Today is thirty-six years since we said, “I do” and had absolutely NO idea what that would look like.
I first shared this a few years ago on our anniversary because I wanted other bereaved parents to know that while it is hard (and isn’t marriage always hard?), it is not impossible for a marriage to survive child loss.
We are definitely not the perfect couple. We fuss and we struggle. We sometimes retreat into our own separate worlds as we process some new aspect of living this earthly life without one of our children.
But we have learned that we are stronger together and that we are willing to do the work necessary to stay that way.
Today my husband and I celebrate 33 years of marriage.
Our thirtieth anniversary was a mere two months after we buried our son.
Here’s the last “before” anniversary photo (2013)-unfeigned smiles, genuine joy, excitement to have made it that far:
I’ll be honest-I bristle more than a little bit when people suggest that bereaved fathers don’t feel grief as deeply as bereaved mothers.
They absolutely do.
The problem is that, as a group, bereaved fathers are less likely to make their feelings known, less likely to talk about the impact grief has on their lives and less likely to allow others into their private world of pain and sorrow.
For that reason, fathers are often overlooked grievers.
But they shouldn’t be.
Dads aren’t bystanders in the shattered world of child loss-they are participants as parents of a son or daughter whom they love just as much as any mother.
So just like Mother’s Day is hard for moms, Father’s Day is hard for them.