A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
I’ve suddenly been hit by a kind of bereavement that I’ve never felt before.
I’m sort of grieving nothing.
I’m kind of grieving something that never existed.
I’m feeling a great sense of loss for someone I never met. For someone who was never created. Out of nowhere I’ve started to think about the second child we never had.
I’ve never been one for a rose tinted lens, so I’ll tell it how it was.
I wasn’t sure about having a second child at first. My wife had only just started to see her business become a success and I’d just taken a really big job, the role I’d worked towards my whole career.
“How would this work?” I asked. We already had our hands full and how could Desreen take time out of a business that had been running for only a short time? How would I balance my job with two children?
Desreen was not one for negative thinking or defeatist behaviour.
“That’s your problem.” she’d reply, “You’re so damn negative all the time and quite frankly I find it draining.”
We’d both laugh because we approached adult conversations like two children playing grown-ups.
“Fuck it then,” I’d say, “let’s just have one.”
“That’s more like it, Benji. I forgive you.”
We actually talked about it the afternoon of the day she was killed.
“Dessie, I know that this is really immature but since meeting Lucia (her best friend’s brand new daughter) last week, I really want another baby. It’d just be really nice to have some baby cuddles again.”
She smiled and laughed at how I’d be willing to throw away all my financial and professional reservations for the sake of a hug.
She had the rest planned. Holiday destination for the conception, date for the star sign, name and sex. It would all go her way because she’d read The Secret.
But The Secret didn’t deliver this time. It was keeping its secret to itself. It had other plans for my wife and the baby we’ll now never hold.
They say you can’t miss something you never had. Perhaps you can’t, but you can still feel a great sense of loss for never having it.