Being a widow is hard, but being a parent to children who lose their dad is even harder. When our children are born we bring them into this world with endless hopes and dreams. Their innocence is refreshing and often time makes me laugh. As a parent I believe our goal is to raise capable adults, self sufficient with the least amount of obstacle.
As mothers it is hard for us to not protect our children. To prevent them from getting hurt, being sad or scared. After my children lost their father I was unsure what to do. I could not comfort them. I could not make their pain go away with a simple kiss. That was such a helpless feeling for me. Before this, I was a confident mother. I thought I had the answers or knew how to find them.
My oldest son was transformed into an angry child and I did not know him any longer. He thought that he could not cry, that he needed to be strong. After many sessions with the counselor and holes in a punching bag, he began to understand how to identify his anger. He slowly became the son I had known for 8 years. He was not as innocent as he once was, but his fun loving personality came back to him.
My youngest son was only two at the time of his father’s death. I was worried that he would not remember his father, but somehow he does. He often says “Mom, remember when daddy used to…”. The hardest thing to hear after his stories of his father is, “My daddy is dead, right?”
When he would first ask me that question, I would cringe at those words coming out of his little mouth. Now it is part of our lives and somehow seems like a normal question.
He also has his father’s walk and does some of the same movements with his hands. When I watch him I see so much of Mike that it makes me smile.
Sometimes my children would play and I would get angry. I thought they were not grieving properly until I educated myself and understood it. Finally I began to play with them and it was therapeutic for me. I was able to become a part of their world for moments at a time. It was as if my brain was able to rest from all the pain and anguish that ran rapid through it at the time. They allowed me to be silly.
I believe being a mother is one of the most rewarding things on earth. My children have taught me a lot. They taught me to not feel sorry for myself. They were victims, but did not use it as a way to earn any special privilege. They have continued to grow, mature and love their life. They have embraced something you would not want your children to bear, but they do every day with a smile.