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Seven hundred and thirty days.  Two years.  A lot can happen in two years.  And wow, has a lot happened in my life.

Two years ago today, on a rainy Thursday, I was on my way to place my husband in the ground in between his father and brother.  It was a decision I had made when arriving home from Croatia in October of 2018.  It was where he belonged.  I needed to give him back to God.

After turning his urn over to the gates of heaven, I walked out to the cemetery where his father and brother laid to rest.  The rain continued to mist over my face as the tears streamed down my cheeks.  2015, 2017, and now 2018 would be the numbers of all the men we lost in our family.  Those numbers seem way too close.  The men lost, way too valuable to our lives.

I stood in the rain for a while and took a quick call from my son Johnny.  He was excited because he just landed a job he had applied for.  I didn’t tell him where I was, but I knew his father was watching over him in my heart.  Smiling, I walked to my Jeep and drove home to get ready for the outing I was about to have with a fellow widower.

Was this a date? Or just two people getting together to support one another?  I wasn’t sure.  We had both been through six weeks of counseling and continued to support one another through texts.  Now we were meeting in person for more support.

It was still misting when I arrived at Snows Lake.  We sat in a both.  We talked for hours and decided it was probably best we get home to our kids.   He walked me to my car, and as we began to lean into each other, we missed a kiss.  It was awkward, but the hug that fell into us was beautiful.

He went his way, and I went mine.  We continued to talk, text, and yes, date.  The first year was full of emotion.  Not just from the two of us missing our spouses, also from our children missing their parent.  Our lives were full of passion, sadness, and worry.  The two of us seemed to be helping each other through something no one should ever have to experience, but our children were getting lost in the grief.

As parents, we did our best to give them love and support.  I will speak for myself and tell you it’s hard.  Hard to help your children through grief when you are barely hanging on yourself.  I often felt terrible, as I thought my boys supported and protected me from the pain far more than I did them.

The second-year, you hope and pray the loss will get more manageable for everyone; it doesn’t.  You find new ways to deal with it.  Your family dynamics change.  You lose some friends and family and gain new ones.  People want you to get over your loss.  You want the person you lost back.  That not only goes for us, our children too.  They want their parent back.  We all want the lives we had back.

It all looks weird to our children and us.  I imagine they look at us and think it doesn’t look right.  He should be with mom.  She should be with dad.  As parents, our heart breaks for our children.  We also understand the stronger we become, the better tools we gain to help support them.  I know they don’t see it this way now.  When they fall in love, they will understand.

Love is beautiful.  We got to experience it once in our lives, and now we have been so fortunate to experience it again.  It’s not like our first love and never will be.  Nothing will ever compare to them, nor do we try.  Our first loves gave us our children.  Our beautiful children.  John and I each look at them and remember their entrance into the world, our hearts, and soul.  They are their lost parent living on.  They are their mother’s and father’s children.  They will forever be the most important people in our lives.  We are forever blessed.  Our children send us daily reminders of the ones we love and miss so very much.

In seven hundred and thirty days, you can:

  • fight the grief
  • fall apart
  • meet someone
  • travel a lot
  • fall apart again
  • cry a lot
  • pick your self up
  • fall in love
  • sell your home
  • move away
  • run away from everything because you can seem to break through their pain
  • give up
  • fall apart again
  • pick yourself up again
  • get engaged during Covid-19
  • purge and sell another home
  • buy a new home
  • and make some final decision – This Is Now Us.

It has been a crazy hard, and I do mean hard two years.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have learned a lot about myself and my second chance at love.  We are settled.  We are in love, and we know just how very blessed we are to have the opportunity to love again.

The journey hasn’t been comfortable, but nothing worth having ever is.  My prayer is for our children that somehow love will prevail on the other side of their pain – just like it has for us!

Luv, Luv,

Julie 💙💗


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