What would life be like if Daddy didn’t die?
My daughter asked me this a short time ago. My response was that I don’t like to think about that. Because I don’t.
She came back to me recently and told me she discussed this with her therapist and he believes I should answer that question because it is important to her.
So I took a deep breath and I tried.
If Daddy didn’t die….
- Well, we would still be married (I would hope)
- You would still be gay (of course)
- You may have started off in the city at a fashion school instead of your horrible first college experience and then transferring (I like to think he would have convinced her to do that but I tried and I couldn’t. She was pretty stubborn)
- Your sister might not have Crohn’s (I believe her stomach problems have been caused by stress and his death obviously led to stress in her life)
- Our house would be more “done” and we may have the pool we always wanted. (I did not have the money to do what I would have liked after he was gone)
- We would not have our dog (this one I am sure of – he did not like dogs)
That was all I could come up with.
But even those I am not 100% positive about. I don’t have a crystal ball. Anything could have happened if he had lived. Every single step we all took, and every word we said, was different than it would have been from the moment he passed away.
Life may have been absolutely fabulous. My husband was a criminal defense attorney. Maybe he would have won a huge case and received tons of publicity and become rich and famous. Forget finishing our house – we would have moved to a mansion and we would lounge by our pool all day eating caviar (I don’t even like caviar). Not likely but you never know.
Or, life would suck in a different way. It’s possible that I could have been in a car accident on my way to meet him somewhere and I would be the one not here right now. Also not likely but there is no way of knowing.
The only thing I am sure of is that my girls would have their father.
They would have tons more memories of him than they do. This is why I hate to think about “what if?”. Because that question makes me realize how much we have all missed, especially them. And that still makes me so sad.
I responded to her question because she asked me to, and I would do anything in the world to lessen her and her sister’s pain, even the slightest bit. Also because her therapist thought it was important. Personally, I do not see the reason for this exercise. As much as I would like it to, it does not change anything.
What I do know is that my girls are thriving through the worst adversity they could have had. They are strong and brave, both in spite of, and because of, what happened. I could not ask for better daughters and I am so proud of them.
What if he hadn’t died? He would be just as proud as I am. And I know somewhere he is.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.
Another great one Stace! I love your honesty and openness. I always think about the what ifs….and you are right, we can’t. We cant turn back time- we can only learn from the past and move on. What I learned from my loss, was embrace life ( I know I said I do the what ifs…but I also embrace life.) I find th he loss has softened me a lot .