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I am not in this grieving thing alone. I have these four beautiful kids that all have their dad's dark brown eyes surrounded by his long, dark eyelashes, that are right here with me in this grief. They miss him terribly, and as time goes on they miss him more. They have a range of emotions depending on the day, the kid and the moment.
My oldest, who is 12, is angry. She is mad that Brian is dead. She is even mad at him because he died and left her. She takes out her anger on the family and it is frustrating. No matter how hard I try to be nice, she gets the best of me. As I deal with my grief, her anger is often to much for me to bear. I don't, CAN'T, blame her, as she has pointed out - at least I still HAVE a dad!
My second suffers from anxiety. She was diagnosed with it over a year ago. We tried many things to help her gain control, but none of them have worked. She deals with her anxiety by pulling out her eyelashes. She has done this for two years now. She gets random tummy aches. If one thing goes amiss as she is getting ready for school she starts running around the house like a chicken with her head cut off.
My third has no motivation at school. He is SO smart, just like his dad, but often he just sits in class and does not get his work done. His teacher has pointed out that if he would actually work on his schoolwork, he would be done before most of the class. He bottles up his emotions and rarely cries about his dad. There are times though when I can tell he is upset. He will cry at the littlest thing, something that wouldn't normally even phase him. It is in these moments that I know he is feeling the loss. He has taken on the role of "mom comforter", when I am sad a teary eyed, he is right there telling me that he loves me and that I am going to be okay.
My youngest is a mixture of mad and sad. She talks about how she was the ONLY child that didn't get to go hunting with her dad and how sad that makes her. Her temper can flare in a moment. She is often clingy and does not want to go places without me.
All of these things hit me so very hard. It is hard enough to go through the loss of the person you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with, but that grief is made deeper when you see your children hurting because their world no longer makes sense like it used to. They miss their dad, they want him back. They talk about him every day, and fortunately they remember the good times and seem to have forgotten most of the bad ones. I would do anything for my kids. I wish I could wrap them up in a big cozy blanket and rock them until the pain goes away, but this is a pain that will last them a lifetime. It will come and go as life moves forward, and life continues to move forward, even though we often feel stuck.
We are quickly closing in on a year since Brian left us. We spent Father's Day as a family. We went to a movie, to a park to play and then out to dinner. Later that night we sent balloons with messages on them to Heaven and made popcorn over a bonfire in the popper we got him for Father's Day last year. It was a time for us to remember Brian, and as we get closer to "Angel Day" we are all starting to even out a little bit, which is a good thing. We are enjoying our summer and having fun together. It is what he would want for us. We are traveling this winding path together as a family and as hard as it is, we will be stronger for it, all of us.
**I actually started writing this blog in March. It was a hard one for me to write. My children's pain is a sensitive subject for me because I want so badly to make it all better for them, but I can't. All I can do is love them enough for both of us.....I do and I always will.**