Time keeps on ticking by. The world keeps spinning. We keep walking around the sun. Nothing stops for grief. At first I was majorly offended by this idea. There I was a recent widow and people were going about their lives. Facebook was my proof. They were posting about the most trivial things. They were going out for girls night. They were complaining about their kids. They were complaining about their husbands. They were complaining about the pick up line at school and I was devastated. I was unsure what the next step should be. I was feeling ALL OF THE FEELINGS. I was parenting a toddler and the world had the nerve to keep spinning and to continue in its path around the sun. I was devastated and horrified that not everyone was feeling my devastation. I was alone in my exact feelings. My grief was unique to being a widow. My grief was unique to being a mother of a toddler. My grief was unique to my personality. I handled things as well as I could knowing that there is no pause button so you can catch your breath. Even if there were, we all know that you don’t really grieve and move on. You are forever changed and continue to grieve in a variety of ways for the rest of your life. There is no complete, check this off your list and move on. The grief becomes a part of you. You never forget. Others around you may think you are “done”, whatever that is supposed to mean, but we know…we know that there is no done.
So here we are. Three years have passed. I have three years of experience in a club no one wants to belong to. I will say, I definitely do not have it figured out. My go to response since day one is “THIS SUCKS” and it still holds true. In case you were wondering, this still sucks. Things are challenging and they suck but what I have learned is that I can walk side by side with the grief. I feel like the same me but at the same time I feel like a completely different person. I guess that is what happens when you experience loss like this. There is no way to not be changed. It is impossible.
I reread my blog posts from the past few years on the anniversary and have been pondering what to say. Mr Loco is still missed so much. He had such a great impact on my life. Baby Loco continues to have a lot of awesome traits like her daddy. It is a delight to watch her grow. It is also painful to help her through her own grief as she understands a little more about death and as she asks more questions and I have to answer in an age appropriate way. I completely understand why people rely on the story of heaven. It is an easy way to put off the hard answer of death being final. It is hard to stand in that truth with a four year old who is realizing that every person and animal and plant is going to eventually die and that there is no solid answer on when that is going to happen.
Baby Loco likes to look at pictures of herself with Mr Loco. She always asks questions.
Did daddy drive?
Did daddy like cozy beverages?
Did daddy like ice cream?
What made daddy laugh?
Her concept of her father is based on all of the things she thinks is important as a four year old: swimming, riding bikes, shoulder rides, and ice cream.
Baby Loco also talks about how it is hard to not have Mr Loco here and about how he got hurt and they could not help him and he died. She often says that she wishes he could just have gotten better. I generally say “Baby girl, we all wish that had happened.” and she sadly says “It can’t change because he died and that means dead.” It breaks my heart because she is right. As a mom, I want to make her world perfect. I don’t want her to hurt but I can’t change it and I can’t take the hurt away. No one can. That finality is something we are both learning to live with.
Each year, February is full of anxiety the whole month long. There is the build up to anniversaries. There are Facebook memories and things start to be divided into when Mr Loco was still alive and the years following when he was gone. I like looking back and I love having pictures but following along day by day is hard in February. I try to counteract that anxiety with Being Excellent. I generally start trying to up my kindness level and tend to swing through Starbucks a bit more and always buy coffee for the person behind me. This time of year also tends to get me thinking about life and what we are doing and what difference we are making and how we can do better and how we can help make a better world. I also tend to start thinking about the experiences Baby Loco is having and what she is learning and the world she will inherit one day. This year has me feeling the need to go epic. To plan something spectacular. To be excellent on some great scale. To provide Baby Loco with experiences. We will see what is in store for us.
We generally try to get out of town for the anniversaries. It is nice to remember Mr Loco doing something that I think he would enjoy and doing a family activity with Baby Loco. We try and spend some time outside. This year we went to California. We went to Legoland and had a beach day. I have had drawings done when possible on the anniversary of his death and the artists have always been kind. This year we were drawn as a Lego family. It is a wonderful addition to our family wall.
Big hugs to all of you who are also missing Mr Loco. Not a day goes by that he is not missed. His contribution to our family would bring the epic adventure and then some to life. That is just how he lived: full of life, with a big smile, a helping hand and an easy laugh.
Time keeps passing. The world keeps spinning. Mr Loco continues to be missed.