He wakes each day with the same emptiness in his heart that I feel, but you might not see it.
As he dresses to tackle another day of work or chores or life, his face is brave. Strong as steel.
He is filled with concern for those around him. Works tirelessly to make sure they have what they need.
When my tears flow freely, he allows them to come. With endless patience never telling me to move forward or past it.
He meets me right where I am and helps bring me back.
Oh, how I hope I do the same for him.
He became a father the same day I became a mother. We found our way together.
He became a grieving father the same day I became a grieving mother.
He received the news the same way I did. He went through the same shock. He asked all the same questions. Questions that remain unanswered.
He held her and he kissed her after she was born still. He helped me decide what to do next.
He has helped me decide every day since.
He helped me pray Barrett into this world. White knuckled and with fear every day until he was here and safe.
The way we grieve is very different. My grief is obvious and very raw.
His lives deeper inside. It’s harder to see unless you know what you are looking for.
He knows he won’t get to teach her to ride a bike, camp or catch fireflies.
He won’t have to pretend to be ok when she comes of age and trades in dolls and dress up for makeup and short skirts.
They won’t get dressed up to go to her a Father-Daughter Dance. He won’t get to fuss at a boy for bringing her home too late.
He won’t have to wipe away her tears after the first time her heart is broken.
He won’t get to walk her down the aisle and twirl her around the dance floor at her reception.
He sees the lifetime of scraped knees, little girl squeals, recitals, graduations, and family vacations.
If you didn’t look close enough, you wouldn’t think he was grieving at all.
You might mistake what you are seeing for a man who had “moved on”.
But you would be so wrong.
He is a father who grieves. And I am grateful as ever that he is the father to all three of my babies.
We love you.