Saturday, 2 August 2008

1096 Days

More commonly put, today is the third anniversary of my beautiful wife’s death.

I’ve said before that anniversaries are just another day, and they are no more difficult or less painful than yesterday or tomorrow.

Indeed nothing changes, those that died stay dead, and the world keeps revolving.

Just as it will tomorrow.

Today’s anniversary was a little different, I did feel, or act differently today.

It started last night when junior cheekily asked if he could sleep in my bed. I didn’t take much convincing as I quite fancied having him to cuddle anyway.

Thing is, sleeping with my son, while infinitely comforting, is not the most pleasant experience.

He is a snorer, a fidget, a kicker, a hogger and a bossy-boots when he is asleep.

So I wasn’t off to the best of starts this morning, being over-tired is never great.

Then I’d been thinking about Sam’s grave.

I do normally choose to lay flowers on significant dates, sometimes more out of self imposed obligation than because I actually want to, or get great comfort from doing so.

Graves are rubbish, but I know it helps a lot of others to visit them.

I prefer to have some of Max’s mother’s favourite flowers in our own house. She loved Lilies and Lily of the Valley.

Anyway, today I was more concerned with our son’s presence at the cemetery.

Generally in the past Max has accompanied me and helped lay flowers on what I describe to him as his mother’s garden.

But now, as he seems to be understanding his loss, I really didn’t want to confuse him any more than necessary.

There will be time for him to know of the grave, and he can decide for himself what it represents, and how it may be useful, or not, to his own grieving mechanism.

He spent some time with Sam’s parents today, fairly usual for a Saturday, but I think they appreciated more than usual today.

When I dropped him off this morning, he was very loving, and gave me a great big kiss and cuddle, virtually un-prompted, when it was my time to leave.

And, I, really appreciated that.

It kept me going for the rest of the day. Share/Save/Bookmark


Julia HH said...

So, you are one year and 2 days ahead of me. I am also wary of taking Ulyana to the grave, even now at 2.5 year old. She has also been getting many more cuddles than usual.

Just wanted to say take care and you are doing such an amazing job, with humour, total dedication and perseverance.

I seem to have lost my sense of humour all together, which is like losing 50% of me. Still hoping it might return, even if more sarcastic and caustic.

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Julia, thanks for your comments and kind praise.

I too hope your humour does return, mine went away and has since returned somewhat diminished, but still very much part of my personality.

Ms. Single Mama said...

Lily of the Valley - Crabtree?

My favorite too.

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing it with the world because so many people will learn from your experience and find strength in your strength.

Crash Course Widow said...

You know, I just realized that I can't remember what I told Anna last month on the 3-year anniversary of her daddy's death. I mean, I'm sure I must have told her what day it was and that's why Mommy or Grandma Judy might be extra said...umm...I think.

Last year's anniversary, when she was 1.5 months shy of 3 yrs old, was the first time she suddenly seemed to get what Mommy told her about Daddy dying. It was also the first (and only, it turns out) time I took her to the cemetery since she was a baby. And for that day and the next few days, I had to survive a constant stream of "daddy died daddy died daddy died" babbling, all day. I wanted to scream.

I didn't end up making it to the cemetery this year, or on Father's Day. I wanted to--maybe out of some sense of obligation--but you're right, having the kid along, much less when they're starting to grapple with what death really means themselves, changes the experience completely. I always got such comfort from going to his grave and talking to him in the first year. But then I moved an hour away and haven't been back much at all since. It's an odd dimension to the grief, how it changes over the years.

Hope the day ended up going okay. I'll be interested to hear how it ended up playing out (assuming you end up writing about it).

Nice to have met you (although I wish we hadn't had need to).


Eddie 2-Sox said...

Reading between the lines you had a feckin tough day, made a bit better by your nipper. You're doing great mate, and if you need to moan about anything give me an call.

Take care OK?

Tismee2 said...

I have my favourite photo of my Mum in the house and put fowers next to that rather than visit her grave. I used to go there but felt guilty if I couldn't for some reason. Our memories are in our hearts not in the ground.

What a lovely photo, you must miss her terribly.

Single Parent Dad said...

Ms Single Mama, Welcome, I'm no expert on flowers, I just know it's a nice smelling white one! Glad you like it too.

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Candice, and it's very nice to have met you too, although I agree with you on the circumstances.

Graves are weird things. I don't think of Sam as being there. I'll talk to her wherever I am, in my head or out load, depending on my state of mind.

I was really busy for the rest of the day, still got a lot to do at our new house. So in between visiting the DIY store, the supermarket, cemetery and gardening centre, and I didn't really take many breaths.

I enjoyed having a good play with Max when he got back, in the garden and then back indoors. I finished the night watching the last two episodes of Heroes, with a chinese meal.

So there you have it!

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Eddie, probably the most difficult anniversary I would say. I've been determined to not let them bother me in the past, I think.

But it still was that tough, was probably a little over-tired. It did end up being a very productive day if nothing else.

Single Parent Dad said...

Tismee, I concur. The grave is just a place where we believe, in our case, we interned my late wife's ashes. She stopped being a person, place or object, the minute she passed. She's in our hearts, souls and minds. In someways I dislike the grave as it does become quite obligatory.

She did take a wonderful picture, and that one is a good one.

We do miss her terribly.

Hawkfeather said...

well I am grateful for the extra lovin's your son so *knowingly* shared with you today..

I think you made such a wise choice too- going through the motions for the benefit of others might have a time and place as most see it- but your 'so' right to make your son a priority.

Not that you need to hear it from a stranger- more so a stranger appreciated the reminder!

I will think of your wife and what she brought to the world that so greatly improves it for us all.

Roads said...

Well done for getting through the day, Ian. That's one more survived.

These days can catch you out, by being easier or harder than you expect.

I don't think there's much rhyme or reason in it, except that the experience reflects your mood as the day approaches.
The one certainty is that tiredness always, always makes it worse.

Spirits up.

Single Parent Dad said...

Hawkfeather - Thanks for your eloquent words, as always.

Roads - Cheers for your comment and the chins up.

Tricia Moran said...

Hi Ian - just wanted to tell you that my heart is with you on a difficult day. I came to your blog through Matt in the USA. I think you are doing such a great job with your beautiful little boy and I know that your wife would have been proud. I have two children, 10 and 6 now and think it's awesome that you stay home with him. I come under a lot of fire for that choice. I am soon to return to teaching - am a single Mom too, but thank goodness not through death, although at times it feels like it - that family unit can never be replaced.
I wanted to say how much I admire your writing and parenting. I will keep up with your story and thank you for sharing your life with us.
Tricia and Clan (Virginia, USA)

Single Parent Dad said...

Welcome Tricia, I'm glad you found us from Matt's blog. Thanks for your kind words, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading the blog.

Kori said...

Oh, god, I wish I had something to say other than I am sorry-I don't. Words don't help.

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Kori, life is what it is, but I'm not down about it. Thanks for sticking with me.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I'm kind of with Kori on this, I feel saddened that I can't think of anything 'right' to say.

Maybe that's because there is nothing 'right' to say.

All the best to you two guys.

Single Parent Dad said...

Xbox - You've sort of nailed it. There isn't a right answer or something you should say. The fact that you say (or type) anything, is, very much, enough.

auntiegwen said...

Hope you don't mind me popping in.

I wanted to say I wish you and Max all the happiness you can make for each other.

The love you have is the best rememberance.

Take care x

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Auntiegwen, you are very welcome. Thank you for your kind wishes and lovely comment.

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