My husband passed away unexpectedly almost two years ago.  He died eight days after Father’s Day.  I never would have imagined that would be his last one here on earth.  As I sat down to write this post, I found it was really hard for me to remember that last Father’s Day we had with him.

I always thought I’d remember clearly every moment we had together, and to think that I couldn’t remember his last Fathers’ Day with us hit me hard.

As I typically do when I can’t remember a moment from the past, I checked the photos on my phone to see what, if anything, I captured that day.  We both took lots of pictures, and I was relieved to find that I did take a few pictures that day.  One of him with the kids when he was opening his cards that morning. A sweet picture of the kids snuggled up on either side giving him big hugs. And I then remembered how the kids wanted to give him his cards as soon as they woke up.  Seth still had bed head and a sleepy look on his face, and the kids were beaming. It’s a beautiful picture. And a beautiful moment.

So, I know the day started with lots of love.  Although I have no idea what gifts we have him, what the kids made for him at daycare, what we had for dinner, or what we did to celebrate him that day.  I think we may have gone to the pool that day, as we had been doing every Sunday that month.  Then again, maybe we stayed home all day.  Maybe I took my son to the grocery store while my daughter napped so my husband could also catch a small catnap too. I’m really not sure what we did that day.  I may never remember what we did that day.

I also found that I took a few pictures of him that evening when our daughter was sitting on his lap snuggling before bedtime.  They were making silly faces as they always did together, and I snapped a few photos of them.  I also captured a sweet moment with the two of them snuggling close and showing off their best smiles. Another beautiful moment and a memory that I can share with my daughter to reminder her just how much her daddy loved her and cared for her in the two and a half years they got to spend together.

The fact that I cannot remember that day will always make me sad. While I’m not sure I’ll ever remember that day clearly, what I do know is that I will always remember, and know, that we were happy.  We may not have had big plans, or done something memorable, but we were happy.  We were not about doing extravagant things and did not live a life of grand gestures. Rather, we spent lots of time together as a family. Doing the simply everyday things that we loved and that made us happy.

While our time together was way too short, and it breaks my heart that he only had 5 Father’s Day moments, I’m reminded looking back on what I can remember, that we spent our days enjoying the simple things.  We loved each other and took the time to just be together and snuggle on the couch.

It will also remind me to not take things for granted.  To know that we never really know what our ‘lasts’ will be on this earth.  To live every moment to its fullest and soak them up.  To love with all of our hearts. To take the time to enjoy the beautiful, simple, everyday moments that life brings us.

So this Father’s Day, remember the simple moments. The times when you shared the love you had together. And remind your kids just how much their daddy loved them…and how much he always will.


Dena's life was forever changed on June 25, 2018, when she became suddenly redefined as a widow. A title she never thought she would have, or not have for at least another 40 years or more. Her healthy 43-year-old
husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, leaving her shocked, heart shattered and left, at age 41, to raise their precious 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter without him. Since gaining this new title, she is continually trying to figure out how to live this new life, and have
leaned into her faith, has focused on being brave, and has taken head on all of the challenges she is now faced with in this new life. Dena is here to share her story as she is living it and to be honest and raw, providing insight into the life of a sudden widow with a full-time career and two young children. Dena learned the importance of what she has gained through living a life well lived with her beloved spouse, and she has been writing what is on her mind and in her heart, everything from the pain of losing a spouse suddenly, to focusing on gratefulness and being brave in this journey. She hopes to give others insight into what this journey looks like and provide thoughts on how she is managing through it all. And hopefully inspire some of her hope sister's along the way.

You can read more and follow me on Instagram @suddenlyredefined or on her Facebook page Suddenly Redefined.