I Never Thought My Child’s Birthday Would Be So Hard – And Then I Was Widowed

As I lay here tonight on my lonely bed, I can’t help but think about where I am now. The holidays have come and gone and the new year has begun, but where am I? It’s a brand new year, another of many that my husband, Matt, will never see, and I wish I could muster excitement for the things this new year will bring. But it is just so hard. My nearly three year old daughter has been so excited for her birthday party since we mailed out the invitations, but I am realizing that the only thing I have done for this party is mail out invitations! I still need to clean my entire house, which has apparently been hit by one of those domestic indoor tornadoes that only seem to happen in houses like mine. And then I have to do things like PLAN for her birthday party. I have no idea how I will pull this off, I’m only one person. But then again, I am a widowed mom of a very young child… and I’m pretty sure that makes me SuperMom – I just wish I felt more like SuperMom and less like the struggling single mom who can never seem to get it together.

I feel like I am sandwiched between two places. Behind me are the holidays which I barely made it through, and ahead of me comes my daughter’s third birthday, the second of which I will celebrate without her daddy, followed by the second anniversary of his death. Part of me wants to stand still in time. Right here, right where I am. Because this middle ground that I stand in now is safe. I have cleared one battle field, but ahead of me lies another. It is not as though I am not excited for my daughter’s birthday, I am, but it is so painful to celebrate that day without him. He should be here with his little girl. Watching her grow up. Watching her become this sweet little princess that she is to me. The day she was born was the best day of both of our lives. It was the day we brought something into this world that was made from our love. And when I look at her, I know why she is here. She is here because my husband and I fell in love. That love is why she is here. And I am so, so grateful for that! But I am also so, so broken hearted to be doing this alone… without him. I hate that he isn’t here with us. I know it’s been nearly two years now, but we are still a family of three. It’s just that one of us isn’t here anymore.

So now, here I am, a widowed mommy raising an only child. This was never the plan. Where is my white picket fence and my two and a half kids? And where is Matt? I would do anything to have OUR future back, but that future will never happen. One thing that I have learned is that I don’t have control over very many things. I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control how I handle myself when things do happen. I did not choose to be a widowed mother to an only child. Life has been unfair and cruel, but apparently, life can be that way.

I was widowed at 29… I never would have thought this could be my life! I never thought this would happen to me, but it did. I can’t control my circumstances, I have no control over the fact that my husband died or that my daughter will never know him.

I’m realizing that I’m not sandwiched between two very hard places in my life. Instead, I’m simply in a “safe zone”. I put up my defenses around the holidays and closed myself off. I put my baggage in the closet and locked it all away just to survive the holidays. It was just too hard. So now I find myself sitting in front of that closet trying to get up the courage to open the door. I need to take it all out again, sort through the baggage, and process it. I need to take out my pain and sit inside of it, let it envelop me, lean into it. My daughter’s birthday is coming up fast and I need to process. I do not want to be walled off from my most vulnerable pieces, from myself, when that day comes around… because I need to find him on that day. On our daughter’s birthday. 


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.

3 thoughts on “I Never Thought My Child’s Birthday Would Be So Hard – And Then I Was Widowed”

  1. Beautifully said. I feel the same way. I am a mom of 2 (sooner to be 4 and 8) coming up on my husband being missed for 1 year. I am a stay at home mom and have no idea where I go from here. What or who I will become. How I will support my kids after SSA stops. Everyone loves to comment how they ate so impressed with how I get up each day. What choice do I have?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel this exact same way. My husband passed away 6 months ago. I feel so lost and so robbed from a future that will now never happen…on top of everything, cruel in laws who have taken advantage of my grief and vulnerability. If my Chris were here, NONE of this pain would be happening, but I can only hope to see him again someday. That someday seems like will never come because I’m barely 32…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Today marks 6mo. Thought I wasn’t going to make it last week. I snapped, then I heard the words I promised my husband as he lay there dying. “I will make you proud.” Time to hit the reset button and do something with my Life. I need a new normal. My Love to all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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