, that my wife would have provided a better environment for them. I'm a pretty good dad, but I don't hold a candle to the way my wife gave herself completely to our oldest daughter. I also feel tremendous guilt about not giving my newborn the same kind of loving attention my wife gave our first daughter when she was a newborn.

Anyone been through a similar situation? Did you talk to a psychologist? What did they say? Or, I'd welcome any general words of wisdom and comfort.

One other note: Like someone in one of the previous posts, I have prayed for a sign from my wife--a sign that her spirit is alive and is in a better place. I have not received one--yet. We even discussed this before she passed away. I've been a practicing Catholic all my life but over the past few years had been going through a down-cycle in my faith. This has shaken it further. I find comfort in hearing stories from others who have overcome such a faith crisis. If you've got one to share, I'd be grateful.

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