Saturday, May 29, 2010


Three separate times this week all three of your children spoke the same words. “It is not fair that you are dead.”

How – how do I possibly work around this impossible situation you dumped in my lap and your ex-wife? How do either of us figure out how to save our children from the selfish stupid idiotic really upsetting and terrible thing you have done to your children?

I am so angry with you right now I want to scream. I want to run to the cemetery and chuck your stone as far as I can throw it. I want to see you so I can yell at you face to face. I am livid. Mostly because I feel helpless and so sad and frustrated. Forget about me – I am done feeling sorry for me. But your children are going to feel your absence forever – and this is just one minute too long.

You had three children who only worshipped the ground you walked on on. Who lived for your smile, love, hugs and kisses - and you killed yourself. How dare you do such a thing to them! How dare you ruin such perfect innocent children!

How could you taint their little hearts with a sadness most people never know? How could you - you selfish jerk.

Yesterday I started a blog, (but didn’t finish) about how much I was going to miss you this weekend. How this long weekend was so family oriented and how I remember last year so well and how much fun we had.

F*ck that blog.

I don’t care anymore about how great last year was. I hate you and hate what you did to us. Hate with a passion coursing through my veins so strong right now about what you did to my children and my step–son. It is awful how bad I feel right now that I am typing and crying and punching down the keys so hard to get these words out that I am bound to break them.

It doesn’t matter that kids are resilient and it doesn’t matter that time will help them heal. Your eldest son is old enough to feel the pain that I feel. To truly understand what you did. To feel the sorrow and maybe the guilt and have all the unanswered questions we adults must live with. At nineteen he should be looking forward to a wonderful life ahead of him – but now he is devastated by your loss and I am reeling with hate.

Your younger children are too young to understand anything but your absence. This is enough terribleness for such small ones. Someday they will know the truth of your actions. I only hope the anger inside me has subsided before I must face that moment. Becasue I don't want them to remember you with anger - only love.

Your children will never have a father for the rest of their lives. How did you think they would be better off? How could you walk away from them? I just don’t know. It almost doesn’t matter why anymore. The fact is that you did it – you killed yourself and the rest isn’t your problem any more. Thanks so much.

Nothing you deemed bad in your life was worth this. Not one single problem you had was worth leaving three wonderful children without a father – forever.

Today I hate you - I really do.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have been thinking quite a bit about my life lately. I have figured one thing out. Besides post traumatic stress and blah blah blah that I suffer from – I have one enormous problem – guilt.

Guilt is what keeps me up at night and haunts my dreams when I finally fall asleep. Guilt is what makes me stop moments after I start singing along to a song. Guilt is what makes me weep at any given moment in the day and guilt is the driving force to my constant misery.

Do I think I drove my husband to suicide? No. But I certainly feel like I was in the passenger seat.

Now I could go to a million therapists and talk to my family and friends and they will all tell me the same thing. My husband made his own decision that awful day. It was his choice, not mine – I have nothing to feel guilty about. You can all tell me this till you are blue in the face. The fact remains that only one person can alleviate this guilt from me and he is dead.

I have gone over the last few years in my head, the last few months and even the last few minutes I had with my husband. There were things he said to me, that in light of his death, now make me wonder. What if he had never met me, or if we had never made certain decisions together, would he still be alive? What if the financial pressures of having a second family or me leaving the restaurant to raise our children or buying our house was too much for him - this is partly my fault.

I wish I could talk to him for just five minutes. Ask him a few questions that agonizes my soul. Maybe I am just looking for an easy way out. Maybe I am just scared to look even deeper into my heart and see that part of his death is my fault.

There are reasons he killed himself that are unknown to me - but the reasons I know or suspect – these are the thoughts that haunt me daily.

I cannot move forward with my life feeling this way. I cannot escape the blame and guilt I feel and have felt for over seven months. It is sad, but true.

I have lived through a million emotions over the course of his suicide. I have dealt with the shock and anger the sadness and despair and even more anger. Some how time and raising my two children have either washed these emotions away or they just got pushed out of my head for lack of time to truly deal with them. But the guilt is not going anywhere any time soon. It has been with me since day one and I feel will be with me forever.

