Embracing Guilt, Grief, & Regret as a Rite of Passage Into Special Needs Motherhood

June 20, 2019

Guilt is the lump in your throat from holding back the tears, as you tell your self you have to be strong, no matter what.
Guilt is standing in the hospital parking lot at 2 am screaming at God to save your child over and over until you finally beg him to just take you instead.
Grief is lying to your child’s doctor when they ask you if you are okay.
Grief is your heart sinking into your stomach as you hold your child just a little tighter as the doctor gives them yet another diagnosis.
Regret is replaying the same memory over and over wishing you had just fought a little harder, protected them a little better, held them a little longer.
Regret is the cup of coffee you’ve remade 10 times, because you were up all night researching treatments while your child slept on your chest, just so you knew they were breathing.


Standing in the parking lot of the hospital screaming at God over & over begging him to listen.

“I can’t do this, I’m breaking and falling apart. I’m trying so hard to be strong, but the tears are falling faster than I catch them, and the clouds that were once my thoughts are just getting darker and darker. 
My days are getting longer, and my nights are getting shorter.
I’m doing everything right and my baby is NOT GETTING BETTER!”

I’d wipe my tears, look at the sky, and walk back inside. 
Strong was what I was going to be, no one was ever going to know I was slowly falling apart.

Every time we got a new diagnosis.
Every time we slept in a hospital. 
Every time sat in an ER at 3 am
Every time another milestone wasn’t met.
Every time I argued with a doctor or nurse to just do something.
Every time I tried to form the words, “I’m not okay.”

Guilt would tap me on the shoulder, just to remind me the he was always with me.

Guilt consumed me, fueled me, and kept me going in the darkest parts of my child’s life.

Guilt made sure, I told no one that I believed; I failed my child!

I am my child’s protector.
I am my child’s security. 
I am everything my child needs.

& I couldn’t help my child….

I failed my child….

I was not allowed to show weakness. 
I did not deserve to show weakness.
My child was fighting to live and to me, it was because I failed him.

I failed him.


I was the keeper of the key to the plan to “fix” my child and I was going to prove to me, God, and the whole damn world that he was going to get better.
Failure was not an option & guilt was now long gone.

Until, I found grief….

“Grief rolls in like a black cloud of thunder on a beautiful day at the beach. One minute your standing in the water watching the waves splash the shore, and the next your drowning in the sea, with no way to get your head above water.”

One minute you have a plan to save the world, to regain the child God promised you when you saw those two pink lines. 
The next your sitting on the floor locked in your closet hiding from the world because the brick sitting on your chest has chained itself to your heart and you can’t see past the darkness of your thoughts.

Grief is like the wave of a tsunami, crashing into your heart, every time you come to terms with another set back.

Grief never truly goes away.

Grief moves into the lonely corner of your room, only coming out to remind you of everything your child won’t get to experience no matter how many plans you successfully set into action.


As I come to accept that there are just certain things my child is always going to struggle with, I often find myself second guessing every single decision I have made in the last five years of my life.

Regret is ever evolving.

Regret is isolating.

Regret is the voice I hear in the shower telling me, I should have taken my child to the doctor sooner.

Regret is the voice I hear in my thoughts at 3 am telling me to watch my child sleep for just a little longer, when my eyes will barely stay open and my body is begging me to please just sleep.

Regret is quick.
It shows up 3 seconds after you make any single decision and makes you replay it over and over, consuming your mind.

Regret is when I tell my child they can eat cake for breakfast and watch TV all day.
Regret is standing next to me reminding me that something could happen at any minute.

Embracing Guilt. Grief. & Regret.

The day the I looked death in the eye for the second time and begged him not to take my child as he laid in a PICU on a ventilator on a 2:1 nurse ratio was the day;

“I fell from grace & lost all faith.”

I walked down a path of darkness consumed with guilt, grief, & regret every day.

I was done trying. I was done caring.

Anger coursed thru my body; burying any trace of any other emotion as I screamed at every single doctor, nurse, or person who dared to say anything at all to me.

” I loved you at your darkest” — Romans 5:8

Every morning I wake up just a little earlier than my kids. 
Every morning I sit outside, drink my coffee, and talk to God. 
Every morning I embrace the thoughts of guilt, grief, and regret.
Every morning I take the thoughts I can handle and I give the rest to God. 
Every day my children show me to how to be strong in the face of defeat.

Embracing guilt, grief, and regret; 
has given me the peace to see the sun,
the courage to lift my head out of the water, 
and the strength to swim to shore.

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord, your God, is with you where ever you go” — Joshua 1:9

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