November 11, 2016

6 Months Since My Husband Died

My husband died six months ago.

And it seems that all I can manage to write since he died are these periodic check-ins.

(By the way, if you would like to follow more of what's going on with me, I do share updates more often than writing a whole blog post, on Instagram and Facebook.)

It seems that grief over the loss of one's spouse is pretty much all-consuming. While all loss of loved ones is hard and sad and sucky, I've come to believe that the death of the person you married is probably the worst (except for maybe the loss of a child). The hardest to get through or over or how ever you want to say it.
Perhaps it depends on your particular circimstances, but in general, the loss of the person you've committed to share your life with, raise children with and be there for, changes everything. It changes what your life looks like and consists of. It changes your outlook, hopes, desires, priorities....everything you once thought was all but set in stone.

The future, for example. When Mark was still alive, living with him in the moments we still had was my priority. I hardly ever thought about the future. All that mattered was him and us then. Now, the future is this gaping expanse of uncertainty. I literally have no idea what it will look like, and that's kind of unsettling.


We celebrated Mark's first birthday in heaven (that sounds so cheesy) earlier this week. The kids and I, Mark's mom and sister and my dad went out to dinner to one of his favorite restaurants, but that didn't feel like enough to me. I wanted to do something symbolic, so I got three white balloons for us to "send up" to Mark. My daughter and I wrote messages on ours, but my son opted not to. AJ cried when we went outside to release them. I grabbed ahold of him and cried too. Camryn wrapped her arms around us both. Very bittersweet.

When we arrived home after dinner, my mother-in-law hugged me and said she thought it was a very nice evening and that the balloons were a sweet touch. I said, "But it made my baby cry." She responded, "That's OK, he probably needed to cry."

That's another thing about this grief journey, espcially with children, I think. I am so unsure if I'm doing things right for them. What's best? What's a bad idea? Do I ask them about their feelings, or does that only serve to keep their grief in the forefront as much as mine is?

In my heart, I think kids are more resilient than adults in this situation. In all actuality, not much about their day-to-day lives has changed. I think that grief will hit them periodically throughout the rest of their lives when they have a specific reason to miss their dad. The special events that he should be there for, or when a new person in their lives asks about their parents.


The other day I got an email offering a sale on personalized items. I give my kids a new ornament every Christmas Eve, so I went to look...I notice that they have memorial ornaments, so I click to see them. I find one I think is kinda cool and see what it looks like with my personalization. And then I got annoyed and closed the tab in my browser.

What, I'm going to replace my dead husband with a Christmas tree ornament? No. Just no. I think his ashes, handprint and the many pictures I have are much better keepsakes and reminders than some $14.99 ornament.


To close on a better note, I heard Mark one morning a couple of weeks ago.

No really, I did.

My alarm had gone off and I was stretching, rubbing my eyes and yawning, in the process of waking up, when I softly but clearly heard, "Hey"

It was his voice. It was him.

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