We were married for 21 years and truly missed my husband. Many times would think I heard his voice or saw him standing in the doorway the way he used to. I would wake up some days and think it was just a nightmare and realize it was reality. I remember wishing for a magic wand to take all this pain away. We were given a kitten two days after he passed and that kitten kept me company over that next year and felt he was a gift from heaven. I was very lonely and sad and my kids were hurting too. I know they wanted me to make it all better and so wished I could. Used to go downstairs in my basement and cry with my head on my dryer so I would not upset my kids. The grief waves came over and over again and hard to get through but I did. My husband was a handy man and could take apart things and fix them as well. There were so many things he did that I could not do and that worked for us. But without him many things were not fixed. The computer technical end was hard for me to learn. It took me 3 months to decide on which frigerator to buy as used to having him to help me with that decision. You just don’t know how much you rely on someone until they are no longer with you. Hard to make those decisions alone. My son liked to play baseball and dad did that with him. I tried but failed at that.He made pizza every Friday night by himself. I tried that but failed as well. We had to create a new "normal" for us. My kids and I are routine people and our routine was shaken up. I tried for many months to be 2 people but lost it one night crying hysterically as could not do it anymore so another new "normal" came along. Reached out to others but they were busy with their own lives and had to learn to get along without. So many times had to tell my kids we can’t do that or sorry I can’t do that and look at their faces. My husband was the joker in the family and the laughter was gone in the house now. I just was not the one to do that.
Holidays had to be faced and before we knew it Easter was upon us and he used to help me fill their baskets and hide the eggs. My oldest daughter who was 16 tried to help and hated to lean on her but had to. We muddled through but Easter was a mess and certainly not the one my kids were used to. His birthday came. We each sent a balloon up to heaven with a note attached to it for him and cried. Father’s day was hard and we tried to celebrate his life as a dad that day but it didn’t work well. The kids either cried or retreated within to deal with it. The void in our lives was tremendous. Summer home alone with my kids for the first time was brutal but we all survived it. Thanksgiving and then his death’s anniversary came and we all cried our way through church and the holidays. They did not mean much to us anymore. The first year is the hardest and it is so true. We had many financial concerns and still do as a large family but manage to get through without stuff.
My daughter graduated from high school without dad and she was sad. My kids would look at kids with dads and get that look on their face. I wanted to fix it but could not. Not having that other adult around to lean on, share stuff with was very hard. My oldest went off to a local college her first year and came home a lot. Then she fell in love and moved to Texas her second year and that floored me. Hated letting her go but knew it was the best thing for her. I lost it the summer she left and it felt like grief again. Here was a new "normal" again. My son who was 15 at the time tried to help me hook up a new washing machine in the basement. We thought we had the faucets turned off and took off the old hoses. Well they were still on and streaming water out. We could not turn the knob to turn them off so attempted to put the new hoses on the faucets but didn’t work. We were soaked, cold and i just laughed at both of us. I have come to the conclusion you just don’t understand death and its ramifications until you go through it and now feel for those who are. I have tried to reach out to women I know that have lost their husband and hope that I have helped them.