Wednesday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. We’ve been together 7 years, but when we got married 4 years in, I remember people telling us the first year of marriage is the hardest. Then, two years later, after Sloan died, I read somewhere that an absurd amount of marriages do not survive child loss, most ending within the first year. It didn’t seem accurate to me, even at a time when our loss was so fresh and we were dealing with it so differently. I couldn’t fathom a world in which you, my husband, weren’t beside me through our trauma and pain, even if we were such polar opposites in the manifestation of our grieving.
You see, I get told a lot that I am the strong one, even by you. That I do so well holding myself, and those around me together through the tough stuff. To some extent maybe that’s true, but it’s not because I am strong. It’s because my grief and trauma is coped with by taking care of others. My grief is eased, by making sure you and Rowan are supported and given what you need physically and emotionally, to survive your own grief.
You and I are so alike, but such very different beings at the same time. We are alike in the ways we need to be, our humor, our morals, our goals for our family and what makes us happy. But we are different in ways that compliment each other. When our world seemed to cave in, when losing a child became our reality, we somehow subconsciously navigated what the other person needed.
I needed to get things done, to be busy, I needed to take care of, by way of responsibility. I needed to talk about my hurt, and open about the process of my grief. You needed quiet, you needed time and space so that you could focus on healing. You have needed to be handled with delicate reserve. It didn’t mean I was stronger, it didn’t mean you were weaker. It meant we needed what we needed and we graciously supported that for one another. We got stronger, together. We survived, together. We are okay, we are we. Together.
That first year, yeah maybe we had the odds stacked against us, but our second year had the potential to deconstruct every part of what made you and I “us”. Yet, here we are.
Happy 3rd anniversary my love