Dad, I Love You

A very difficult part of losing Greg has been helping my kids cope with the loss of their dad. They have all dealt with it in different ways. I have one who handles things very privately. One seems to be mostly angry and numb for now. Another is very openly emotional. One has been tormented with extreme anxiety that has consumed our family for weeks. They are all so different. 

Most of my older kids are dealing with regret of some kind. It is difficult that we didn’t have any notice of Greg’s death, and final interactions were not what most of us would have wanted had we known. The younger two kids seem to be handling things the best, mostly because they aren’t old enough to fully understand. I feel that this is a gift of their youth, though I’m sure the reality of things will continue to be more real as they get older. However, it is clear that they are definitely affected by the loss and thinking of their dad often.

August hanging out on my bed

I often wake up with a child in bed with me. August is the most likely to climb into bed with me, but I have had all three of my younger kids in my bed on a fairly regular basis. They will cuddle up as close to me as they can. They want to touch me to make sure I’m still with them. August will put his hand on my face or touch his face to mine. When we are sitting together, they like to either sit on my lap or right next to me. I usually have one in my lap and the other two sitting as close as they can. We have talked about the fact that they are afraid I will leave them. Their innocence about life has changed, and they know that someone can be here one minute and gone the next. I can’t imagine how scary that must feel as a young child. It is sweet to have such cuddle bugs, but heartbreaking to realize why they are so cuddly.

One morning last week I was in bed, watching a video on Facebook. August was in bed with me, of course.  The little girl in the video said, “Dad, I love you.” It was so cute, and it made me smile. August was in bed with me, and he asked if I was watching a video of him. I told him no and showed him the video. A couple minutes later, I heard August whispering, “Dad, I love you. Daddy, I love you,” over and over again. My heart broke a little to realize he was missing his daddy. I asked him if he was thinking about his daddy, and he said yes. We then had a conversation about how much he missed his dad and how sad he is that he’s not here with us.

My heart hurts for all of my kids as they navigate such a difficult loss. It has often seemed like too much for all of us to handle. In all their varied reactions to Greg’s death, I feel they all silently whisper, “Dad, I love you. Daddy, I love you,” right along with August.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: