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  • hwilliams0707

They cry because he’s gone. I cry for what he wasn’t.

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

The kids were in the mood to listen to certain songs tonight to help them feel the sadness they need to feel about their daddy passing away last month.

Judah picked, “When We Fall Apart,” by Ryan Stevenson. It says, “It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to fall apart…” He cried.

Someone else picked, “My Little Girl,” by Tim McGraw. Judah said that Hosanna would probably cry. Her dad played that one for her a few times in the last two years. She didn’t cry this time until after the song.

It’s a different kind of hard for me than it is for them. I see these dads looking so involved and caring in the music videos. It hurts so badly that he missed so much by choice. Why weren’t my kids important then? Why didn’t he hold them and tell them how important they are? Why didn’t he tell Hosanna how beautiful she is?! It hurts for what he wasn’t. He was most especially absent when Hosanna was born. He barely looked at her, wouldn’t hold her. A few times, I just set her on him, I guess to try to force that bonding. He went into escape mode and fell straight to sleep like he could do. It’s not fair! He missed so much. But it’s his loss. Would he have been any different knowing he only had until age 34?

I guess he got what he wanted. He said he prayed to die. He told friends that he just wanted to check out. He even got to get paid for not working, like he wanted, during the last year and a half. He always seemed to get his way. And he always seemed to still be miserable. Now he’s gone.

The way we say, “pass away,” makes it sound like our lives just get wiped away like crumbs off the table, like a dried-up leaf blowing by, never to be noticed again, as if it were never there.

Next, Ezekiel picked a song that popped up after “My Little Girl.” It was, “Prettiest Girl in the World” by Logan Mize. It was sweet. Dads loving their little girls. Some of us kept saying, “Aw,” and “cute,” at the little girls shown. Samuel, age 4, sat and watched the whole music video quietly. When it ended, he said, “There’s prettier girls.” Comic relief. Everyone laughed!

Zechariah picked, “Say You Won’t Let Go,” by James Arthur. I feel annoyed at the ideas spoken of—being helpful with the kids, showing acts of love to his spouse… because I didn’t get that (it was very very rare). It’s a pretty song, though. And it’s sweet.

I let the last one be “Hold you Tight” by Dan Bremnes, Emmanuel’s favorite song. “...Don’t you worry tonight; I will hold you. Don’t you worry, my child; I’ll stay by your side. In the middle of it, in the middle of it, I will hold you, hold you, hold you tight…”

I’m the one left here holding them while they cry. Does he know what he’s missing… Does the last year and a half of pretending he’s the active dad count? I’m sure it does to the kids. They have something to remember. They have only the slightest idea of the pain I was feeling all along that me and my kids would never be important enough to come first.

Nevertheless, I feel the scars in my heart becoming healed. I wrote in December in my journal: "I am healed to the point that love songs don't bother me anymore." I think I am over what he wasn't to me. But I don't think I am over yet what he wasn't to the kids. How could he not see how awesome they are? And then start using them as pawns during the separation, pretending he is so involved. It's tragic.

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Clayton Thornton
Clayton Thornton
Sep 27, 2023

I’m so happy for you. The only way from here is up. What branch of the military did he serve in?

Sep 27, 2023
Replying to

Air Force - National Guard. We were in together.


Amee Fulford
Amee Fulford
Aug 02, 2023

This is heartfelt and tragically beautiful. God is their heavenly Father, and yours. He is holding you ALL in His loving arms.

I'm sorry for what your husband wasn't. The way you write is beautiful, so anointed. Keep writing. It's healing for you, as I'm sure it's healing for others.

Someday maybe your children will be able to read these and find healing in the writings for themselves as well.

You are a wonderful mother.

I treasure your friendship.


Jul 14, 2023

Heather, I hope this comment gets to be seen by you. I do hope the kids have enough good memories that they won’t be crushed later when they are old enough to reflect on things. However, I was encouraged by the thought that you are beginning to heal and move forward. I truly want that for you. You have a gift for writing, Heather. It just thrills me to see you doing this. I’m sure it will be cathartic for you. ❤️

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