“Your memories from this week four years ago” came across my email today. I saw the headline in my inbox and knew better than to look at it at that moment. A day filled with high emotions, hardships and a few of my own stressors, I knew immediately this needed to be viewed later while in private. I didn’t know exactly what would be there but a pretty good assumption was that Daniel would be front and center.
Already feeling as though I may not survive the afternoon, I waited until I got home. I allowed the boys to have some iPad time because frankly I needed some me time. I sat down and hesitantly opened the email. The top photo was Daniel with Lucas, then almost 2, and newborn Reed on a hay ride. That day marked the first time we visited this Charlotte area farm that has now become an annual tradition. Seeing him doesn’t always make me cry but damn did I need him today, and that very thing is what opens the flood gates. A void that cannot be filled by someone else, an alcoholic beverage or even a long run.
This is simply part of life. I know. I know. I KNOW.
Some days I just want to quit. Don’t ask me what that looks like. I don’t even know. I simply know that this is hard.
I do recognize that I am not alone. I live other people’s traumas every day. I listen to the parent who feels at the end of their rope with their child’s behavior. I empathize because I am right there with you. I listen to the woman who can’t get pregnant and can’t understand why. I can’t empathize with your situation but I promise I know what unfairness in life feels like. I listen to the friend who says her marriage is over. I can’t empathize with you but I know loss. I listen to the friend who's parent was just diagnosed with cancer. I empathize with you because I know cancer. I listen to my son as he asks a stranger if he will be his dad. I can’t possibly empathize but I know more than anything how desperately we both yearn for the same person to return to our lives.
What do you say? What the hell was I supposed to say when a man we’ve known for a short period of time as a coach simply stares back at me? I said nothing. For someone who usually has a comeback for everything, I was once again speechless. I hung my head and climbed in the car.
I am plagued with daily morning questions: Where is dad? Does he have a headstone? Was he a good driver? Did he like this song? Can we send him this flower? It’s constant right now from not one but from both. I love talking about their dad but sometimes it is so hard.
I’m telling you. If you want to quit, I empathize. I know how it feels to be drowning. I know how it feels to muddle through quicksand. I know how it feels when the weight compressing your chest won’t let up. I promise I know how it feels when you think it will never get better. I can’t promise you it will. What I can promise you is that you must keep going. You have to keep getting up and pushing through. There will be a time that you look back and think “wow, I made it.” I don’t know when it will happen, but it has to. And it will.
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.