Anniversaries. They are suppose to be full of happy memories. Suppose to be surrounded with the ones you love. Suppose to reminisce about the day it all began. My husband Marco and I are ‘celebrating’ our 15th anniversary today. We should be jumped on in bed by our two boys with kisses and homemade cards like the first 11 years. Yet this is the 4th year without Madox’s hugs and kisses; without a card he worked days making; without the feeling of completeness.

 

Our first anniversary without Madox was only 23 days after he died. We barely mustered a happy anniversary to each other. It was a hard day for us to comprehend. How can we celebrate our marriage and life without one of the reasons our life and marriage was complete? The second and third anniversaries we managed to buy cards and had a meal at home with Valin. Today we are finally ready to ‘celebrate’ it together at a restaurant with smiles and sharing fond memories about our life together.

 

This is not the case with many couples, sadly. After your life is ripped apart due to the death of a child, many couples drift apart. The strain on each other. The obvious way males and females grieve differently. The anger each person may have toward each other, even though it’s not the real reason they are angry. It is a hard road to travel at the best of times, but even harder for those marriages pulling at the seams. Marco and I have both been asked on more than one occasion “are you two going to stay married?” or my favourite “have you thought about divorce yet? I have a good lawyer that can get you everything you need”. WOW. Thanks for the support???

 

I’m not going to lie, we had some rough days. Really rough days. I shut down after Madox died, barely interacting with life. Marco returned to work too soon, making it difficult on him to grieve freely the way he needed. It was a tough first year, but we stayed connected. I know this will sound cheesy and cliché, but our love was strong before hell found us. We weren’t high school sweethearts but we have known each other since grade 7. Friends then, best friends now. We also worked hard to stay close, some days being harder than others. I’m not saying the marriages that didn’t make it was because they didn’t work hard, because I know they did. I just think it’s the connection and the trust you had before a disaster that gets you through the worst days of your life. That is where we are today. We have pulled ourselves out of the wreckage and trying to find a new normal life, together.

Happy Anniversary Marco. This may not be the life we dreamt of, whole and complete, but it is a life I am honoured to share with you.