Check out my honors! (Click on the badges to see other great blogs too)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fill the hole...

I’m halfway through the second year. I still can’t believe that much time has passed already. They say the second year is harder and in some ways I completely agree. There are still so many little things that are like a slap in the face and remind me that the life I had is gone.

The other day I was filling out some paperwork and the marital status section didn’t have “widow” as an option. I used to hate checking the “widow” box but this time I felt incensed that I didn’t get the choice. I am not married. I am not single. I am not divorced. I do not identify with any of these and I felt irritated that “half of me was unexpectedly stripped away without my consent” wasn’t an option. So I scrawled “widow” in and moved on.

I also had to fill out some medical information sheets for the girls. I got to the parent information section and under “father” I write “deceased”. The next half of the page remaining blank because I do not need to fill in his address, contact information, insurance data, place of employment or any other mundane detail about him that no longer exists. The blank page staring back at me is like a metaphor for my life…everything is going just fine and then there’s a big blank spot all of a sudden where he is just not there anymore. Like the moments when the girls do something remarkable or funny and I think, “Andie needs to see this,” but of course he doesn’t because he’s just not there.

I got my yearly renewal policy for my home owner’s and auto insurance in the mail. I open it and see that they hadn’t dropped his name off of the documents even though I called them months ago to rectify this situation. I call and re-explain that he died and it is just me now. They are embarrassed for the mistake and offer condolences. I find myself trying to make the lady on the phone feel better because she feels so bad. This happens often…I find myself saying in these situations, “No really, it’s okay.”

I get some form in the mail from Social Security that wants me to document how I’ve spent the benefits I receive for the girls. Frankly, I feel it’s none of their business. Parents receiving child support don’t have to answer to anyone regarding how they spend their money…why does the government have the right to pry into my life in such a manner? The money he earned and contributed to Social Security is rightfully mine to do what I want with it… though of course if they must know I spend it on exorbitant child care costs consisting of both daycare and a nanny in the mornings to get the girls off to school because I can’t manage to do the carpool by myself and still get to work on time. I spend it on food, clothing, medical care, and shelter for my children- things they need to survive. I spend it on family vacations in the hopes that I can create some happy childhood memories for them. I spend it on maintaining some semblance of a normal life for them.

I struggle with this hole in my life, this absence of him, this blank page to fill. On one hand I’m sick of having these little moments keep bubbling up to remind me of what I’ve been through. But on the other hand I don’t want the alternative, which is to fill the spot, to check a different box, to let go...

The dilemma of wanting my children to experience a family unit and have a father figure versus wanting to eternally preserve this sacred spot for him and not allow someone else to fill that role is almost a constant struggle. It’s hard to let my guard down and imagine that I could love someone like that again and run the risk of going through all this for a second time…

But I'm learning to let someone new in, and each day a piece of that wall comes down and I see the hope and joy of what it could be like to actually fill the hole...


  1. So glad to hear from you and looking forward to reading your book.

    1. Thanks Carol-Anne... the paperback is underway and should be completely ready in a couple of months, stay tuned!

  2. really great post.
    i especially identify with the filling out of all the papers. so strange to see such an obvious void. It's something tangible that so appropriately matches the emotion at times.
    Also the Social Security insanity. I completely agree it's ridiculous that they need to know how the money was spent... mostly because they are apparently just taking my word for it. If someone was squandering their child's money on drugs and hookers, a simple lie would suffice. And I'm going to guess that someone who steals from their children would have no problem lying.
    Anyway... got a little off topic there.

    :) my point is: I get it. :)