Sending Notes To Heaven

You never think it could happen to me. We all know that teenagers have this tendency to indulge in risky behaviors because they don’t believe that the things that could happen will actually happen to them. And somehow we believe that we outgrow this mindset. And in some ways we do. We swap the risky behaviors for more responsible ones, but we still never think it will happen to us.

I was widowed at 29. Now I am raising a little girl who will never know her daddy. I am doing the best I can and some days I think I’m doing great, and other days I wonder if what I am doing is enough. It isn’t easy to be a widowed mom. The widowed mom is different from the single mom. The tasks are the same but our demons are different, the widow has an extra layer of complicated emotions and spends a lot of time on the brink of emotional meltdown. I’m not saying the single mom has it easier, we all face our own set of challenges. But I know that trying to be a mom and a widow and human, all at the same time, can feel defeating. It can feel impossible.

My daughter and I just celebrated her daddy’s 40th birthday. I wanted this day to be special and memorable for her, as memorable as something like that can be for a two year old. But how do we celebrate daddy’s birthday when she barely knows who daddy is? So I decided that she needed to do the other children do on their parents birthdays. She needed to give her daddy a birthday card. So we sat down with construction paper and made a Happy Birthday card to send to daddy in heaven. We got a bouquet of balloons and attached the card.

We released them in the park and watched them go. It was hard. And as soon as we released them my daughter had second thoughts (she is two and balloons hard to let go of). So I told her, “We can’t have them back. Now they are leaving us and they will take our birthday messages to heaven.” She was OK with that, but as soon as I said it I started to cry. In that moment, the imagery hit home. I was watching these balloons float away and I couldn’t get them back if I wanted to, if I tried. There was no way to bring these balloons back to us. And there is no way to bring Matt home.

I never thought that when he left the house he might not come home. I never thought I might have to raise our little girl without him. I never thought that there would ever come a time when I would use balloons to send my daughter’s construction paper birthday card to heaven. It wasn’t going to happen… and then it did.

So as I try to keep finding ways to keep my little girl’s daddy in her life, I want you to look around at your life and be grateful for all that you have. Because every day I look into my life and think about everything that I am grateful for. This beautiful little girl who calls me mommy. The man who so lovingly called me his wife. I know how he died, but I will never know why he died. Why him? I don’t need to know. I don’t want to know. The only thing that I need to know is that I had him, for a little while. And I have her. And everything else in my life may come and go, but I will always be grateful and I will always work hard to live a beautiful life. Because I had him.

So to my husband in heaven, Happy Birthday. We love you. We miss you. And I am so grateful for everything that I have in my life because I had you. You have given me everything. I love you so much more than you know. To the moon and back, forever and always.


Published by

Becky Nolan

I a widowed mom to my young daughter. I lost my husband suddenly at the age of 29, leaving me with a one year old child to raise on my own. I live in Connecticut, where I met, married, and lost the man that I am still proud to call my husband. Every day I struggle. Every day I learn. Every day I am grateful for the time I had with him, and for the little girl he gave me before he left. I have found comfort and healing in writing. I have found purpose in sharing my story, knowing that so many others have been through it, too. Knowing that everyone has experienced loss and struggle. Words can be healing when they come from that deeply honest place within the soul. Grief is too lonely a road to walk alone, so I aim to give comfort and company on that lonely road.

One thought on “Sending Notes To Heaven”

  1. My husband passed away suddenly exactly a year ago, on his way back from work, 1 week before birthday of our little one, 10 days before his … and I would never know why. I left job, moved far to be near his family and now am a stay home widow with 3 years old daughter. So I truly feel each and every word you wrote. So much pain and anger I am not able to let go yet but I am grateful to have his love til the end, to have our wonderful girl who gives me strength and so much love to go on each day. I also am grateful to have come across your beautiful blog. Thanks for opening your heart and helping us – mommy widows – putting our thoughts down, sharing and knowing out there could really understand how we feel. God bless you and your little one❣

    Liked by 1 person

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