I miss my love every single day. But it is on these anniversaries that his absence is that much more pronounced – the birthdays, the holidays and our family’s significant moments.
When you lose someone who is such a vital piece of your heart, their spirit remains and continues to exist. For me and the kids this has taken the form of “would have…”
Daddy would have been so proud…
Daddy would have loved this trip…
Brandon would have taken care of this…
Here’s the tough part about four years later though – the “would haves” have changed from certainty to assumptions and from assumptions to guesses.
After Brandon passed away I could easily state what he would have said and what he would have done in regards to everyday life. After all, we had discussed, debated and made all these decisions together. I was 100% certain of the paths he would have chosen.
That certainty however, diminishes over time – as the kids get older and as I get older…because Brandon does not get older.
I absolutely know some things, based on his solid character and the man he was – our relationship and his family were always the priority, he loved every single day and he would do anything if it meant helping someone else. These certainties do not waiver, not for a second.
But now there are things that are beyond the time we had together. I do not know the 38 year-old Brandon, the details of the man who would have been the 38 year-old Brandon…
…the husband of 8 years, the father of a five year old son and seven year old daughter.
What job would he have?
Would we still be living in this house?
Would he be coaching Koby in hockey? Would Koby be playing hockey?
Would he be recording Dana’s play? Would he want Dana to be in competitive gymnastics?
Would we be away for his birthday? The whole family? Just the two of us?
What would he say about my job change?
What advice would he have for our friends?
And so each year becomes more difficult because the family continues to evolve without Brandon.
We are growing and changing and moving forward. I hate that Brandon is not a part of it, that he is not here (physically) to relish in every moment. I hate that I am not certain about what he would do in today’s circumstances. We were such a team in all we did that to have lost him is to have lost half of my soul. To lose the certainty of what he “would have” leaves me feeling lonely and vulnerable and so so sad.
In our new family reality, I also know that if Brandon were able to, he would encourage me to find love again, he would want the children to smile as often as possible and he would hope that everyone think of him as living each day to the fullest.
So we exist, persist and blossom. We remember Brandon in all that we do. We talk about who he was and we guess as to what daddy would be doing now.
In this way we keep him alive with us as our family changes and as the years pass by. Time does heal, but it also continues to scar in ways I never expected. In the same vein, we are stronger and more resilient than I ever expected.
Brandon – In all this emotion I most certainly do know – you would have loved it all and you would have been so proud.
We miss you every day and so much today on your birthday my love.
Taly Fleischer lives in Toronto with her two wonderful children. During Brandon’s fight with cancer, Taly wrote a blog that is now being used as part of nurse training at Princess Margaret Hospital – www.cancerfairytale.com .