This time last year my daughter started kindergarten. It didn’t seem real that this monumental time was happening and her dad wasn’t there to see it. My heart always grieves heavier for my children when I think about all the things they are going to miss with their dad. So many footstones that will take place over their lifetime, and they will have to do without him.
This year my son started kindergarten. I again had to distant myself from the actual situation. There are times when I just can’t be 100% in it, it’s the only way I know how to keep it together for them. They need my smiles and calmness to know everything is going to be ok.
But both years now after I wave and smile and send them off on this new big adventure I find myself in the same place. Anger. I get so mad at him, life, everything. Why did this have to happen? Why don’t they deserve to have their dad around? Why couldn’t he just of stayed with us? I know all these feelings are probably natural and you have to go through them. But that doesn’t change the realness of the anger. I want him to make this right. I want them to have the life they deserve. I think the worst part is the helplessness. I can’t change it. I can’t right this wrong. So the only thing I can do is try to give them the best I can, alone.
Sometimes it’s pretty cool how grief can unify people. This past week has been an especially social one, and grief played a part in each and every situation that came up. Between all the busyness of life, neither Mike nor I have made much time for hanging out with friends since I moved almost a year ago. With many of his friends not local, and mine all very far away, and us trying to settle into a new normal, social time has been on the back burner.
Somehow though, this past week, there was a bit of a burst of social time that came up unexpectedly. We went out last weekend with a few of Mike’s backpacking buddies for some camping. I had a meeting with a few wonderful women at a local hospice center about doing a presentation on creativity and grief for them. We had dinner and drinks with one of Mike’s old coworkers and wife. And tonight, we had an impromptu visit from my late-fiance’s aunt who was driving through on her way back to Texas.
Grief and loss played an integral role in each of these experiences...
Over the weekend I attended John’s son’s swimming lesson. He jumped off the diving board for the first time. Every first brings with it pride for my children along with the inevitable thought, John is missing out or we are missing out on experiencing this first with him. Whichever way you look at it, it’s unfair that he is not here.
I left the swimming lesson in a fog of sadness that I couldn’t share this first with John. Lost in my thoughts I began to reverse the car without paying complete attention. I had to brake suddenly when I realised I was going to reverse into a car that was about to drive past behind me. I stopped about half way out of my car park, leaving quite some distance still between myself and the other vehicle. However the lady in the other car was cross at my vague driving skills, she threw her hands up over the steering wheel and proceeded to yell profanities out the window.