Do I just have to learn to live feeling awful and guilty? Do I eventually just learn to accept feeling guilty and move on? It feels wrong to ignore the guilt and even worse to keep it in my pocket everyday. I feel like these guilty feelings will forever taint my outlook on life and just keep me face to the ground, unable to look upward with any kind of hope for a happy future. This is a terrible way to feel and I don't want to be like this. But I feel guilty, feel terrible and responsible and wish I could somehow make me not feel this way.

But for now I must take sleeping pills to keep the demons away, visit the cemetery once a week and cry whenever the tears come – the guilt has left me no other choice.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Yesterday I was fine. I spent maybe five minutes at home. The rest of the time I was outside enjoying the beautiful day with my children and friends. I knew it was Saturday and I just ignored it. Today I can’t stop crying.

I don’t know what is wrong with me today. I just can’t shake the tears or the sadness. Today I miss you so much it hurts. I miss everything I lost when you died – I miss you so very very much.

Friday I went to the cemetery and it did not help. Maybe it is the presence of your stone. I used to be able to go and pretend I was somewhere else. Outside alone in nature and I could talk to you and it was peaceful. I can’t ignore what is right in front of me any longer. The headstone with your name shouting out to me makes ignoring your death impossible. It is hard to sit there now and talk to you like I once did. It is hard not to see the photo your children left or the little stones they placed everywhere. Everything is different now.

I didn’t stay long on Friday. I didn’t cry and didn’t even talk to you. I just stared at the stone waiting for the tears and waiting for the release of the tension and anxiety that comes after the sobbing. Nothing happened and I left feeling unsettled even more. Maybe this means I go too often. Maybe this means I am never going to find you. After seven and half months I have still not found a trace of you anywhere.

All weekend I have watched couples, well stared at them, while remembering you. Looking at them and trying to figure out where we went wrong. Looking at them and wising you were by my side. Every time a husband took his wife’s hand or put an arm around her shoulder I felt awful, empty and sad. I couldn’t get the feeling to go away.

Today I was at a birthday party and I was miserable. Miserable for being miserable and for always being the sad girl. Tired of people looking at me and thinking, “There is that sad girl”. But I could not find the energy to walk over to people to make small talk and no one approached me. I couldn’t find my fake smile anywhere and after a while I didn’t even care. I just stood off to the side, wringing my hands, pretending like I was watching my children play, when really I was watching all the couples.

My children cried tonight as well. They miss their father so much and it just feels awful. Maybe it feels worse today because yesterday was such a lovely day. There were no tears and no drama and we all just had a nice day. Today your four year old cried in bed because she just misses her daddy. She asked me if she would see you when she dies and the bile in my throat rises when she asks questions like this. Your son is more matter of fact – I do not want to hear the words daddy and death he says. It makes me think about my daddy and it makes me sad.

I can’t undo what is done and I can’t make anything better. I am no better than them. I may be able to say the words daddy and dying in the same sentence but when I look at a husband and wife walking away from a birthday party with their child - I fall apart.

Nothing seems to be working this weekend in making me feel better. Not a beautiful day outside, a trip to the cemetery or even writing this blog. Maybe Monday will come and I will be too busy working, cooking, driving around getting the kids and doing whatever else I do that I just won’t have any time to remember how miserable I am.

A part of me just wants to stay in bed and cry. But that is so not me and I hear it doesn’t work anyway.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blank Pages

This morning when I stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain closed I was immediately transported into the garage. It was uncontrollable. I closed my eyes as the water sprayed me and I was looking at your body lying on the ground and reliving your final moments. I tried to push past these thoughts and back to reality but I couldn’t. I had to ride the wave of emotions that crashed around me as I wondered why it never occurred to me to check your pulse.

I was trying to catch my breath and as the tears poured down my face the children stormed in arguing about nothing. Suddenly I was right back in my bathroom, trying to shower in five seconds while two sleepy kids demanded all my attention, regardless that I was covered in soap.

