The national holidays, the manufactured holidays all form ready reminders, but there are the private days. The very private daily reminders.
I could see my husband cycling into it a week ago, dreading Father’s Day. Not that either child was particularly good at remembering that holiday or Mother’s Day for that matter. These holidays have never held much interest for me and we never placed any particular emphasis on them, but they are advertised and built up. It is a great time to make some money for retailers.
I think my husband has been as good a father as any father can be. I am sure he and I could sit and come up with things both good and bad in both of us as parents. I certainly was not sure of what I was doing having never been a parent and I know he bluffed his way through a lot of things. But we had each other-as disagreeable as we have been at times-to try and figure things out with.
Right now, we find it hard to talk to each other about our boy. It is always just below the surface. We have been quiet together a lot, avoiding expressing our deep grief. I don’t know why. It has happened before. It is like a cycle.
I will be so submerged in grief and see that he is doing fairly well, functioning and I don’t want to cause him to falter and I think he does the same for me. It is like we are on a see-saw or teeter-totter hanging on for all we are worth and dreading the drop.
I am back in June of 2011 a lot these days. Remembering the events of that month that stood out hugging to me memories that are so precious. I sort through them sometimes looking to see if I missed something. Was there some foreshadow of what was so soon to come. No. The memories are simply emblazoned in my mind now because of precious time alone that I shared with my boy hiking and witnessing an impressive storm.
I am glad I had my phone with me the day we took that last hike. I am so glad I took the little film footage that I did. I remember watching him as we hiked out. He walked ahead with the dogs at his side. I remember purposely fixing that scene in my head as I have at other times. I bookmarked it in my memory. I remember thinking how fortunate I am to have this man in my life.
I cannot read my husband’s mind, but I know he has as much to work through as I have. I wish I cold help him and maybe just being with him is enough. I don’t know.
We are close to the 2nd anniversary of our son’s death and we are in heavy surf. It washes over all our days.
There is much change in our daughter’s life and she is struggling with letting go of some things that she too thinks links her to her brother. It is hard to help.
But for my daughter all she needs to do is look in the mirror – and he is there. She carries his DNA and so many facial similarities to her brother. They look so much alike. So many pictures I have are of them together, always snuggled together in some way. I know that she, as I ,miss that physical part of our closeness. There is no replacement for the hug of a sibling or son.
So today is father’s day and I perhaps should be writing about my own dad. Some would say that my dad and son are together today and I earnestly hope they are along with my husband’s dad. I hope they are not aware of us and our grief.
My husband has been as good a father as he could figure out to be. He has provided for our family. He has come to our defense. He is a man of responsibility and integrity who loves deeply with a very tender heart. I thank him for everything he has done and continues to do for our family. I know our boy appreciated him – he said so – the last time I saw him.