10 years later...Grief and the spouse my Father never met.
I expected that though. I could have told you when my Dad had only been dead a week that, should I have children, that would break my heart.
What I didn't know is how much it would break my heart for my Dad to never meet Sean. I thought the strongest feeling would be relief that I would never have to navigate the two beloved men in my life meeting. Sure, that was kind of true. Bringing Sean to meet my family was awkward. By the time they met him we were in love and committed on some level to one another! So if I had been introducing Sean to my Dad I would have had to figure out all of those dynamics.
It would have been wierd.
But now, now that I am so settled into my life with Sean. Now that I am loved so well 6 years in. Now that I am held with kindness, forgiven with grace, partnered in parenting, given dignity in arguments, and above all simply known and loved I know how much my Dad would have loved Sean.
He would have. I see how my Mom looks at him. And I imagine the eyes my Dad would have looked at him with as well.
I can imagine my Dad asking beautiful and curious questions about the work that Sean does.
He would ask about the hospital.
He would ask about students.
He would learn.
And he would let Sean be the teacher of something new. If my Dad was anything, he was a student of life.
This is why grief unfolds over time. How it changes. What was once a source of relief....phew I don't have to navigate this...is now a source of grief. Grief for the family that is my home now...who will never know the man who was my home then.