Friday, June 25, 2010

A First, the Middle and Endings

A First

This was my first Father’s day since Jen died. It was a tough day but also a good day. My girls made me breakfast in bed…with a little help of course, but they were so damn excited to bring me breakfast in bed. It was very cool and the day started off good.

We went to a park out here in the Burgh where we have been going for the past 10 years. I had to think for a minute because it’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since we started going to the same park. So much has changed over the course of 10 years. We always go to the same pavilion at the park, it’s sort of off the beaten path and not real obvious to find.

When we arrived at the pavilion spot we had two surprises – first the pavilion was gone and second, people were already setup in the spot where it used to be. It only seemed kind of fitting to go to a different pavilion and have our picnic somewhere new.

The Middle

The “middle” is what it is…meaning no one ever gets to excited about the middle right? When something is new there is the all this excitement or anticipation. When something ends there is more of the same…sometimes it’s a sigh of relief, or maybe it’s a sadness to see it end…but the middle things just seem to keep chugging along. That is sort of how I feel…I’m chugging along in the middle.

I have some tough dates coming up in the next couple of months. Birthday’s for all three of us (both girls and myself), the Fourth of July, our wedding anniversary and of course the one year mark of Jen’s passing. It’s going to be a tough summer.

In many ways I wish I had a Delorean and Flux Capacitor or at least a Fast Forward button, but I don’t. Instead I will put on smiley face for my girls benefit and press on because that’s what you do when you’re in the middle…you keep pressing…chugging along.


This past Tuesday was the last Caring Place group session. I have to say that I will truly miss going there. It was good for the girls but it was also good for me…in many ways. The Caring Place starts back up again in the Fall and what’s cool is that at least one group session will be for families who have already gone through a group and want to come back.

Those coming back are placed in a group where only families who have already been through the program and no first-timers. Bottom line is that the girls have already made it very clear that they would like to go back and I totally agree.

They had a ceremony at the end of the night and their wasn’t a dry eye in the place. They handed out a little memorial plaque with the Caring Place logo (a broken heart with a butterfly at the top) to all the families to take home. When they asked the kids why the logo is what it is a couple of kids answered with some random stuff…then Abbie raised her hand and said “the heart is broken because that’s what happens when someone dies. The butterfly is there as a symbol of hope and that someday your heart will mend”. I just lost it when she said that…I’m tearing up now just typing it. All the adults started tearing up…Abbie leans over to me and puts her head on my shoulder and said “sorry Dad, I didn’t mean to make you upset”…then I started laughing and told her I wasn’t upset…I was happy…was a nice moment.

I would have never thought that after the first visit I would miss it. This is not a commercial for the Caring Place but I would very much recommend it for anyone who loses a family member. The volunteers are awesome and it does do a lot of good. So maybe it’s not an official “ending” since we will be going back, but it’s an ending for now.

1 comment:

  1. I teared up reading your description of the Caring Place - and your little one's description of why the heart is broken and the butterfly is there is just so heartbreaking and sweet and hopeful - though now it probably just seems so sad to you that she has to go through this. Have a good week - look forward to some good times this summer and, of course, prepare for these difficult anniversaries. The first year is so hard, isn't it? Trust me, though - the new traditions you create in coming years will begin to feel the norm and you will finally be able to revisit all those lovely memories of your wife without so much pain.


Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...