This is Us

It has taken me almost a week to write about the Superbowl episode of This is Us.

It shook me, more than Grey’s Anatomy’s depiction of Derek Shepherd’s death (sorry if you’re not caught up on that – but it’s been a few years…) It shook me not because of the way he died, because Derek’s death was more like my husband’s but because of the aftermath.

The having to tell the children. The having to parent the children. The 20 years in the future and how the memories still affect Rebecca and how the children cope and how life was so drastically altered as a PARENT.

Not just the wife. The mother.

I can’t find a video of it, the moment where she goes to Miguel’s house to talk to the kids.  Where she stands in the doorway and tells him that she needs to be strong for her kids and if he can’t, he’ll need to take a walk until he can.

But in watching that…. all I could see was myself. How my kids went home in one car and I went home in another and I was lost. I was not a pillar of strength for my kids. I was not strong, I was not able, I was not the rock they needed to lean on.

All I could see in that moment was how I failed my children when their father died.

How one of my kids would tell me that she thinks of the good memories and is happy.  And I thought that was such an amazing thing. But really – she didn’t want me to be sadder.  Now, when her life is changing so much, she needs her dad and he’s not here and she’s ANGRY because she hasn’t grieved.

How one of my kids asked me after a fight with my chapter 2 if things were ok, because he didn’t want me to be sad again.

How my daughter says flat out that when I’m old, one of my other kids will be responsible for me because she took care of me when he died. She did her part.

How I failed them.

I don’t know how to fix that.

I was in so much pain. I hurt so badly. I couldn’t move past it. And I failed them.

This is Us showed another side of being a widow. It showed what happens on the other side – not just from the widow perspective, but from the children’s perspective.  Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t. The kids are a plot line, a side story that come out every once in a while to make a point.

And because of it, This is Us, the episode where Jack died, the episode after where they went to the funeral (and the odd needing to have him with her at all times) that affected me in a way I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting to be reminded of how I abandoned my kids when they needed me the most – not on purpose – just because I didn’t know how to cope with it myself.

How do I fix that? They are my heart.

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Father’s Day

I made it through Father’s Day.  I made it through the day mostly because I had been riding on a derby high from 3 bouts in 24 hours.

I got home, emotionally crashed, and slept.

The missing him, it’s visceral. Every day that goes by is another day further from him being on this Earth, from him being at my side, from him getting to see his children and grandchildren.

How do I explain to his grandsons who he was and how amazing he was? How can I get them to understand?

Short answer… I can’t.  They’ll never know.

The countdown of days is on. I had a breakdown on the way to school yesterday. The weight of the day of his death gets heavier with each day. I know… or at least I hope… from past years, that it will lighten up again after the 26th, but for now, I’m simply walking through my days, hoping I don’t crash and burn.

I miss him.

Talking To Kids

I’ve been debating the merits of counselling and grief support for my sons.

I found a grief counselor who wanted me to come in and have a session with her before she would see my son.

Yesterday, we’re watching PS I Love You and the widow in the movie is having flashbacks/visitations from her deceased husband and Andrew turns to me and says “Does Dad talk to you still?”

He does sometimes.

I asked him if Dad talked to him – he said no.  I asked him if he dreamed about Dad.  He said no.   I asked him if he ever woke from a sleep, not having dreamed but in a really great mood.

He said yes.

I told him that it probably was his Dad, coming to him in dreams, and he seemed satisfied.

It’s the first time in recent memory that Andrew’s brought up his Dad to me without my prompting.

Makes me feel better that he’s not seeing a counselor.   Because he’s still talking.

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