Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do I Fess Up...Or Not?

November 2009 I was on the scene of a murder victim, I was doing first aid and applying pressure to a fatal stab wound.  They were four other people there that night, each of us taking a part in trying to save a young man's life.  My Mother kept telling me it became person because I touched him, I literally had his blood on my hand...but that isn't why I turned into an emotional mess.

The first trial was last July, the week of Ashley's birthday.  That trial ended in a hung jury.  The re-trial was last February, it ended in a "Not Guilty" verdict which stunned everyone...even the defendants family was surprised their son got off on a murder charge.

I am still in touch with the victim's family.  They are the kind of people you would want to wrap in your arms and protect from the world.  It still breaks my heart that the Mother lost her son that night, but I am still here for her when she needs me.  After the second trial we got together for lunch with Caroline who was a juror from the first trial who helped Prosecution the second time around and has been with the family since after the first trial.  I ended up telling Caroline why this was so personal to me, she was understanding.  I felt some relief telling her...maybe that was why I was able to let the memories of that awful night go.

Last night Shelly, the victim's Mother, called me to invite me to a get together her family and friends are having at park close by on March 31st.  I told her I didn't get off work until 6pm and that was when their gathering was ending.  She told me they always linger so they will be out there after 6pm, I promised her I would call when I got off work to see if they were still there and I will come out.  She was happy and she promised me there would be food I could eat...Pakastani food is really good, but really spicy and I told her at our luncheon I was a wussy when it came to spicy food.

After the details about the event were squared away I asked how she was doing.  She told me she tells everyone she is just fine and I told her she is allowed to have her bad days.  Shelly has been having a lot of bad days since last February, it is understandable.  She told me her son would be 24 in a few days.  I slipped and told her I had found out when his birthday was...crap!  She asked how I knew and thought it was sweet that I would remember something like that.  I didn't mean to let that slip out that I knew his birthday.

Shelly is a very sweet and warm person, she is the kind of person that you could spill your deepest, darkest secrets to and she would never judge you...she would embrace you and surround you with her love and kindness.

When we hung up I felt this huge weight on me again, I felt guilty.  Whenever she tells me how much she appreciates us staying with her son that night trying to save him I really start feeling guilty.  I don't feel bad for trying to help him, I would do that for anyone (I have done it twice before, but they were able to walk away).

I feel guilty because I want to tell her the reason this was so personal to me...I want to tell her about losing Ashley and that Ashley would be turning 24 in July.  I still don't understand why I feel like I am keeping a huge secret from her.  I want to tell her, but I don't want to discount what she is going through.  Her son being murder is different than me losing my daughter to adoption.  We both lost our first born children, but we lost them in two completely different ways.  Her son won't be coming back and my First Daughter is out there refusing to even acknowledge that I gave birth to her.

Why am I feeling so guilty?  This eats at me every time I talk to Shelly.  

Shelly has invited me to an event a Human Rights Group is putting on the first week of April.  The event is being held in memory of her son and this group set up a scholarship for students studying Criminal Justice at this exclusive private University where this event is being held.  Caroline and I plan on being there for the family.  This University where this event will be is the same University Ashley graduated from. 

I am still trying to figure out what to do...tell her or not.

I know if I tell her the guilt will lift from me, but I don't want her to feel like I am discounting her feelings.

Damn closed adoption!


birthmothertalks said...

I think this is a really hard one. I think right now she is looking to you for support and if you tell her about Ashley it may seem like your turning the tradegy to be about you and not her son. Also, ifyou tell her she may feel bad about going to you for support. I understand that you feel guilty for not sharing and maybe that's cause she is opening up such deep wounds to you.

Susie said...

I think you should tell her. You guys are linked together with a bond that few share, through the death of her child.

I don't think that you explaining why her son's death effected you is in any way discounting her feelings.

Think about it this way ~ what if she somehow found out, then wondered why you had never told her why her son's death touched you so deeply?

Live your truth, and also allow others to live with your truth!

I never got to say goodbye said...

I contacted my first mother at age 20 for the first time after searching for 2 years- I was ready to have a relationship with her at age 26. Those 6 years in between were terrible for her. I can never get them back. My adoptive mom threw a fit once I found her and due to my not wanting to hurt her hurt myself and my first mom in the process. I believe strongly in not giving up- not giving up not giving up.