Child: good thing to be left with after death of spouse, or just another gut-wrenching reminder of what is lost?
Well, actually, both. But I hadn’t paused to consider it much until yesterday when I went walking with a widowed friend of mine and the question came up.
She lost her husband 25 years ago in a car accident. They’d been married less than a year and had no children.
“I wished we’d had a child, so I had something left of him,” she told me. “If your husband has to be taken from you, a child is the greatest gift they can leave.”
Which of course is true, right? An admission of anything else would be akin to child abuse and would cause any sane (or possibly non-bereaved person) to balk into their cornflakes.
But here’s the thing; I have been feeling a bit miffed with Mark of late. For leaving me with all this pain, and to cope as a single parent to boot. As a child of divorcees, unilateral parenting was not what I wanted for my daughter. Mark and I had created a happy household for god’s sake! Why did He have to go and break it up?
Totally irrational, I know, but there it is. Grief’s such a bitch, it makes you start resenting someone who had no choice in the matter of their death.
And whilst I love my daughter more than anything in the world, she does pose a problem. She looks like Him. She asks questions about Him. She reminds me every day that I am a lone parent and that He has gone.
She is indeed a gift. But one I wish we could have shared.