Ugh, it’s gonna be one of those sappy, lovey-dovey posts. Yet another reason why I write happily ever afters. Prepare yourselves.
I’ve been married for 17 ½ years and it’s been pretty typical – ups and downs; mostly ups, which is certainly a bonus.
Anyway, fast-forward to the Worst Moment of Our Lives, which was March 15, 2016 (the suckiest year ever, by the way), when our son died. Over the course of the next few months, I heard, more than once, that the death of a child tends to increase the chance of divorce. This didn’t happen in my household (thank God). Interestingly enough, when I turned to handy-dandy Google, a quick bit of research showed that this particular urban legend wasn’t true. The divorce rate was not exasperated by the death of a child. In fact, the future of the marriage, after such a traumatic event, was pretty much a crap shoot.
Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other about statistics; I just don’t want my own marriage to fail. For any reason, but, frankly, especially for this one. Because I need someone to lean on, and while I have myriad of friends and family, they just aren’t…him.
My husband and I are different. Vastly so. He’s conservative, I’m not. He’s traditional, I’m not (except for Christmas traditions. I love Christmas traditions). When we got married, he was insistent I change my last name, while I was worried I would lose the identity I’d established over the previous twenty-six years (I changed the name and didn’t lose the identity, for the record).
Not surprisingly, we grieve differently, too. I am utterly emotional, a crying mess on a fairly regular occasion, whereas he likes to lock everything into a box and throw it to the bottom of the sea, and he gets really upset when those damn emotions surface… again.
And he has been my rock, in ways I could never imagine or expect (not that anyone remotely expects to lose a child). He not only lets me cry on his shoulder, he grabs me and sort of shoves my face into his shirt when I’m crying, which sounds weird but actually helps. He tells me all the time I’m not (insert whatever self-deprecating description) for feeling the way I do, even X number of months later (because some people think there’s a timeline on grief). He has never once questioned or criticized the way I have grieved. Am still grieving. Will probably always grieve.
Last week, we went to a funeral viewing for my cousin’s wife’s mother. We didn’t know her; we went to support my cousin and his wife. I grew up with my cousin, who is only a year older than me, and they have been married for 25 years, so she has been in my life for more than half of it. Plus, she’s a pretty cool person.
There were a lot of reasons my husband could have said he didn’t want to go, or at the very least, whined about going. He doesn’t know this side of my family particularly well; we don’t see them all that often, even though most live within an hour’s drive. We didn’t actually know the deceased. The funeral home was an hour away. Our daughter had basketball practice. It was the first day of his vacation. It was supposed to snow. The dog needed exercise. We’d just been through this and GAWD I wasn’t sure I was ready to step foot into a funeral home again.
You know what he did? Well, he didn’t question my decision to go. He arranged for his mother to get our daughter to basketball practice. He planned his day so he’d be ready to go at the time I suggested we leave, so we could get there, have enough time to mingle with the family and hug the bereaved, and get back with enough time to pick the kid up after practice. Not once did he complain or whine or bitch or even make any sort of remark about our relationship with these people we went out of our way to visit.
He dressed up, he listened to my directions to the funeral home, and he stood awkwardly in the background while I hugged and chatted with cousins and aunts and uncles I hadn’t seen in far too long, and he didn’t give me the stink eye or signal that he was ready to go, and he didn’t criticize a single thing about the day or the decision, even after we’d climbed back into our vehicle and headed to the school to scoop up the prodigy and grab a late dinner and head home to reality.
And because of all that, I think I fell a little more in love with my husband this day.
Holy crap, did I just write a sappy blog post about my husband?? I’m never gonna live this down…
PS – I don’t always write sappy blog posts. Check out my website for proof: http://tamilund.com/tamis-thoughts/