‘Mama, can I see a counselor?’ My little is in 2nd grade, requesting therapy. She’s ‘having feelings.’: Widow learns to accept grief as positive, ‘these feelings reminds us it’s all real’

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“It’s November 19 again. It’s the ‘Deathaversary’ as we widows call it.

Two years ago, on this date, is when I lost my husband and my kids lost their father. I know. It’s stupid to sit here and stare at this Shutterfly calendar and ponder this arbitrary date—a Tuesday.

It wasn’t even a Tuesday when he died. It was a f-ing Sunday. But it’s just a date. It’s not like he’s in the afterlife abyss sitting at a desk looking at calendar dates too, let alone watching us cross off the days on our dumb calendar.

But it’s here again. And it’s not just on November 19 when I want to crawl in bed with my head under the covers and do absolutely nothing and say absolutely nothing to anyone or remember anything at all about it. Because there are a lot of those days throughout the year. The price of loss doesn’t come knocking for you just on one date a year.

My little one asked the other day if she could go see the counselor. Yes, a second grader is requesting therapy y’all. Is that good or bad? I asked her why and she said, ‘Because I’m having feelings.’

I know, little one. Me too.

Feelings of guilt lately because I’ve been finding some happiness in the heart of someone who isn’t your daddy. Feelings of inadequacy because your daddy would have been so much better at the homework hour than your impatient mom. Feelings of heartache because your brother out of the blue said to me with a smile last night, ‘I remember how dad used to hang his towel on the inside of the shower door.’ That’s right buddy—he did. It’s because he hated being cold in the bathroom and if it saved him one second of being wet and cold, he was going hang that damn towel inside the shower.

Even mixed feelings of laughter and despair find me—like when I see a card that little one wrote and left on the junk table:

‘Deer dad,
We all wish you could come back
A boy Luke likes me.
I wish you could see him.’

Courtesy of Andrea Remke

Yep. All these feelings can go kiss off. I wish they’d leave us the hell alone. And then again, I don’t. Because the feelings are also what make me still feel alive. The feelings are what tells me it was all real. The feelings keep him real and here with us.

So we’re rolling with these Tuesday feelings. November 19 feelings can hurt, yes. But being alive to feel them is sure worth it.”

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Courtesy of Andrea Remke
Courtesy of Andrea Remke

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Andrea Remke of Kentucky. You can follow her journey on her blog and Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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