Yesterday I walked through the day, just putting one foot in front of the other.
I had this pit in my stomach that hasn’t gone away, I ate about 2 bites of food and just drifted through the day. The only other time I remember feeling like this was when I was going through my divorce.
People who I thought cared about me, that I would have expected a hug or some support from and I received nothing. Others who I barely know who were writing me letters of kindness.
Say what you want. Say that I shouldn’t blame myself or that I couldn’t have possibly known that this was going to happen. Most of the same people who told me not to feel blame or guilt were also that ones who said it was probably the puppy’s fault that Harwell acted the way that he did. Well guess what? That puppy wouldn’t be in our house if it weren’t for me. And now, now that puppy is laying right next to me.
“That guilt is something you should feel when you purposely do something that intentionally effects others in a negative way. But, when you handle day to day decisions and do what you think is best…you can’t harbor guilt for unintentional consequences. You did not act in a way that purposefully hurt Noah or Harwell or anyone else. You made the decision you felt was right after thoughtful consideration and it happened to not work.” My best friend messaged me that, after I told her that the guilt was just too much to bear.
They are wonderful, kind words, but my heart doesn’t feel any different. This isn’t a decision that I wish for anyone in the world to have to make. There is no good answer, the guilt would be strong no matter what. Constantly thinking about the before and the after and all that you could have done differently to change the outcome. It can destroy you.
Noah had to be at school all day yesterday with a giant bandage on his head, with gauze wrapped all around. At 5 he spent the day explaining to his friends that his best friend bit him on the head and then he had to go away. The love that Noah still shows when referring to Harwell will last a lifetime, I worry that the fear in his eyes will to.
Time will make it better, maybe, hopefully. I will spend a lifetime now thinking that there are a million things I could have done differently. That could have changed the way this all played out. I will blame myself for putting us in a position to have to make this decision.