Lurking in my heart is a truth that I don’t want.
Lately the burden seems heavier than normal as I watch my girls with my new husband and the man they have deemed “Dad.” When he interacts with them and I see the joy light up their faces, it’s bittersweet. When they call down the hall for one more bed time hug from “Dad.” I smile and want to cry.
Every day that passes is closer to when they will want to know the truth that I have carefully hidden from them. They will know that Dan chose death over fatherhood.
For now all they know is that Dan was sick inside his mind and that he is dead. They have never heard the term “suicide” and in their innocence I don’t think they could even fathom what it means. Yet, with the same persistence children have towards “Why is the sky blue,” or “why do dogs have fur.” They are going to inevitably want to know more about his death. All the “Whys” “Hows” and “What Ifs”
I have carried and battled all the feelings by myself while the children remain safe within their beliefs that Dan didn’t want to go and that they were loved. As they get older, the time will come that they will feel as I do. They will struggle with the unanswered questions, wrestle with self esteem when it feels that they weren’t enough to live for and battle the darkness of what suicide actually is.
The burden of the truth is a heavy reminder every day. Knowing that I will have to share information that will break their hearts one day. The truth that will be delivered from my lips to the three little girls I have done everything to guard from pain.
For now I try to watch them soaking in the love of a “Dad.” Gazing at them nestled against someone who makes them feel precious. Listening as every time they say “I love you” it is returned with more love and kisses. Hoping that it will be enough to shield them from the pain that will come. Praying that this acceptance that they have found will protect their hearts from the rejection that will lurk in their minds. Hoping that they can remember the good memories to overcome the bad.