Yes. You’re still a jerk.
The kids and I had a soul-satisfying summer. We went on a 3-week road trip/pilgrimage across Western Canada. It was an amazing journey of healing for all of us. We grieved for you daily but felt strong and connected.
“Look at us. We’ve got our shit together!”
Then September bitch slapped us in the face.
As Rain said, “I didn’t know what it would be like at first. Now I do.”
I wasn’t ready to start getting phone calls from the school with a teary voice asking if I can pick them up early because they’re just too sad to stay.
I wasn’t ready for suicide to be a catch phrase in our house. Moxie’s doll has done suicide, fyi.
I wasn’t prepared for how exhausted I would be and how very little free-time I would have.
I wasn’t ready for the consistently impossible questions: “Did Daddy have a happy death or a sad death?”
I wasn’t ready to find letters they’d written to their Daddy asking why….?
But the professionals have assured me that both Rain and Moxie are processing in a very normal and positive way, remarkable even.
We joined a bereavement group. The kids LOVE going. Yes, in hindsight I wish that I had noticed Rain was wearing that grim reaper outfit last week (He was wearing a coat over it when we left!). And fine, I admit that I dressed ‘up’ the first week – Hey, it is really hard to meet people these days!
The kids and I continue to talk about you every day. Usually in passing:
“We’ve had a lot of changes around here: Daddy’s gone, we got new bread.”
“I know who’s phone number I WON’T be putting on my emergency contact list. Well I can put it on, but he’s NOT going to answer.”
“I guess I can tell you what I wished for; it can’t come true anyway.”
“Wow – that Dad is so cool. I wish I had a Dad that could do that…Well I wish I had a Dad.”
We have an ongoing list of all the *ahem vocabulary you introduced them to: junk, twig and berries, big fella… (And that’s just ONE body part!)
Rain and Moxie made a Lego man after you, and named him “Lego Dad”. I can’t decide if this is good-weird or we need to seek (more) professional help-weird. We all laugh about it, and no we don’t set a place for you it at the dinner table, so I think we’re okay.
Rain moved up to the red level in hockey. You would have known what that meant without having to ask someone, like I did. I’m trying harder than ever to be excited about hockey this year. I’ve even learned what icing means. Sort of. But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how much I support Rain. It doesn’t matter how many friends or family come to cheer him on. You’re not there. And your absence echoes in every cold arena in the city.
You stupid son-of-a-bitch.
I’ve spent hours poring through boxes of pictures you had kept from our life together: pre and post children. Thank you for keeping them.
Hating you is easy.
Missing you is really fucking hard.
But I watched you struggle with your demons for thirteen years up close and personal. And then from afar for six more years once we separated. I know you tried. So did I.
Til next time,