I Am Obligated.
As I type, watching my new baby and oldest daughter chow down on my homemade banana oatmeal waffles, I received a text from my husband, AJ. He sent a photo of my son with a harvested deer. When experiences like this come up, I can’t help but pat myself on the back. Not because I want to, because I would like to think of myself as a humble person, but because I reflect almost daily on my choice. My choice to continue life.
I never seriously contemplated suicide after my high school sweetheart, Kyle, was killed doing a job he loved. I did have serious thoughts about not wanting to be here anymore. I didn’t want to go on without him. I didn’t want to raise our children alone. I didn’t want to live with the pain and grief of losing him at the age of 32. I just didn’t want to deal. The first year was hell. So many sleepless nights, wondering how I am going to do this alone when I was so used to being in a partnership. I wondered about our babies growing up and all of the experiences they will no longer have, because they lost their Dad. I worried about them not having memories of him. They were a tender 4 and 10 months when he left this earth.
After my late husband was killed, I was flooded with people offering help and giving me hope that I would not have to go through life alone. They said they would be there for me for everything with the kids. This next sentence needs to be CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD. Those people that said, they would “be there for me”. I am expressing the utmost gratitude for that comfort. They knew, at that time in my life, I needed reassurance that someone would be there for the 3 of us. I needed to hear that I would not be alone. It was comforting, just not practical long term.
That first year, I had regular visitors, frequent texts, and help with many house-related maintenance issues. Although each person that came to my house was there out of love, I couldn’t help but feel guilt. Guilt that they are not with their families, wives, and children. They are away from them, helping us. What if something happens to them or one of their family members when they are here helping me? The guilt was overwhelming, so asking for help was HARD. When your husband is ripped away from you and your children, it is appreciated so much more when time is taken to help you, away from their own families. I will be FOREVER grateful.
Fast forward to the approaching 6 year Angelversary of losing Kyle, I am counting my blessing and am reminded by this photo that I made the right choice. Kyle would be proud of me for not giving up. Fighting for the future happiness of our children. Showing them that growing from something terrible, is an option.
Sarah Deatherage Steele
I am a Mom of 3, re-married widow, dental hygienist, fresh food snob, grief supporter for widows, and the creator of Comforting Keepsakes Sympathy Gifts. My husband, AJ and I hand make and finish every detail of our Memory Boxes, in our garage! I love my family and friends, second chances, exploring new places, and of course food!
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