Life throws a lot of curveballs at you. One minute you’re a husband and a father who seems to be moving along at a steady pace with typical goals in mind. Next thing you know, you’re faced with some of the greatest challenges you’ve ever had to deal with, and it ultimately changes every lofty goal or ambition you had in mind. Being a single father is one thing, but adding the term widower changes everything physically and mentally. It’s exhausting to try and raise two kids while also dealing with the grief of losing someone.
I’m not discounting divorce, separation, or a deadbeat parent, but grief is an element that you cannot prepare for or know how to handle until you’re the one dealing with it. Everything is compounded when grief is stacked on top. A quick trip to the store for a tummy ache is a reminder that you just can’t leave the kids at home because there’s no one there to watch them. “Pile into the car kids, try not to puke in Aisle 10.” Or, when you’ve reached your parental capacity, and you’re about to blow, you realize there’s no one to step in to give you some breathing room. Dating? To borrow the term from my late wife, “that would be a hot mess.”
Yes, these are all things that single parents have to deal with, it’s just magnified a million times when you put grief on top of it.
There’s a void that cannot be filled, and honestly, won’t be filled anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong; I’m in a way better place than I was six months ago, but there’s no denying the fact that grief is making single fatherhood much tougher than I could have ever imagined. I’ve slipped and fallen several times these past six months, yet I know that my only option is to keep climbing with two kids strapped to my back.