Reality Check

It’s been over 10 years since I have been to a wedding. In fact, I have not been to a wedding since I lost my daughter Katie in 2004. However, for whatever reason, I have four of them that I will be attending over the next couple of months. A few weeks back I attended the first on the four that are on my schedule. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception location. I actually enjoy going to weddings because I am an outgoing person and I like to meet new people any chance I get. I believe everyone has a story to tell and I am intrigued to hear their story.

The wedding was going pretty good and I was enjoying a couple of cocktails when they announced the bride and grooms first dance. I didn’t think much of it until after the dance when they announced the father and daughter dance. It was about 15 seconds into the dance when I noticed the pride and love that this father had for his daughter. And it was about 2 seconds after that where I looked at my wife and said, “I’ll be outside.” She asked me where I going. I replied “I have to go, I can’t watch this.”

It hit me in that moment that I will never be able to have a father and daughter dance with Katie. Never. I will never be able to watch my son Noah start a family of his own. Never. I will never have grandchildren. Never.

Another never moment happened over the weekend. My wife and I were out running errands this past Saturday when we drove past a restaurant in our area. I noticed that there were about 10 teenage kids all dressed up with their dates. It was Homecoming weekend and these kids were out having a great time. I am sure they just left each of their family’s homes after taking a lot of photos. All of the things I did when I was a kid. My wife said, “It sucks we’ll never get to experience that with our kids.” I responded with “yes it does.”

The reality of the situation is I will never be able to see them do any of the things other children their age group get to do. I don’t think about these types of things often, but the reality of the moment happens in a split second and emotions follow closely behind.

What reality checks have you experienced lately?

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  • Philip

    After returning to work after my 19 yr. old son Bob died, I was in the work lunchroom. A co-workers son came in to talk to his dad. Seeing that father and son talking, very similar in their looks and gestures, just hit me like a sledgehammer. I was frozen, spirraling off to other times with my son. Alternatly enjoying their love for one another and yet knowing that I will never have such a moment ever again with my boy. It was one of many snapshots in time I have had since losing him.

  • Kirk Lee

    Its on a regular schedule for me. Seeing all of Ashlyns friends growing up some still keep her close and for some are letting her memory fade away. This in itself is a very sorrow felt rip it from your heart realization. Year 2 birthday party seems a bit harder to plan let alone the Angelversary. I start with what would se want to be for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas what she would she be doing is school. Then High School, College, Job, Her Mairriage and a family. All of which we will never get to see. In the “Tell your story ” section Ive noted several of these types of thoughts. Anyone can read these, I started around 10/21/12. Peace to all!

  • Applejack76

    I am 65 days into my abyss. I am also on chapter 3 of Kelly’s book. Cannot read too many pages at once. My reality check is almost everyday. My daughter passed away July 27th 2014. She was 966 days old. We placed her in her bed on the 26th and she had passed sometime early morning on the 27th. We still do not know what happen to her. My reality check came a week ago when i saw a little girl (around my daughters age) sitting on her dads lap at breakfast. She looked so much like my daughter. As i walked by, i just started crying because she looked at me and smiled. Today is another reality check. I started working. Just like Kelly says in his book… life around us goes on, but we feel our world has stopped rotating on its axis. Lunch is over… now i have exist amongst the living.

  • Sherri watson

    My daughter was married, at 19 yrs old to a wonderful young man on July 5 of this year. She was the youngest of our three, she is the only one who will get married and have children. I was hit with an emotion soooo fierce when my husband and my daughter danced the father daughter dance because I was on the sidelines, alone….my daughter danced over, took me in her embrace with my husband, and wiped my tears as we all three danced together….it was beautiful and awful at the same time.

  • My daughter, Jewel Bella, went home on February 1 of this year after being with us for 3 days. Today, 9/29, she would be 8 months old. So your post came on a day which I’ve already been having all of the “what would you look like today and how would you be acting today” questions. It’s really hard not to think about all of the 1st that we’ll never get to experience with her. Especially when many of my friends and family members also had their first children the months before and after Jewel’s birth. And prior to her birth, my wife and I subscribed to parenting magazines, sites, etc… and I thought I had unsubscribed for all of them. But just a few days ago I saw an email in my inbox… subject line: “approaching the 8 month”. I knew what this was right away and I couldn’t unsubscribe and delete it fast enough! That reminder sucked!

  • My son Alexander should have started kindergarten this year. But he didn’t. He died 3.5 years ago. I what he’d many friends post pictures of their kids going to kindergarten. Many with comments “sniff. My baby is growing up!!” It took a lot not to write “well at least your baby IS growing up and not dead!”