So begins another day in the life of me. It has not been a great week. I am tired and irritable and the children are being their usual good selves littered with moments of absolute horror. I am tired – really tired. I am on sleeping pills and still tired. I am having nightmares but am not remembering them.

I am worried about the future. It leaves me feeling unsettled and unsure. I have dealt with so much over the past seven months and all this drama has conveniently distracted me from the bigger picture – my future.

Once not long ago I was married living in my cute house with my perfect children and I felt like my story was written. I knew where I would be in five years, ten years. I knew what direction life was taking me in.

Now when I try and look ahead at my future I just see blank pages. I don’t know what is coming next. I don’t know what it is I am supposed to be doing and how to even figure it all out. All I know is my children and so I work on figuring out their future. Mine is such a catastrophe it is like staring into the sun – just too much to look at all at once.

I think about my children everyday and how to make their lives better and sweeter and more fun. I try and fill their blank pages with wonderful adventures. Then in the middle of no where and doing nothing my son will look at me and say, “It isn’t fair. I only got to see daddy for six years!” Then I feel crushed like all my hard work is for nothing – but still I push forward. Somehow we are all supposed to go and live our life, act normal, smile and just move on. Even though on the inside we are all feeling tortured – especially me.

My family and friends are always telling me that life or G-d just has a different plan for me than the one I first thought. That someday I will be happy again and someday I will have a new plan that fills my blank pages.

It is not that I doubt them. It is just too difficult to see anything but what is right in front of me. I am so consumed with my day to day life that I find it impossible to plan anything. I am going to ignore the future for the time being. Ignoring my problems seems like the right thing to do.

Acutally, I am just going to focus on the possibility that tomorrow I get a shower without interruptions from children or demons.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So Now What?

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shinning and the world was blooming with colors. Yesterday I took my children to the cemetery to see their father’s headstone.

I have such mixed emotions about yesterday I am not sure where to begin.

I had been dreading the day for weeks and weeks. I pictured my children standing over their father’s grave sobbing uncontrollably and me looking on helpless as the world fell apart around me. This didn’t happen.

The morning was not solemn at all. It began with my children looking at a photo album searching for the perfect picture to leave for daddy. This took my breath away, but I put on my super fake smile and we were off. As small as I wanted this gathering – basically just me - was not what I got. I told everyone not to come. Everyone. Some of my family listened, some did not. I think by telling everyone not to come was my way of just not wanting it to be real. But taking your children to their dead daddy’s grave is about as real as it gets.

My sister brought her three small children. Though it pained me to have them visit a cemetery, it was truly a blessing. The children ran around and chased each other as we walked to the grave. A walk I have done a thousand times, but not like this. We stood next to the grave and the children sat on the earth above his body. My son traced the lines of his father’s name and the words adoring father with his fingers while the prayers were said. I said something but I don’t remember what it was. I just know I was looking into the eyes of my children and they were not crying.

All the children lined up little rocks around the stone decorating it. My babies took their photo and buried it in the dirt so it wouldn’t blow away. It was such a beautiful sight and so awful all in one breath. I was dreading sharing my special space with anyone and here they were acting so precious with their dead father just feet away. My step son looked sad and the rest of the family just watched as the children took stone after stone and seemed to never want to stop.

My son didn’t want to leave. He asked if we could come back once a week. I said that was too often. We agreed on once a month. Then just like that it was over. We left the cemetery and came home to eat like all good Jews do.

When the family left for their homes and it was just me and the kids I cried. I stood in the bathroom sobbing over this awful morning. Then I packed up some stuff and took us to the park.

They played all day with their friends like it was just another Sunday. They never brought up the morning and rather than psychoanalyze their every move – I just let them go be kids. The friends who knew where I was brought me rum sizzle drinks and beer and whatever else they had to keep my smile going.

It was at some point yesterday that I looked around and thought, so now what? Everything I must do for my husband is done. Now what? Now I am supposed to just live my life like I have been but without him. Now I am supposed to just raise my family and go to work and act normal? Now what? This is all I kept asking myself.

