Can we take a moment to talk about “fault”? I know this one is a difficult subject, but it’s also something that bothers me—this insistence on automatically telling bereaved parents that their child’s death isn’t their fault.
It bothers me because my son’s death is at least partly my fault, and I own that.
I made choices that led to Adrian’s death. I didn’t choose for him to die, but my choices did not save him.
And while yes, the guilt was hard for me to deal with in the early days after his death, what was harder was constantly hearing, “It’s not your fault.” It was hard to hear it, because it wasn’t true.
I know the loss community is divided on this subject. I know many bereaved parents find comfort in the sentiment, and I don’t seek to take that away from you. I only ask that you also acknowledge that other people may feel differently.
I feel differently.
I accept the blame for my son’s death, because I made choices that led us to that outcome. I accept the blame, and I don’t feel burdened by it—I view it as an acceptance of reality. And reality is important to me.
Please let that reality be.