A happy family of three lived together in a quaint little house in the country. The father, Paul, met his wife, Sandra in high school, and they remained together in blissful love until they got married and had their daughter, Lilah. They had a few months of serenity, living in a baby bubble of love.
This story, which was inspired by the readers of AmoMama, is about a man named Paul and his wife, Sandra. She had an online business where she sold her handcrafted goods. She often had to make personal deliveries for those who bought her items in close proximity to their home. One evening, she was driving back later than usual, Paul had made her send her live location so he could track her as she drove – to be safe.
Paul was waiting for Sandra to come home that night. He was pretty exhausted from his hard day at work on the farm nearby, where he managed the farmworkers. Paul dozed off for a while but woke up with a fight when his phone rang, breaking the night’s silence. He answered a little bewildered, only to hear a voice on the other end telling him his wife’s car had been found on the side of the road. A car crash had happened and her car exploded. Sandra was not coming home.
The grief that Paul had to face was unlike anything he had endured before. He was now a single father, who was left to raise his baby girl alone. Lilah would cry every night, wanting her mother’s arms to hold her, not knowing what had happened because she was too young to understand. This exhausted Paul, but it was a great distraction from his grief.
Their life had to change in many ways. Paul still needed to be able to work every day, so he ended up having to hire a nanny because his work hours took up a large portion of each day. Paul regretted having to do this, but he did not have much of a choice. What he regretted the most was that his daughter would only recognize her mother from the pictures he stuck on the wall next to her bed.
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A Healing Period
Grief is not a linear fashion type of healing. It comes in waves, and there are many reminders. Every time you go out in public, there are triggers waiting to trip you and send you back into the mournful pain you felt when the tragedy first happened. Paul struggled for three years before he felt comfortable enough in public to not mention her name one million times, or feel that heart-wrenching dip in the gut every time someone else spoke her name. There were some seriously rough times when Paul thought he might not make it through the void of his mourning.
He and Lilah had gotten to know each other inside and out by now, and Paul never missed an opportunity to tell his daughter funny stories of her mother’s life. She would listen intently, with big eyes, lapping in all the details.
A Family Holiday
Before she passed, Sandra and Paul had discussed their plans to take Lilah on many holidays. They wanted to build a life filled with fun memories for her, and raise her to be excited to travel. Three years after his wife’s death, Paul realized they had never gone on a vacation. He went to his daughter and asked her if she would like to go on an adventure. Lilah looked at him with sparkling eyes. She was born ready for this – she was her mother’s daughter after all.
Paul decided to take them to the seaside, as Lilah had only seen the sea in pictures and movies. He booked a small but beautiful little self-catering cottage on the seafront. Lilah had never seemed so happy. She laughed endlessly, and Paul could not help but to join in.
The two would play all morning on the beach, building sandcastles and jumping over waves. They would go into town for lunch each day, trying out different flavors of milkshakes.
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