I just realized today that B has been alive without her Daddy longer than she was alive with him. I have been a single parent longer than I was parenting with a partner. The realization was like a dagger in the heart. And simultaneously, it felt about right. I've worked hard for my sense of competence and independence in parenting, and B is certainly a very different child from when T was alive. As our lives continue to unfold, and we share new experiences, grow and change, we move further away from the wife and child that T knew. That part is OK. The part that hurts is that it feels like we move further away from T, too.
But we still talk about Daddy often, and read stories about grief and loss. B has several times now said, "I'm going to die when you die." What can I say to that? I know that it's just an expression of dawning awareness of what death really is, and how loss feels. I respond with, "Well, no one knows when they're going to die, but I think you'll probably live a lot longer than I will. And I don't plan to die until you're a grown up woman, maybe with children of your own. We'll be together for a very long time."
"I want a new Daddy," she said tonight. Yeah, I want you to have one, too.