I spent the afternoon in the park watching other fathers teach my son how to play baseball and push my daughter on the swings. It felt like a knife slicing through me to witness this. I am grateful for the people in my life who care so very much for us and I am so angry at the man who left all this behind.

So now what?

Thursday, May 13, 2010


If you ask me how I am doing, I will tell you I am fine. Maybe even OK. If I ask myself this question – I will answer that I am a total mess. I may act fine and look fine, but under the surface I am truly a mess.

I go to the cemetery once a week to scream, cry and throw rocks. I cry myself to sleep. I lose my temper and hit my pillow quite often. Most songs make me think about my dead husband and my favorite television shows still bring me no joy. I turn everything into a joke – because it is just easier for me. I still cannot sleep without drugs.

I have difficulty making normal conversations with people and am most content to hide from the world. I only make phone calls that I have to and truly only leave the house because I have children and have to go to work.

I always feel like I am one step away from falling apart. I should get an academy award for how I act in public. I don’t think anything has changed deep down inside me over the past seven months.

Then I went to group therapy last night and my whole perspective changed.

I sat across from a new comer and this person told the group that their spouse killed themselves one week ago. I couldn’t breathe. I was in awe that this person came to therapy and was even dressed. Then I was devastated all over again for the loss. Theirs and mine.

This person spoke a little, but everything said so mirrored my story I was stunned. I sat and starred at this person, who must have thought I was crazy. But I couldn’t help it. I was transported back seven months and felt like I was reliving the shock and pain and confusion and the plethora of emotions I felt from the very first day. I just remember the numbness and then the pain slowly edging its way into my soul until it threaten to suffocate. I was truly horrified that someone sitting a few feet from me was going through this. I just wanted to save them.

In my own way I wanted to heal their pain. I had become what others were to me – looking for some way to put a band aid over the gaping open wound and I felt ridiculous feeling this. There was nothing I could do and I felt a little how others must have and maybe still do feel about me. Helpless.

All I could do was talk about my journey and hope that if nothing else – this person didn’t feel so alone. But nothing, nothing I could say would make it OK, would ever make it better. Not for this person and not for me. Seven months ago I just wanted someone to lie to me and tell me everything was going to be fine. But no one can.

Nothing makes these awful feeling go away and nothing makes the memories of finding the dead body of your loved one ever feel anything but truly horrible. Maybe memories fade, but some don’t. The ones you can’t run from or hide from – these have not faded over seven months and I wonder if they ever will.

On the train home leaving therapy I was so upset with myself for even talking. How could I possibly know more than anyone else? How could I possibly be so arrogant as to try and help someone else through their pain, when I am still a mess? When I practically live on the edge of falling apart daily.

Then I began to ponder about myself. I am seven months into my grieving. If I ask myself if I have grown or changed or gotten stronger, my initial response would be not at all. But if I look back to the person I was after the first week – then I have to say truthfully that I don’t know who that girl was. I am not her anymore. I am not a zombie walking and talking without feeling. I am no longer shocked by his death and I am not numb.

I am not sure who I am anymore. Maybe I change a little every day. I am for sure not the girl I once was before my husband died. I am not even the girl who started this blog seven months ago. Maybe I am still searching for who I will become.

For now, I am still a mess, but at the very least I accept that this is who I am.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I have not cried all weekend. Yesterday was seven months you are dead and today is Mother’s Day. One would think I would have only been crying this weekend. But I haven’t. I don’t know why I am not sobbing uncontrollably, as I truly have plenty of reasons. The tears are just not here.

Last night, instead of sitting home dwelling on the length of time you have been dead, I went to a party. Did I feel terribly guilty? Very much so. But I got a baby sitter for my children, put on a pretty dress and went anyway. Did I have fun? I am not sure. I was with all of my friends and their husbands. I enjoyed my time out of my normal routine, I enjoyed being with my friends. Maybe I did have fun and just didn’t know it.

