As wonderful as special occasions can be, I still find them hard.
For some reason, I can head to work each day without incident. When Lisa died, we stopped eating dinner at the table and moved to the bar in the kitchen. Ironically, I was the one who insisted on the table. I think I like the Leave It To Beaver image of a man, me, sitting at the head looking out on all that I had – my kingdom – beautiful wife, three charming daughters and a nice backyard with very green grass. Stools at the bar seemed to solve my emotional food disorder; even sleeping in that bed alone has become comfortable to me.
But toss in a high school graduation, a wedding or a funeral and I resort back. Not necessarily to her death. I harken back to what should have been. She should have helped address the graduation announcement invitations. She should have OK’d the white dress. She should have read over DJ’s last speech to the school as Student Body President. She should have been behind the camera lens, at the Apple Store picking out her college computer; there when grandpa gave her his old MINI Cooper – her character building Subaru in the junk yard.
As my beautiful senior walked down the brick pathway through the Grove at St. Mary’s School, I leaned over to my sister-in-law, “I feel like I need to be watching for both of us; like I need to be Lisa’s eyes too.”
It’s unfair to me to have to carry the emotional insecurity of sending my kid off into this big world alone. It’s unfair to Lisa not to see her daughter soar. She’s missing the tough parts and the glorious.
And I get it all.