I went to an OBGYN appointment today just for a normal check-up. I sat down on the cold metal table and was slammed with the memories of sitting here last year. Right after we received the diagnosis. I remember asking her for suggestions, options, pleading for a miracle.
I don't usually cry around people but this woman and I have walked a special journey together. We were fortunate to have her deliver both of our boys and complete a needed surgery right after our second was born with a supportive and efficient nature. When I walked into the exam room today I was slammed with last year but I also remember our first visit when we initially found out we are pregnant. Daniel was sitting in the corner, next to a drop down curtain, shoulders hunched over in his button down work shirt, sleeves characteristically rolled halfway up his forearms, hands hanging between his spread legs as he played on his phone. I remember his excitement over the possibility of us having a child. The calmness he brought me at that moment.
The grief of those memories strike you at the oddest times. Racing through my head were our deliveries. Him holding my hand. Him being the strong one when we found a tumor on my ovary while pregnant with our youngest son. Him laughing with our Obstetrician. Him being amazed by the pictures of the tumor after surgery. Him shouting it’s a boy! Twice.
He would not have gone with me today to an annual visit but I felt his presence. I miss him so deeply. All triggered by a single doctor appointment.
Lucas and I had our first crying session together tonight. As time goes on people keep telling me things will get easier but with children being the ages they are I have a hard time agreeing with that statement. Lucas is coming to an age where he is beginning to understand families’ make-up and loss. He was tired when I picked him up from school today. After doing homework, eating dinner, and taking his bath, he was brushing his teeth and began crying. He stated over and over that he missed daddy. I picked him up, cradled him and cried with him. I tell him he can talk to him but he doesn't really understand what that means. He tells me he knows he's in heaven, but heaven is an abstract place. What exactly does that mean? To a four-year-old, it simply means his best friend, his father, is somewhere else and it really doesn't matter “where.” All that he knows is that he is somewhere else. All that matters is that he's not here. I try to stay positive but I know this is just the beginning. I know the days of hurt and crying and loss are going to remain with our boys forever. And with myself. Do not tell someone it will be easier because their children are young. Do not tell them to be thankful they had time with their parents if they are older. Do not make judgments about concepts that you don't understand. Grief is not universal, it is individualized to each person regardless of age, time and place. Those snap judgments do nothing but bring extra pain and frustration to us. No child should have to lose their parent, regardless of age. And the battle will rage.
If I have one more person tell me my kids are lucky because of the age they are when their dad died I might spit in their face.
What do you know on the situation? Have you experienced this? Not a day goes by that both of my boys don't feel the loss and the emptiness of not having their father. Not a day passes without questions. They miss the morning ritual. One on one attention. The fist bumps. The classic rock listened to on morning truck rides. The fact that they had a father. The fact that they lived with two adults. They miss having a man to show them to pee. To take them into a male restroom. To simply be surrounding by some masculinity. They want to know where he is. They want to see him. Feel him. They miss their best friend. This is not something that they will move on from. This is not something they will get over. Death. Loss is learning acceptance. Being ok with not understanding why. Learning to go forward in life without your hero. Your mom is your cheerleader, but your dad is your superman. The wrestler, the one that teaches you to defend yourself. The one to help out when you start to like girls. The one who teaches you to throw and hit a ball. So the next time you tell me my kids are lucky, I'm going to tell you to go to hell.
Don't act like you know how my kids are or aren't doing and stop asking "how are you?" It is a stupid damn question.
Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat and Daniel is in the forefront of my mind. I have been dreaming of something I need him for and I go to call for him. He materializes but then quickly vanishes. It's a cruel thing the mind does.
Tonight I dreamed someone had broken into my apartment. Now I haven't lived in an apartment for several years but someone was there and then a woman started hitting me. I looked for him, called for him and woke up crying to realize he's not here and cannot help me.
Someone should have fun analyzing that one.
Happy Birthday Daniel. The loss is heavy today. If I fell into a pool I would no doubt sink to the bottom as if I had bricks tied around my ankles. I talked with Lucas and Reed about it being Daddy’s birthday. I asked Lucas if he would like to go get cupcakes in celebration. Of course he would. I did what I always do today, I stayed busy and didn’t stop moving, except that I began the morning on my elliptical to calm my energy, something I usually reserve for after work. After school we went to Daniel and my’s favorite cupcakery and the boys chose a half dozen, yes that’s right, six cupcakes. Those of you who don’t eat emotionally, good for you. We went home and played in the yard. I talked with Lucas about sending lanterns to Dad as it got dark. He asked “Will he reach out and grab them?” "I think he will," I replied. After dinner we went outside and lit two beautiful paper lanterns for Daniel. Tears slid down my face as I watched them float away. “I want to see daddy,” Reed stated. One of the first times he has verbalized his feelings. More tears as I explained that he can’t be here. The three of us went into the kitchen to sit down and eat our over indulgent cupcakes. We then piled into my bed, read books, said Happy Birthday, we love you and fell asleep nestled together.
As I sit down in seat A19 and embark on what I believe will be one of the best events of my life I am immediately deduced to tears. What's wrong with me?
After a sleepless night in which I awoke at 1:30 AM unable to go back to sleep I got up finished my current book (an obsession returned) and proceeded to get dressed and ready for my 6am flight.
Why am I crying? I suppose it has to do with what this trip stands for. I do not believe I would taking part in this journey were Daniel still here. Maybe we would but doubtfully would we have had the funds to go. Am I crazy? Not certifiable but probably bending toward a little unstable today. We just passed the one year anniversary of diagnosis.
Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of celebrating Daniels 33rd birthday. A thirty third birthday that indeed ended up being his last. I would trade it all to have him back, to have more time, but I know that's not possible.
Last year our immediate families were preparing to attend a Hibachi dinner together. Today I am preparing to head to Super Bowl 50 as they are hosting the Carolina Panthers.
Tears of joy and sadness overwhelm me. In part due to the constant exhaustion I battle these days, in part to the extreme loss I still feel and in part due to this incredible event and also missing the Boys.
The Return to San Francisco
I understand it's a game, trust me I really do. I am not a believer that everyone deserves a trophy; that everyone wins. Life is full of wins and losses but damn this loss hurts.
You believe in a season where you feel that your spouse is present. It helps you carry on and keep the faith. It's unrealistic and unfair to yourself and a team of players however you truly believe he may be helping these guys win over and over again. To go to the final game, the game, only to come home with a loss is a blow. That loss makes you doubt your faith once again that he is still here. It may sound stupid or silly to most but you search for signs of your lost loved one in everything you do. Everywhere you are you search for the one you lost. Some look for birds, others use music, some search the sky or just seek any "sign".Today is not a day that I hang my head upon, however disappointed I am. Today is a day like every day for the past eight months, a day in which I am privileged to be here on this earth. Privileged to be attending a Super Bowl. A day I am proud to be a Carolina Panther and celebrate the season. After all it is just a football game and they had a hell of a season. And a football game cannot define your lost ones’ presence.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.