Still grieving

Hi there, I’m new to this, even after 18 years,
My son was born with a self correcting heart defect, and was told he wouldn’t survive birth, he did, and lived for nearly 3 years, with operations and medication, it was always in the back of my mind that I could.lose him any time, thinking I was prepared, at 28 years old, of course we never are, and now 18 years on I still hold the pain in my heart as its the inly thing I feel I have left of him, was he a dream? No he wasn’t, but it feels that way, I have other children since, and I love them with every ounce of my being, but they know my heart is broken, and for that I carry guilt, 1… I cant let go and 2 I feel they are carrying my guilt too, I know I am lucky to have even had harry as he really di make me grow up alot, he has an older brother, whom I also feel guilt for, I know that will never go away, but I don’t know how to live with it, without turning to drugs and alcohol? I can go days with out either, but when I do it, I go large! I feel I have no one to turn to as I don’t want my friend and family to feel what I feel, although I know they do, I don’t know the correct path…
Sorry its an essay, but I’ll stop job as I could take up the whole page x
Thanks in advance.
Jen xxx

We never get over losing a child, and because of our deep love for them, it hurts like nothing else. It doesn’t make sense, it never will, but we have to find a way to go on without them. Your other children still need you, and you need them, so keep in touch, ask how they’re doing, too; even it seems difficult, sometimes. You’re not a bad mother for feeling like you do, but accept invitations, and still ask them over etc.
My elder daughter Jenny was very sweet to me when I apologised for being so negligent of her since losing my younger daughter, Ellie, six years ago. Jenny was also expecting a baby, so I felt guilty I couldn’t show much interest in my next grandchild, but she said she understood, bless her.