It’s Wednesday again! Which means kids are gone at a playdate so I have some quite time to get stuff done. We had our end of the year baseball party last night (which was super fun!) so it was an amazing morning of sleeping in! S slept til 8, B til almost 8:30 and the winner was E who slept until 10:30! Summer vacation is officially here!!! 🙂
So two thing had happened recently that have just really opened my eyes. The first is a friend of my sister recently lost her brother to suicide. I knew this friend many years ago, and she is one of the kindest and caring people I’ve ever met. I am sure that she is in such a deep heartbreak right now and my heart truly goes out to her. The second thing that happened is this same sister recently reconnected with a high school friend. While catching up, she updated this friend on me and my situation. This friend shared that one of her close friend’s husband recently died by suicide. Similar circumstance in the fact that it was totally unexpected, no “warning signs,” leaving behind a wife and 3 children.
What this has shown me is that while what happened to our family is tragic and I wouldn’t wish on anyone, we are not alone. There are other people out there who know what we are going through. I remember right after Mark died feeling really alone. As much as my family was around, we were all sort of just keeping our heads above water. Plus, we were experiencing different losses (husband, son, brother). As strange as it might seem, knowing there are people out there who understand this kind of loss is extremely comforting to me.
If either of those people or their families ever read this, please know that IT DOES GET BETTER. I remember somebody telling me that when Mark first died. I didn’t believe it. I really didn’t. Looking back I think that’s crazy, because I am a totally optimistic person. But my heart was broken and I couldn’t see any way for it to get better. It certainly isn’t they way I would have chosen, and I still struggle with missing him just about every single day (although that is an improvement from every single minute!) But in those first few days, weeks, months, I held onto that. When it was really bad I’d remember the people who had walked that path who told me it got better. Some days I held onto it with a death grip. And I can honestly say now it IS better. Much better in fact. We work towards healing every day. When the kids are having a hard day missing daddy, I tell them “you will always miss daddy, and that’s okay. Because you loved him SO much.” And it’s true.
Here I sit in a quiet house. The kids are at a playdate, one of several we set up for this summer. A truly selfish proposition on my end, some of E’s friend’s moms agreed to alternate playdates this summer. One day of craziness in exchange for 5 days of quiet! I decided that today will be a day of nothing for me. After a VERY late playoff game last night for B (didn’t end til 10:30!) I need some downtime before their travel game tonight. My goal: do nothing. So far, pretty good! I’m still in my pajamas and I’ve read a good hundred plus pages of my book. Okay, I did sneak in a load of laundry, mainly because a baseball uniform needed to be washed! But the sink has dirty dishes in it, the kitchen table is full of half-completed lego sets, and my unmade bed is beckoning me….
Just wanted to pop on here because the book I’m currently reading has me re-living Mark’s death. It is called “American Wife” and is written by Chris Kyle’s wife (of American Sniper fame). I am to the place in the book after his death. She is explaining what it is like to lose your spouse unexpectedly and violently all while trying to raise your children. While our experiences are not the same, so many of the grief emotions are similar. It is so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been through it. Because I am still honestly trying to figure it all out myself. I do often feel like I HAVE to keep it together, have to be strong for the kids. It is exhausting. Sometimes I just want to break down. I don’t want to have to be strong, I want to just cry and scream because this isn’t fair. But I don’t. I am hoping that going to this Widow Retreat this summer will help me work though a lot of those feelings. I am hopeful I can connect with other people who have similar experiences, because 36 year-old widows are a pretty small demographic. It is not easy to find those relationships and be able to have someone who TRULY “gets it.”
Anyways, only 2 hours left of my mini-vacation, so I’m gonna go enjoy it! Please say a little prayer for us that we get though this Father’s Day with some positive moments. Thank you ❤
So as usual a pretty crazy time around these parts! E had her big dance recital on Sunday, she did AMAZING! I couldn’t be more proud of her. All her hard work this past year in FOUR dance classes paid off and she did fantastic on stage. Best part was I could see her smiles from my seat all the way in the balcony. She has such joy when she dances and I just know she is loving every second on that stage. Of course that night at home we had some sadness. I know we all wished Mark could be there watching his little girl float across the stage. E definitely missed him the most as it was her time to shine and I know she would have loved having daddy see her. I sit feeling helpless knowing nothing I say or do will take her pain away.
And the dreaded father’s day is coming up. We weren’t sure what we would do this year. I always try to leave these sort of decisions up to the kids. We decided to make it a fun day. We will go to the cemetery and plant flowers by Mark’s headstone. We will of course see my dad and celebrate with him, too. I explained to E that grandpa doesn’t replace daddy, but even if Mark were still here we would still celebrate grandpa on father’s day 🙂 I can only imagine how much she wishes he was here for father’s day.
Other than that, summer break is in full swing. Honestly, it has been wonderful so far. Even though we don’t have much planned in June, seems like every day is busy! We will be leaving at the end of the month for our family road trip. I can’t wait to have some beach fun and make more memories. I always knew I appreciated my kids and my family, but I appreciate it in a way that few people can truly understand. Nobody believes their life will change in an instant, I know I didn’t. Never once crossed my mind. But here I am, living this alternative life I never planned on living. Somedays I still wish for the future I dreamed of, but most days I try to focus on embracing the experience of creating a new future. Emjoy what you have right now, for now is the only moment that is ever guaranteed.