Eleven years ago today, my wife’s father passed away suddenly. The loss continues to reverberate in her, her relationships, her moods. I have always tried to be understanding about this. Since I had no frame of reference, I could be understanding even if I didn’t understand.
Upcoming is another anniversary though. An anniversary that made me understand, since the loss was as impactful… on me.
I have applied to a position of responsibility at my school, which required me to update my resume with regards to my leadership credentials. I went through my old computer files and project binders, compiling all the information I needed (and holy shit, there is a lot of information) and wisely, I went through my calendars to see if I missed anything.
I hadn’t marked it down, but I knew it right when I saw it. April 2013. The last Friday of the month. The day that I left early for a meeting, came home on my lunch to give my wife a kiss and found her on the floor kissing someone else. The air sucked out of my lungs once again. The feeling in my toes became the feeling in my stomach and the feelings in my heart suffered another loss. I was reminded of the day that the innocence of our marriage died.
Impactfulness aside, since that cannot be objectively measured, my wife’s loss of her father is akin to our marriage’s loss. However, one of the differences is that our recovery can happen; another of the differences is that I am reminded, constantly, loudly, without cause.
I wish she was more empathetic with this loss, was more understanding about this loss. It takes effort. It not only takes desire or “try,” but enough mental cognition to follow through, to remind yourself enough times so that it becomes a part of you. It does not happen overnight and it does not happen just by wanting. It takes a willingness to be wrong (because God knows I fucked up in the beginning of our relationship when trying to be understanding about her Dad) and a desire to keep going through the hard.
She will cry today and I will hold her close. I will cry on April 26th.