It is so hard to be a Solo Mom while grieving the sudden devastating loss of my husband.
I am so mad at grief. It steals so much from us. It takes the moments we have shared with our husbands and paints a dark tint of pain over even the prettiest of memories. It grabs hold of the future we once looked forward to in its tight clutches and everything we thought we knew crumbles. It changes us when we don’t want to be changed. And it forces us to begin a brand new life when we weren’t wanting one. And this as every widow knows, is just the tip of the iceberg. This kind of death and loss changes absolutely everything. So often in my daily thoughts I find myself repeating, “I just want my life back.”
I have been struggling lately with the realization that grief has also stolen from me my ability to fully enjoy raising my precious young boys. Since ages 5 and 16 months, my two little cuties have had just their Mama. Their terrified, exhausted, widow brained, stressed, sometimes forgetful, devastated, deeply discouraged Mama. They have endured many teary days of seeing me cry so much that now, two years into this grief journey when the tears flow, my oldest usually rolls his eyes and mumbles something to the effect of “there she goes again.”
Grief, you are a cruel cruel unwelcome guest. You took the carefree, lighthearted, security and sweet bliss away from this family during the oh so precious time when my boys are little. They will never be little like this again. We will never have this sweet time of extra snuggles, innocence, and those hilarious goofy things little ones say on accident ever again. It isn’t fair that they lost the most wonderful Daddy I could ever have imagined for them. Worse yet, they lost him before they were hardly even old enough to have the ability to form long term memories of the times they were blessed to share with him.
It isn’t fair that I can’t enjoy being a mother in the same way. Don’t get me wrong, I love our children. I consider them precious gifts from God. I remember the beautiful moments when they were born and seeing their Daddy hold them in his gentle arms and looking down at them with eyes of love and a heart of gratitude to God. It was in those moments that we shared the joy of imagining that we would have the privilege of raising them together. As a dynamic duo, my very best friend and I working as a team to mold and shape, love and nurture. Life seemed so beautiful then. So filled with hope.
It was supposed to be so much better than this. They were supposed to see their Mommy and Daddy so in love and so filled with love for both of them. How different it feels to pour out my unconditional love for my children daily, sacrificing and serving all by myself. Making all important decisions that pertain to them alone, all the while feeling like no one loves me. Well, not like my sweet husband did anyway. Doing all the heavy lifting, all the driving, all the sleepless nights, the wiping of tears and the teaching of the ways of God and integrity. Celebrating their successes alone, tucking them in by myself each bedtime and trying to pretend for their sake that we are still a complete family when I feel like anything but that.
And during these two years of brokenness, my boys have also been what has kept me going. It is for them that I have gotten out of bed when I felt like hiding under the covers and giving up. And it is for their benefit that I have connected with so many in the community when I would have rather just pulled away and kept to myself. It is for them that I “fake it til I make it,” and paint on my smile. It is because of them that I still have reason to laugh. And it is thanks to them that my lonely days can still be filled with the warmth of their hugs and kisses.
What has your experience been like as a solo mother who is also grieving?
In Hope & Prayers ,
This Widow Mama