I don't know if guilt is a part of grief or not, but I feel some. And, I don't know if my feelings of guilt are justified or not, but I still feel 'em.
I know that I wouldn't have been able to change the outcome of the lives of the people I miss, but now -- when I can't even change anything at all -- I want to go back and get a tippy-end-of-life do-over.
During the time of Harvey's illness, I chose, specifically, not to change the way I acted as his wife and as the family coordinator and planner and mother. People always say "Treasure these moments" because they go so fast. I KNOW they go fast, but I specifically chose not to act all lovey-dovey when I wasn't feelin' it 'cause that just wasn't natural.
Truth be told, there were quite a few times during the stress of Harvey's illness that I did not feel lovey-dovey. I tried. (My family members may not have been aware, but I DID try to be sweet.) But I'm just not really good at faking whatever emotions I feel. I might hold them in, but eventually those feelings -- good or bad -- come out... pretty much just like I feel 'em.
There were many times when I just really didn't have time to "appreciate" what was around me...'cause there were appointments to get to, school events to attend, dinners to make, dog to walk, household to run.
So even while Harvey lay in the bed at hospice house, I feel like I let some moments slip. I didn't want to...but I think I was so busy taking care of the business of his illness for so long that all I really knew how to do at that point was wait.
Thank goodness I paid attention right before (and I mean RIGHT before) he breathed his last breath.
But what I WISH had happened... what I would like to do over... is to have had even ten minutes of just me and Harv time... Ten minutes where I could say all the things that were/are in my heart. And, in a miraculous world, I would have loved to have had ten minutes where he talked back.
Harv and I were pretty good about communication throughout our relationship. We didn't hold back. And, I know that I know that I know that we both knew how much we loved each other... And, I still want a do-over.
I don't know how a person balances being real and authentic with fully appreciating every blankety-blank moment in a less-than perfect situation. But can somebody make sure he knows that he knows that he knows that he knows that I really, really, really love him? And that I'm sorry I was grumpy sometimes and inattentive sometimes and selfish and impatient? And, can you ask him to just very clearly send me a message to let me know he knows?