I was 14 years old when my dad died. Just a year older than my son was when his dad died.
That was 23 years ago. I have lived more of my life without him than I did with him.
I still have a hard time some days. I think about everything he’s not here for. Softball games. Dances. My first date. Graduating high school. My wedding. The birth of his grandkids.
My grandmas passed away in 2008 and 2011. I miss both of them like crazy. I’ve lost aunts and uncles. Friends. Cousins.
And not once has anyone told me I need to move on and get over my grief. Not once has anyone told me that I should forget about them. That I should move on and forget.
So why is it different when it comes to losing my husband?
My husband died and people expect me to be over it. Moved on. Not love him anymore. And yes I have been told each and every one of these.
Why is there a difference in grief? Why is grieving for years over the death of a parent ok, but not the death of a spouse?
When Patrick died, not only did I lose my husband, I lost part of myself.
Patrick was my best friend. My future. My dreams. My other half. He was the good cop to my bad cop. He was the person that helped me make parenting decisions. He’s the person I could place part of the blame on if I screwed up one of the kids. He was the only person I could confide in 100%. We had plans. We had goals.
When he died, all of that died with him. Not only was I grieving. I was trying to help my kids through their grief. I was trying to figure out what to do now. My path ended. The bridge was gone. So I had to figure out another path through life.
Patrick will always be my husband. He will always be a part of my life. He’s the father of my kids. He was my first love. We celebrated 14 years together before he died. We were planning on renewing our vows.
Have I moved on. No. I’ve learned to live with the pain. I’ve found a new fork in my path. Patrick’s always in my heart, and I will always miss him and always wish things were different.
I’ve found a new home. A new love. A different love. I’ve found a man that understands that I didn’t choose this life and that I am still very much in love with Patrick. But he also knows that I have enough love for him too.
I found a man that loves my kids and love that my kids still talk about their dad. He will ask about Patrick, memories they have with their dad. The kids love him more because he makes sure they know he’s ok with them talking about their dad.
I know Patrick and Billy would have been friends. And I believe in my heart that Patrick sent Billy to us, just when we needed him.
I will always grieve the loss of my dad, my grandmas, every body that I have lost. That includes Patrick and all the plans we had.