Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Tell Me About My Daddy

Sunday, September 18, 2016
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Tell Me About My Daddy….


My twins are now 18 months old and starting to say their first words. One of my daughter’s first words was, appropriately, “shoes”. It still makes my heart squeeze to hear them both say “Mama” in their angelic, teeny tiny baby voices. Each squeeze is a bittersweet feeling, though; they would also be saying “Dadda” if Chris were here.


The more they show an understanding of the world around them, the more I think about how I am going to tell them about their Daddy. At times it feels like an overwhelming task. You can only raise your children once. What if I do something wrong? On top of all of the other parental worries that stream through your mind, I worry that I won’t talk about their Dad enough. Did I point at his picture today and say, “that’s your Daddy”? How will they ever truly know who he was?


I have to come to terms with the fact that they will never truly know him the way I was blessed to know him. He will always be a picture, a character only known through stories. It’s so heartbreaking, but I know it is our reality.


Before the kids were born I secured email addresses for them once we had decided what their names would be. I had hopes of us writing to them in anticipation of their birth. After Chris died, I looked in his email drafts to see if maybe he had started a letter to them; A tiny piece of his voice, written just to them, letting them know how much he already loved them. An empty draft box stared woefully back at me.


He never had the chance to write to them, but the rest of us can fill in the best we can. I will depend on everyone who loved him to help me keep his memory alive. I encourage friends and family to write an email to them whenever they think of a fun story about Chris, or just to express how much they are loved. I check the email account on occasion to make sure it’s still active, but for the most part I don’t read the stories or emails yet. I want it to be something I can experience together with the kids when the time is right.


Words like “shoes”, “cheese” and “up” will soon be replaced with full phrases. They will understand what a Daddy is and will most certainly ask, “Who is MY Daddy?” Their Daddy is in everyone who ever loved him. Their Daddy is in every memory that will be shared at family gatherings. He may only be seen in pictures but I will make sure that he will always be felt. 

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