Faith · grief · Uncategorized

A Year Ago Today Was the Last Day I Saw My Son-in-Law

Grief as a mother-in-law is complicated. I wept for the son-in-law that I loved like a son. I wept for my daughter who lost her soul mate. I wept for my three grandbabies that lost the best daddy in the world.

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Grief as a Mother-in-Law

January 10th, 2019.

It was a typical cold, January day; an ordinary Thursday. Barn chores, dog walks, dinner prep. Swim class for one of my grandchildren.

It was also the last day I saw my son in law, Marcus, alive.

With three children 5 and under, His wife (my daughter) Nicole was finding it impossible to be in three places at once. Putting on my “Mimi” hat, I offered to bring Scarlett to swim class.

Part way through class, her father, Marcus arrived to watch the class and then take her out for her weekly McDonalds shake. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Scarlett finished her class, I helped her dry off and put her winter clothes on to go on her “daddy date”.

As they left, Marcus turned to me and said “I love you Mimi”.

“I love you too!” I replied. And that was it.

Five days later, January 15, 2019, Marcus was in the loving arms of our Savior.

My rose colored glasses shattered forever.

Grief as a mother-in-law is complicated. I wept for the son-in-law that I loved like a son. I wept for my daughter who lost her soul mate. I wept for my three grandbabies that lost the best daddy in the world.

I cried because Marcus will never walk his daughters down the aisle on their wedding day. He’ll never teach his children to drive a car. He won’t be there for their first date, their first break up. Sporting events, school plays & graduations.

Nicole won’t have a husband to share all the daily joys and sorrows with. She lost the most wonderful life partner. I lost a son-in-law that most parents can only dream of. As her mom, this may be the most painful part of the story. To watch her struggle with her loss without being able to make it better. I’m a “fixer” by nature but I couldn’t “fix” this.

One year later, I still weep. I questioned God. I questioned life. I questioned myself. Grief does not leave us. It changes us. It allows us to empathize with others in a way that would never be possible without such a tragic loss.

I’ve also seen the goodness of God.

I’ve seen how our family has come together in an unbreakable bond. I’ve watched her siblings wrap Nicole and her children in so much love it is beyond words. I’ve seen lives changed and souls saved through this tragedy.

I’ve found out who is truly by my side and have appreciated EVERY text, call and message “just checking in on me”.

Some days I am strong. Some days I am weak. But each morning I wake, and I choose joy. I’ll admit some days I DO question God but my trust is still in his plan. I tell myself that’s it’s OK if I’m not OK.

Quoting from Marcus’ favorite song by For King & Country:

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of night
Oh, with You by my side, I’m stepping into the light
I choose joy

As we arrive at the one year anniversary of Marcus’s departure from us, I reflect on our very last words and that brings me so much joy. What an amazing memory and awesome way to say goodbye!

I love you, too, Marcus. Very much.

See my reflections from after Marcus passed here.

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