After 16 years of marriage, you get comfortable. You lean on each other for love and support. You make decisions together. You raise your children together. Sometimes it’s tough love and the other one makes it better. A buffer. You see, touch, and talk every day. This is your best friend and Soul Mate. Then, the unthinkable happens. Your Soul Mate makes a very bad decision, a mistake. She is now facing incarceration. You try to prepare for it. You try to prepare your children. You try to get the finances in order. You do everything you can. But, it really isn’t enough to prepare you for the nightmare that is about to happen.
You are immediately faced with the feeling of extreme loss. Almost as someone has passed. Your best friend, gone. But, you quickly realize you have 2 kids that also just lost their Mom. A twelve year old Son that has no idea why it hurts so bad. A hurt he has never felt. An eighteen year old Daughter who lost someone who was always there for her, her best friend. Now, as the sole parent, you have to find a way to make them feel the love that they felt from both parents. Hard to show and give them love when you are devastated yourself. But, you try. You try like you’ve never tried anything. You can see it’s not the same. It’s heart wrenching. You want your kids to be happy. You would do anything to protect them. But, you can’t protect them from this pain. No one replaces Mom.
The first few days we stuck together. Didn’t want to be apart. Then it started to change. The pain was turning us. We weren’t getting along as much. It was very sad. I wasn’t the same Dad. I was very moody. Snapping easily. I was hurting so much. I realized, how am I going to be a good strong Dad when I need to get mentally healthy ? It’s still a struggle. I’m still trying. I’m nowhere near the Dad I was. But, I will get there. My Son seems to be coping with it the best. He is definitely sad, but he hasn’t shown any bad effects, yet. A therapist told me that we will see how it affected him when he’s 18 years old. I keep him as busy as possible. It’s the down time with him that worries me. My Daughter has been struggling. Very similar to myself. She has up and down days. I know she misses her Mom so much. I try to talk to her like her Mom did, and again, I’m just not Mom. They were buddies. They did so much together. They talked about everything. It breaks my heart to see her so sad. All I can do is keep trying. Things will never get easier, we will just get stronger. We will have to learn to stay together and grow stronger together. There are so many more obstacles ahead of us. We know it’s not forever, but it sure can feel like it.