I was walking into my son’s room to see how his day was going. He is a young strapping seventeen and half-year-old old boy. He was getting ready for work when I walked in but the person that I thought I saw was not my son but his father. I for a split second I thought I was looking at a ghost. I had to catch my breath from the slight shock I had put myself into.
I told my son that he looked exactly like his father when he was dressed to work at the potato factory in Rexburg, Idaho. He smiled and went on getting ready. My son’s hair curled up around the brim of the hat like his father’s hair did, that is what I noticed first when I walked in. Then the side profile of the head. He also has high cheekbones and square jawline like his father. His smile is a perfect replica of his fathers as well. He is his father’s son.
I know that he looks exactly like his father but I still get taken back by his mannerisms and well, style, that are exactly like a man he never new. My first husband took his life when my son was a year and a half. When I see my son as a teenage boy, he reminds me of the boy I fell in love with as a child. Yes, I was a child. Sweet 16.
I think what has been keeping me going the most is know that his father is still here, in spirit. When he first passed away I would have dreams about him. I had just purchased a new house to raise my son in a stable environment. I had a dream shortly moving in that my son’s father had knocked at the door. I went the big wooden door, opened it, and he was stand inside the black screen door. I offered to have him come in but he refused. It was like he was saying I’m here but I’m not going to be apart of your new life.
I thought by now that my grief would be over. I’m happily married for almost 14 years but when I see my beautiful son it hard not to be knocked back down to tears of “what would have been, if…”. I know this is “living in the past” stuff but this is what grief does to us sometimes. That acceptance stage sometimes gets broken and it needs to be reattached.
Through the years, I have prayed to him for help. Raising a boy can be hard especially when they are closed off. I could feel his spirit calm me and reassure me that our son would be okay. That is what has kept me sane these sixteen years. This ghost that has become more visible in my son has been helping me raise this amazing kid.
After writing this story, I have been able to reach inside of me a part that I was afraid to expose. Would it bother my family that I still have endearing feelings for a man that has passed away? I’m sure they don’t think anything bad of it. So, it makes me think of how many other people that have had spouses (or significant others) pass or leave with which we still hold feelings or space for and feel weird or “bad” for it.
Is this why the grief is still coming back? Is this why we have not completely healed because of the lingering guilt of loving someone? I don’t want to stop loving someone that gave me a beautiful son and his amazing family. I want to keep honoring him by letting people know that he is with me still – in spirit – and I know that he loves me and his son as well.
What have you noticed or experienced with your children? Do you see the similarities between your loved one and your kids? Do you feel your loved one you talk to them through prayer? What have you noticed or witnessed since the passing that has made you feel comforted?