I tried not to think about how much I wish you were with me. I tried not to think about how much food you would have eaten last night. I tried not to think about bow tie jokes whenever I looked at the man wearing one. But I couldn’t help it. You were in my thoughts all night long. It kept me from feeling too sad. I was on a date with your ghost last night – it helped keep me sane.

Today the children woke at their usual too early for any sane person and I just let it go. I didn’t feel bad in anyway that I still made them pancakes and cleaned up the mess. That I still bathed them and fed them and took care of them all day long. I still did everything I do for my children every single day. I didn’t dwell on the fact that I didn’t get a break today on Mother’s Day. Instead I was thankful for each and every task I did for them. I was grateful that I am their mother and get the opportunity to care for them.

There is no point anymore waiting for you to come home. I am beyond this fantasy. Reality is here and I just will embrace my life. My wonderful children promised to be good all day – and even when they weren’t I didn’t care. They made me presents in school and it was OK daddy wasn’t here to have them make me a card. We visited our family and enjoyed their company and I tried to appreciate all that I have today – not dwell on sorrow – what is the point.

The children and I talked about next Sunday a little bit. I said we were going to the cemetery to see your name and put rocks at your grave. My daughter asked, We are going to see daddy? I clarified as much as I could. No we will not see daddy he is dead. We will see a big rock with his name on it – that is it. I reminded them that they don’t have to come. I told them to think about it all week and let me know next Sunday. They said they want to come. I nodded my head.

This week I go back to therapy. I have two months of crap stored in my brain to discuss. I probably won’t say a word. I only want this week to drag on for months as I dread next weekend with a passion I cannot describe. I want this week to go by in a hurry so I can just get this whole thing over with already.

Seven months of grieving and I still look up at the sky for answers. Seven months of grieving and I still ponder your decision and what I could have done differently. I still wish I could ask you for guidance even though you clearly had no answers yourself.

Despite my lack of tears today, I did miss your card this morning and your corny rhymes. I missed you making a mess in the kitchen with the children and hearing your voice today. But I missed you yesterday and I will miss you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seeing Red

I am so angry this week I am seeing red. Actually scarlet. I am so angry and the worst part is that I am not sure who I am really angry with.

Unfortunately, my anger seems directed at anyone in my path, whether deserved or not.

I was furious with my mother yesterday. She showed up at my house with my grandmother. My grandmother only wanted to talk about an ex-boyfriend who I haven’t dated in over 15 years. She then proceeded to remind me how poorly my choices in men have been in the past. And she did this on Cinco de Mayo grrrrrrrr!

My mother only wanted to show me more books about death and bought the children and I new clothing for the unveiling. I unleashed a new fit of rage I didn’t even know I was capable of. Twenty four hours later I am able to think, almost calmly, about what she did and know deep down she is trying to do something nice for me. But I feel at times we are living on different planets. A new dress is not going to make me feel better or make the day any less horrific. The very fact that she bought a new dress for this day just truly sent me over the edge. I can’t explain why – it just seemed like the most irrational thing ever. Maybe you have to be me to get this. I have one dead husband and two small children - a new dress is just absurd.

I also have had just about enough with the books on death, grieving and suicide. I won’t read a single one. They are totally useless to me. These books won’t help me cook meals for my children, drive to work or help with homework. They don’t baby sit when I need a five minute break. If they did anything useful, maybe I would keep them around. But these books filled with other people's sad stories and advice – f**k the books is how I feel right now.

I am angry at every single person who thinks they have an answer for something in my life. I just want everyone to stop. I am GRIEVING. This means let me be. Let me grieve in my own way, on my own time and stop trying to rush the process or sugar coat it or whatever the reasoning being the actions. Just let me be sad and mad and angry and stop trying to make this all go away – because the pain, the sorrow, the very fact that my husband is dead by his own hand, is not going anywhere right now – and I am fuming.

I don’t think I am truly angry at my mother or my dead husband. I am just furious at the world and at times with myself. Maybe this is one of those stages I go through – I think I liked the crying stage better.

Today I just needed to get away from everyone and find somewhere to rid myself of some of this excess ferociousness. So I stormed off to the cemetery.

