Does anyone else remember the moment when they realized that life was still going to happen even though we thought it had come to a stand-still? I’ve had several moments like that, but I distinctly remember the first time it happened.
Not long after my husband’s death, my best friend called to tell me that she was pregnant. I was so happy for her…over the moon. But after thinking about it for a bit, I realized that my best friend was going to have a baby. A whole new person. And my husband was never going to meet him. My friend’s son might hear stories and “know” him in an abstract way, but he would never be tickled by him. Never hear him laugh. That child would never get to see my husband act like a jackass with his own dad.
Really…he’s going to miss out on a lot.
I can’t tell you what a disturbing feeling that was for me. Actually, it still is a little. And it’s not that I’m so egocentric that I can’t believe the world doesn’t revolve around me and my needs (okay…maybe I am. But I’m working on it). It was just so unbelievable to me that new things would happen…that my husband would never see.
A lot of us have talked about the movie P.S I Love You (which if you haven’t seen it and you’re new to this journey…caution, caution, warning ahead…possible nervous breakdown inducer). One of the most memorable moments in that movie for me was when the widow was sitting in a little rowboat in Ireland with her 2 best friends. One of the friends lets it slip that she’s pregnant and the other blurts out that she’s engaged. I’ll never forget the crestfallen look on the widow’s face the moment she realizes that life was going to go on…even though she thought it had stopped.
At that point, that character kind of retreats from her friends. And her friends mistake that for her being selfish. But I can relate to that feeling. Knowing that life is going to go on for everyone else whether you like it or not is an overwhelming feeling. And having that moment when you realize you better get on the boat or it’s going to leave without you, is a hard thing to wrap your mind around.
It’s actually the little things that really hit me. Songs that I hear on the radio and think, “He never heard this one. I wonder if it would have gotten on his nerves?” He would never see Modern Family. Never get to meet all of the wonderful people I’ve met since he’s been gone.
One of the most confusing times I’ve had with this was when I started dating someone new…who I just knew my husband would like. How weird is that?? To be dating someone and think, “Awww shoot! My husband will never meet him! They would have loved each other!”
Now that I think about it…the fact that this guy is dating his wife…that introduction probably wouldn’t have gone over so well.
I know everyone goes through this when they’re dealing with loss and no one knows about it until that day comes. And our friends aren’t being insensitive when they get on with their lives…they just don’t know.
But that time will come for everyone. That same friend who had the baby is now dealing with her mother who has terminal cancer. And one of the first things she said to me was, “My son will never really know her.” And I know that she’s starting to go through the motions of realizing that life will go on…whether she's ready for it or not.
I’m just glad that I can be there, cry with her, and say, “I know. I know.”