To everyone out there worried about letting go, how or if they will be remembered, whether a new spouse or stepparent will “replace” you… this is 20 years later: from a spouse and a child who was 20 months old when she lost her daddy:
Attached are some pictures of the deathiversary tradition we did with the balloons. I am trying to change the tradition. When I did it I wasn’t aware of the environmental issues. But my kids have been so attached to the tradition that they continue to do it and I don’t have the heart to stop them. His father raised the issue this year and I said this might be a good year to make it the last year we do balloons and think about a different tradition that is more environmentally friendly.
Regardless, I want you to know, and feel free to share, that even 20 years later… you are never forgotten if you are in someone’s heart, like you are in so many, even beyond your immediate family. He has been more remembered this year than any other year I think. Other than the first maybe.
We had a table set up for him with his picture with Ashley at her wedding.
The girls have necklaces with some of his ashes that they were at special events he should’ve been present for.
I was grateful there was an empty seat where my sister didn’t show up for my daughters graduation, and while I was disappointed that my sister disappointed her, I was able to place flowers in that chair and it represented his absence.
When I die, I want part of my ashes buried with the remainder of his that I have in a safe in a small medicine bottle in case anyone loses their own ashes or necklace, so it’s not forever lost and they can get another one.
I’m certain he will be part of their every special day, all the way to their own funerals.
Please know you are never, ever forgotten, even if a stepmom comes in one day to give them a small portion of additional love (because it can’t ever replace you… it can only add).
I even recently shared with someone who is married to a man who lost his wife, and she told me about how she gave the kids a gift recently that honored their late spouse and mom.
I teared up over that. And I thanked her. And I told her she probably has no idea what that means to them. Because I know what it means to me when Kennedy’s stepmother thinks of me. That means she will keep me even more alive than I would be even if she didn’t acknowledge me at all.
I picked Kennedy up yesterday. She came with a picture her stepmom’s mother sent for me.
Anyway, I wanted you to know a lot of this stuff. Having been on both ends as the surviving parent and now the parent unlikely to survive, I know this issue from both sides. So I thought I would share this side with you, on the other side. Knowing how much Josh has a life in Madison’s life makes me feel more secure that I will not be forgotten when I’m gone. ❤️🙏🏽❤️