Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

I Recently Had a Birthday

Monday, July 9, 2012
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I recently had a birthday.  Not a “big” birthday, not a milestone birthday, or even an age divisible by 5.  Just another birthday.  

‘You’re such a baby!’  I heard this often as people found out how old I am (34, by the way).  I know that they didn’t mean any harm by it.  That they were literally commenting on my age.  Maybe it was a compliment.  Maybe I should feel flattered. But let’s be honest, I feel like anything but a baby.  Sometimes I feel a million years old.  It seems fitting that I get mail from AARP. 

I met Kevin during college.  Married him a few years after college.  Had our boys a few years after that.  Sometimes it feels like all of the good things in my life happened between the ages of 20-30.  Like that was meant to be the best time of my life.

And this year, specifically, it seemed that person after person would say, ‘Oh, you’re just a baby!’  I smiled.  Appeased them.  Tried to explain that age is really about experiences rather than just the number of years lived.   Eventually I stopped saying anything at all. 

To me, calling someone a baby infers a lack of experience and knowledge.  It infers weakness… sort of a ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet, kid’ kind of thing. 

I watched my husband collapse to the ground.  I watched my father try to revive him.  I sat there while they “worked on him.”  I watched them try to force life back into him.  I cried when they told me that there was nothing they could do.  I had to tell my children that their father was dead.  I picked out his casket.  I picked out his headstone.  I gave his eulogy.  I said goodbye.  And since then I have lived a life without him.  I have raised our children, taken care of our home, paid our bills, tried to make a life for us – a decent life.  And I still have a whole life ahead of me.  A whole life without Kev.

I know that I am young.  Definitely too young to be a widow. 

But a baby?  I don’t think so. 






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