If my “A” word yesterday was Asher, then my “B” word today is Brian!
Brian is my ever-so-patient husband. My husband of eight and a half years, who signed up to be a step-dad. He wanted to date a woman with a kid, because he wanted to be a father that much.
Who does that?
And five years after marriage…what he didn’t sign up for was to become a bereaved step-dad. To be married to a bereaved mom. Can you say, How fast can I run and how far will my legs carry me? He sure didn’t sign up to have his spunky wife turn traumatically bereaved, forever changed. None of us signed up for this shit.
I love Brian for going along with my cockamamie ideas.
After receiving a 10-page letter from a dear friend after Kade died: I need to go see my old friend, a second mommy to Kade when he was little, who I’ve known since we met in Lamaze class as young mommies. ‘Kade and Chloe’ were each other’s first best friends. Oh yeah, she lives in Hawaii–that’s alright, right?
I want to have a pizza birthday party for Kade’s birthday…and invite all of his friends.
For the anniversary of his death I want to go whitewater rafting on ‘his river’…and invite all of his friends.
Let’s have family pictures taken…holding a blown-up picture of Kade, of course.
I want to order memorial wristbands…bandannas…t-shirts…
I want to go to this healing retreat. And this retreat for traumatic bereavement. And this national conference for the loss of a child.
I’m joining a writer’s group because I’m writing a book about Kade.
I not only need the memorial space for Kade’s stone…but those adjacent so that the flat rock I sit on when I visit him will always be mine to sit on.
I want to go to graduate school for counseling. I need to have a career that may bring good from what has happened, rather than a job.
I could go on and on. As a technical and engineer-type-person he may not be the most touchy-feely in the emotions department—I realized early on I would need vast networks of various outside teams for that—he does what he can. If I’m willing to tell him exactly when and for what duration I need a hug, by darn, he delivers. Drawing a diagram helps…
He tries, and he has a wide breadth of patience. Those are two characteristics that are priceless in this new normal that neither of us…that nobody ever…signed up for.