Written on Sept 27th, 2016
Today was a hard day. Today would have marked my husband’s 33rd Birthday. Even when separated we celebrated in our home as a family. I made his favourite dinner; ham with scalped potatoes and brussel sprouts. He was mid mania, and could only handle staying in one place for a short period of time so he left shortly after, back to living in his truck. He was perfectly content but I was heart broken.
I found the days leading up to today difficult. It surprised me. When my uncle and grandmother died I thought of them on their birthdays and Christmas, but it was more of a fleeting thought and I’d say a little prayer for them in my head. But the dates that have come and gone after my husband’s passing have damn near killed me. And some days, from the pain, I can honestly say I wished for death.
I took a personal day today and allowed our daughter to stay home from school. She stood at the top of the stairs ready for school with tears in her eyes. She needed a day. I needed a day. My son needed a day. My daughter and I drive to the funeral home to pick his ashes and bring them home. I’d been avoiding it, but now that it’s done I feel comfort. He’s home.
We spent the day with his aunt and cousin having coffee and catching up after I checked in with his eldest sister. We made breakfast dinner pancakes (another of his favourites) and walked down to the river at the dog run, where the kids and I spread his some of his ashes. I whispered I love you as I released him into the river.
He loved the river. Anywhere. He loved the rocks, the sound of the water, and collecting drift wood to turn into walking sticks or other pieces of art. He loved the breeze and the smells and exploring the shore. He found it peaceful and sending parts of him to rest here was healing. It was one of the last places we spent together as a family.
Our son needed this moment. He was careful and thoughtful as he spread his father’s ashes into the river. He looked peaceful, and in someways relieved. The first steps of closure for him. He looked at the sky as clusters of birds flew overhead and I felt my breath was taken away. My boy is now a man.
Our daughter bounced around the rocks hiding ashes under heart shaped rocks she picked specially for him. He would be in awe of her. She’s so much like him.
We bought cake, and before bed, our daughter and I sang two of his favourite songs to end the night. Celebrating and remembering him for who he was before the illness felt so right today. Being with the right people, seeing the kids move towards healing and finally starting the process of laying him to rest was all sad uplifting and humbling at the same time.
Sometimes I think I feel him. Today, by the river, I know he was there with us, watching over us and smiling. I took the moment in, breathing the cool fresh fall air deep into my lungs. I felt him there with us holding us up. I felt him smiling and could almost see his beautiful green eyes watching us each carefully.
I just wish I could’ve hugged him and wished him a happy birthday in person. We miss you Peter. Everyday.