I stomped my way through the cemetery. Suddenly a small truck pulled up right beside me and the man driving asked me if I was OK. To begin, he startled me as he is the first living person I have seen in the cemetery in almost 7 months. Secondly, I wanted to look at him and say, "it is 9:30 in the morning and I am in a cemetery, of course I am not OK!" But I knew it was the anger talking, so I flashed him a fake smile and said I was fine.

I got to your grave and looked at the dirt. I threw rocks and cried. I didn’t feel much better. I cried some more and punched the dirt until my hand hurt. I am sorry, I was just trying to get some of this aggression out and don’t want anyone to feel the force of my anger – because no one deserves it. But I am angry and sad and angry some more and it feels horrible.

As I left I saw a few other people visiting loved ones. I scoffed at them. Of course visiting on a beautiful day is nice, but where were you all when there was five feet of snow to trudge through or the torrential rain which would whip at my face. I felt instantly ashamed of myself, thinking these terrible thoughts about other mourners. Clearly I didn’t shed as much petulance as I hoped.

I pray this livid stage passes soon and without incident. I wanted to throw pots and pans tonight but I refrained. I didn’t take any of this anger out on the children. I kept it bottled up till now. Tonight I would like to throw the computer across the room just to watch it break. I would like to throw glass into the street just to hear it shatter. But I won’t because it is childish and stupid and expensive.

I hope the next stage I enter is calmer and more fun. Maybe it will be laughing uncontrollably until I pee my pants – anything but seeing red.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

I am more than halfway through my first year of mourning. They say the first year is the worst because you have to deal with so many firsts – duh! Every holiday my husband has missed, every birthday, everyday something significant occurred, every single Saturday has laid heavily on my heart. Nothing passes by without me noticing. It seems to be up to me to decide how badly I am going to let it hurt. Which is why I moved on my birthday; to completely and utterly distract myself. Mother’s day is coming and I am not even going to think twice about it. It will be just another Sunday – I will be fine.

But tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo – this quite possibly could be the one holiday I can’t recover from.

My husband and I used to own a Mexican restaurant. It is where we met and fell in love. Many of my fondest memories still live in that restaurant and always will. Cinco de Mayo was always the most insane and busiest day for us. Mexican Independence Day and no American would feel complete without drinking a Margarita. As this was our craziest day each year we would also have the worst fights about nothing. But still I loved it. I would make about a million margaritas as my husband would try and keep the customers happy, as we shot each other glances from across the room. Roll our eyes or just wink at one another. Inevitably I would throw a check book at him and he would ask to see me in the walk-in refrigerator to discuss our beer inventory, where we would kiss in private and make up.

But that was then, this is now.

As if the week could not get more complicated, my mother sent us another one of those books – those dealing with death and children books. Mom – I forgot to say thank you. Ironically it is written by the same person who wrote my new favorite book, “Grief Therapy”. I read it to the children tonight and as my four year old walked around while I read, I realized this is just so beyond her. My six year old listened, what he got from it I don’t know. There is a picture where a child goes to a cemetery to visit the person who died. I pointed it out and asked them if they would want to go see daddy’s name. I couldn’t say body or final resting place or anything like that – I just said name. My son looked at me and said, “We went there already!” I said we could go back and bring rocks. I told them that we leave rocks to show daddy that we love and miss him. I should probably Google the real reason we leave rocks – as I have no clue.

My son said yes, he would like to go. The four year old was intrigued by the rock factor as she comes home with pockets full of pebbles daily. They didn’t ask me anything or even cry – I was relieved.

Will they understand tomorrow when I am crying in my coffee? They will never know how much I wish May 5th was over with already. I used to love Cinco de Mayo with all my heart. It was a day that my husband always smiled and laughed. I loved watching him do what he did best, making other people happy. I loved getting angry with him about how he cut the limes the wrong way and would love making up even more.

I will miss him more tomorrow than any day this year. Cinco de Mayo for you might just be the day that falls between May 4th and May 6th, but for me it is everything.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


This has been one of those weekends I won’t forget for a long time.

