Happy Father’s Day, Mommy

I received this card for Father’s day.  

father's day card

Buy this awesome card here

However, my kids are not old enough to shop alone or to write sentences, so yes, it did not say anything on the inside and I bought it for myself.  But whatever.  It means a lot to me and hangs in my kitchen to continually remind me of the job I’m doing as a widowed mom and how important that job is.  But as motivating and inspiring as the card is, it still exists because of Father’s Day.  Oh ya, the day where you celebrate the person with whom you made your kids.  Well fuck.  He is dead, so this shall be real fun.  

Visiting his grave with our kids in tow was not how I imagined celebrating him on this day. I was supposed to let him sleep in. Instead the girls watched too much tv, while I drank too much coffee, because I’m too tired. I was supposed give him the gift of time so that he could have some precious time to himself (also, maybe steak and a bj? mmm…let’s be serious.  Widow or not, I’m way too tired for that!) Instead, I entertained the girls all day and got almost 0 time to myself for the millionth day in a row. We were supposed to order pizza in his honour for our celebratory dinner. We still ordered pizza in his honour, but there were leftovers instead of him eating every last piece.  The girls were supposed to give him their ugly, beautiful daycare crafts and he was supposed to put them up at his work with pride. Instead we took the ugly, beautiful crafts to his graveside. But most importantly, he is supposed to be here with us. I am not supposed to be doing this alone. He was and is a better parent than me. I continue to remember his words of patience, love and guidance to me as we tried to figure out what the fuck we were doing as we raised our girls. I am doing my best to keep his presence alive for the girls and we talk of him and love him everyday. His impact on the girls is profound. He may have only be in their lives for a short while, but he was instrumental in building their foundations.  He has contributed to the beautiful people they are today and to the beautiful people they are becoming. I will be forever grateful that Kevin and I made such wonderful (and sometimes, insanity inducing) humans. They will change the world one day with their kindness, their grace, their love and their curiosity. On Father’s day, despite his death, I still celebrated him and his amazingness as a father. I also celebrated all the dads in my community. They’ve stepped in and are doing their best to help me raise our girls. Such an amazing collection of dads in my life who understand the meaning of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. I wanted to do something nice for them all today, but I have my fucking hands full with my kids, so that’s not going to happen!

My first Father’s day as a widow was messy and beautiful, just like so many things in this crazy widow life.  I spent the morning releasing balloons in Kevin’s honour with our girls at the cemetery while sobbing, I spent the afternoon laughing with friends and neighbors as our kids ran wild around us while drinking champagne and I spent the evening making out on the couch with my boyfriend.  A messy, confusing, beautiful and exhausting day.  But pretty much par for the course for a widow.  And a perfect example of where I am in this journey…feeling the darkness and pain of the grief, while simultaneously feeling the warmth and the beauty of living life and moving forward. Bittersweet.



3 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day, Mommy

  1. It’s been three years since we lost our Kevin and my 8 year old son spent every night for the week before Father’s Day crying for him. My now 7 year old daughter is sad because she is starting to forget her memories of him since she was only three when he was killed. She makes cards for the two grandpas in her life instead. Kevin was an only child so I make sure my in-laws celebrate every holiday with us..but Father’s Day is particularly tough. The absence is just so obvious. We make the best of it and relief comes when it’s over. At least it’s become our new normal and we know what to expect. There is comfort in that. Things do get easier in time..we just get better at living with our loss..an invisible yet permanent injury. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately I am a part of this wonder woman widow club. We lost my husband 2 1/2 year ago to a sudden and unexpected heart attack when he was 39, our son was 5, daughter 3 and youngest ( a last surprise of ours) at only 1 year old. We face this unimaginable truth every day, because that is the only option. I’ve had to make many hard decisions and fight hard to keep the 27 acre farm that he wanted to see his children raised on, while continuing to work and ultimately be a mom. I can say I value every minute of blessings that I have with our children. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel sorry for us, as he gave us so much richness and quality of life in our souls, but I still know we were blessed to have him, and feel him in every decision, every breath that I take here on earth. I’m glad that you are able to move ahead with your life, and I wish you continued perseverance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read your story in Chatelaine online (no, I don’t normally read Chatelaine) and got everything you said. In my case, I was a widowed husband who lost my wife in her early 40s in 2001, shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. Our kids were 15 and 11.

    I want you and your readers to know that there will be happiness in your future. I remarried several years later, inherited a step daughter, and our families have integrated better than we expected. They all grown and my second wife and I are empty nesters. We are very proud of our kids.

    Here are a few things I learned:
    1. It’s normal to feel angry, not so much at your deceased spouse, but at your new circumstances. You didn’t ask for all this additional responsibility. Get counselling to talk it out. it helped me immensely.
    2. You don’t need to be perfect. Accept that you can’t do everything. It’s OK if the kitchen isn’t spotless.
    3. If they are old enough, give the kids some responsibility, like making their own lunches or doing their own laundry. Teach them.
    4. Take time to make important decisions, such as moving. Let things settle first.
    5. Date when you feel ready, but don’t feel you need to have an immediate relationship. It is lonely being widowed, and companionship is what you will need at the start. Don’t introduce the people you date to your kids unless it’s turning into something serious. Take your time with remarriage.
    6. A month or so after the death of your spouse, people move on, including your friends. Some might feel uncomfortable being with you. This is understandable. You need to take some initiative to see your friends and family.
    7. Take some time for yourself and take time to grieve. You will never stop grieving but the pain will slowly grow bearable to the point where it only hits you once in a while. I still get teary eyed thinking of my first wife.
    8. The dreaded “wife of a widower” or “husband of a widow” syndrome. Your deceased spouse will placed on a pedestal by friends and family. It will be difficult for a new boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse to compete with that memory. Cut them some slack. It will get easier with time.
    9. Check in with your kids every once in a while to see how they are coping. The answer may pleasantly surprise you. Going through the death of a parent, horrible as it is, can make a child stronger and more resilient with good parenting.
    10. Going through the death of a spouse makes you realize life can be short. And time passes more quickly than we realize. Get out there and live!

    Thank you for writing your blog. I’m sure many widowed spouses will be reading with great interest, as I am.

    I know there’s more

    Liked by 1 person

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