For some reason, sometime over the past few months I have lost my voice. I have written several posts only to be discouraged by my own words, thus not allowing myself to share my thoughts. I could provide several reasons for this. Sometimes, life simply beats you down. I know in my heart it is time for things to turn.
My heart, my head and my body are all screaming that three years is enough and that I have to find a way to move forward. The grief however, does not come to an end. My children are reminders each and every morning. Their thoughts, their feelings and their sorrows lead me to a daily mental struggle. I am not embarrassed to admit that sometimes I feel that it is all too much. Sometimes, I feel that I cannot continue on at this pace.
But then these two amazing creatures that Daniel and I created together sing off key in the car, dance through the living room with wild abandon and crawl into my bed at night to provide comfort. Their laughter and their joy are constant reminders that they are the reason I carry on each day.
I believe good things are coming. I have to. Sometimes, when it’s dark, I simply need some small reminders. Small reminders, and possibly, a bit of compassion.
“I don’t remember daddy’s voice anymore,” Lucas said on the way home from school about two weeks ago. “Do you want to hear Daddy’s voice? I have it.” “Yeah, I do.”
Riding home from school we jump from jamming to the Cupid Shuffle to searching for “Daniel Shomate” on YouTube. His voice fills the car. Tears spring to my eyes. I feel Lucas staring at me from his booster seat that is quickly getting too small. Where is the time going I wonder as I stare at his long legs. The exact replicas of his fathers. Tears pour from my cheeks.
“Is that Daddy,” he asks?
“Yes, these are videos Daddy left for us.”
“Can I see your phone?”
“Is that daddy too?”
“Yes, these are pictures of us and of Daddy when he was little. We can watch these together too.”
“I want to go to heaven,” chimes Reed.
“I don’t want to go to heaven states Lucas. I just want Daddy to come back here.”
“Me too Lucas, me too.”
Cognitively, my six year old is coming to many realizations about the permanency of our situation. Literature regarding his developmental stage in relation to his understanding of death states that he is “able to understand the finality of death and that he may have numerous questions.” We have moved from the stage of this being temporary or reversible to recognizing and understanding the finality.
Lucas understands the finality all too well. He understands that his dad is absent when 11 teammates line up on the baseball field and 10 dads are present.
Reed understands his dad’s absence when his baseball coach makes a loud announcement inviting fathers to come out and help on the field.
Lucas feels his dad’s absence to his core when his school holds a “Donuts with Dad” event during the school day. Yes, I would just skip the event if it were after school, however as we all know life is not that simple. He feels the absence at school each and every morning this event is announced on the school news leading up to the event.
They both understand the absence of their father at all family events and each and every day in seeing all the other kids at school and on the fields and in the community interacting with their fathers. They understand. And honestly, so do all the other kids.
We as a society must embrace that families are changing. The traditional family structure in the United States that has been considered the “nuclear” family consists of two parent and two kid households. However, this two-parent, nuclear family is becoming less and less prevalent, and alternative family forms are becoming more and more common. Over time, divorce, single-parent families, teenage pregnancy, same- sex marriage, and increased interest in adoption has changed the once traditional structure. Over 25% of children are currently being raised by single parents.
“Is Daddy coming back from heaven?”
“No Reed, Daddy is not coming back. People can’t come back from heaven.”
“But some people do.”
“No, baby, people don’t come back from heaven.”
The three of us get up every day. We go to school. We go to work. We smile. We play. We contribute, because that is who we are. We are a unit. We ask that you please just think. And not just about us but think about the person next to you at the grocery. The neighbor. The person sitting next to you at church. The mom who’s kid is wearing pajamas in public. Think and be aware.
We are all fighting our own internal battles. Think beyond yourself.
A little compassion goes a very long way.
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.