There is so much I regret from the time surrounding Maxie's death.

I hate how I acted during the shiva.  I wanted people to be comfortable.  I wanted them to see that I was still here.  I wanted them to know I was strong.  I walked around making small talk with people, laughing at their stories and jokes, telling so many of my own.  I was in shock.  I think I figured I would be dead in a week or so and I wanted to make sure that my last interactions with people seemed upbeat.  I was trying to distract myself from the reality of my life.

I regret sending Maxie to the pediatrician that I did.  He was a little odd but seemed like a good doctor.  I kept thinking that I would change but then he grew on me and I just left it alone.  I don't think he is responsible for what happened - but I just don't know.  I hated the way he abruptly got off the phone with me and said, "these things sometimes happen" when he learned that Maxie died.  That conversation will haunt me for the rest of my days.

I regret that Maxie was in daycare.  I have to leave it at that because this is an especially complicated regret that I guess I can't talk much about.  But, if I could change one thing - this would be it.

I regret that I continued to expose myself to people who pushed me too much when I was barely clinging to life.  So much damage was done.  As I climb my way out of the hole, I keep finding thousands of new wounds.  It has taken so much work to just heal myself from those surface wounds - precious energy that I needed to work on healing the big, big, big wound.  I feel like I had to push away so much gunk to get to the actual pain.  Like I was bleeding to death and still being continuously stabbed by a thousand tiny knives.

I regret not knowing that something was wrong - even if there was no way to know - I am his mother.  In my heart, I can't escape the feeling that I should have known.  I regret that I couldn't save his life.  I regret that my prayers weren't good enough or loud enough or important enough to save Maxie's life.

I regret that I am alive and he is not.  He deserves life so much more than me.  He had his whole life ahead of him.  I have a lifetime of pain, living without him, ahead of me. It's not fair.  None of it is.  And sometimes I just feel embarrassed that I am alive and he is not.  Simple as that.

I miss him.  I am battered and tired and tired of crying all of the time.  I miss him.  So much.


Anonymous said...

So sorry you are living with all these regrets. Maxie was absolutely beautiful. I'm just sorry.

GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

Wow. I'm stunned at the utterly insensitive comment of your pediatrician. Maxie's death wasn't a "thing" that sometimes was the total shattering of your world and your heart.

Em said...

Every time you post a picture of Maxie I am taken in again by how utterly adorable he was.

I'm sorry your pediatrician was a jerk. We had one like that too.

Anna said...

think about you and maxie and teddy and mo all the time. sending you much love. xx

Leslie K. said...

Oh Abbs. I'm so so sorry you have to navigate this overwhelmingly complex maze of pain. I can't imagine a more loving, devoted mother than you. You did the absolute best you could in every way and continue to do so every day, with such courage, in the face of an unfathomable loss. Glad Mo is feeling better. XXOO