We belong to an amazing private park, which has been closed for months on end for renovations. Finally this past Saturday, it re-opened. This park is the entire reason my husband and I moved to the neighborhood. My children have grown up in this park and there were days I spent more time there than at home. This park has its own personality and at times is like a member of my family.

Walking into the park on Saturday was a mixture of emotions. The great sigh of relief I felt to be “home” again and the agonizing truth that I will never walk through these gates with my husband again.

I felt odd at times – probably my own insecurity, that people who have not seen me all winter were watching my every move. Waiting to see how I am or how I will react to whatever. Mostly there was love – a lot of love coming to me. I was fine until someone would walk over to me and ask me how I am doing. Then I would bite my lip so hard to keep the tears from coming. I would flash my fake smile and tell them I am fine. I think some people were surprised when I say I am fine – what do you really expect me to say?

Those ended up being the easy encounters. The people who don’t ask me how I am doing, because they too have experienced loss; they just look at me and say – it sucks doesn’t it. Those were the times words failed me and the tears just ran silently down my face. A few times people just hugged me this weekend and said your name out loud and how much they missed you. No lip biting or teeth gritting could keep my tears away.

I spent a lot of time missing you this weekend – in our perfect sunny park. I can’t believe you will never sit on a bench with me and watch our children make mud pies or play baseball. Every bench felt empty without you, even though it was filled with all our friends.

Then we get to tonight – probably one of the worst nights in our family history. Personally I thought I was good this weekend – there was not a lot of screaming and yelling and crying. I was trying to stay relaxed and low key. But at some point tonight my six year old got very angry with me. He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong, just that he was angry with me. I didn’t push him. He is allowed to be angry with me. But then at bed time he told me when he is a teenager he is moving to Australia to get away from me. He might as well just take a knife and slice my heart into pieces now. I tried to get him to tell me why he was leaving. He finally said I was a terrible mommy and it is all my fault daddy is dead.

I didn’t say anything for a very long time. I just didn’t know what to say. I put him into bed and tucked him in without getting worked up. His sister was fake sleeping in the bottom bunk and he was huffing and puffing angrily on the top bunk. I prayed with him and then asked him for a hug and kiss. He refused. That is when I started to cry. Not because he told me he was moving to Australia or that he blamed me for his dead daddy – but because he denied me a good night kiss. I started crying and then the four year old started crying and then finally the six year old joined us in our tears.

I took his head into my hands so he had to look me in the eye and said to him, “I am going to tell you something grown up now and I want you to really listen.” I said to him, “daddy dying is hard on me, it is hard on your sister and it is hard on you. But no matter what, we are a family and we need to stick together. We can get angry at one another, we can fight and then we make up – but we are a family – and we stay together!”

By this time I am choking on my words and the tears are pouring down my face. My son is crying hysterically and grabs me into his arms and says he is sorry he was mad and he is not mad anymore. His is crying and crying.

My daughter is hysterically crying so I climb down to her bed and she says to me – I want to listen to you mommy, but I just can’t take it anymore – I miss my daddy!

This scene went on for a few minutes; me climbing back and forth between the two beds as everyone is crying and kissing and hugging me.

I got everyone out of bed and into the bathroom. We blew our noses and washed our faces and calmed down. My son asked me if crying solves problems – I said sometimes crying just makes you feel better and your problems don’t seem so bad.

I got everyone back into bed again and this time they went to sleep without tears without drama as if nothing insane just happened.

So now I sit here thinking about what I said and what they said and feel terrible. Terrible that I made them cry, terrible that they were upset to begin with. Maybe I said the wrong things to them tonight. Deep down I believe in being honest with them and getting them to be honest with me. I want them to know how important our family is and how normal it is to be upset with each other.

I am no longer second guessing myself anymore. I am no longer listening to anyone else’s advice. If I screw up and say the wrong thing – so be it. There are three people in this world I have to please these days – my children and myself. Everyone else must take a number.

I am exhausted and it is Sunday – six more sleeps till I can be back in the park.