Til Death Do We Part

   I need to preface this post by saying that I normally wouldn’t discuss my husband or what he’s going through during this journey, but in light of our 10 year anniversary approaching this Thursday, I felt that it was appropriate to discuss how this journey can affect a marriage. 
    Nathen and I have basically grown up together. We’ve been together since high school and married for 10 years. We are by far a couple that has it figured out. A lot of people don’t understand us and how we work. We’re very much individuals in our marriage. To everyone else, I’m sure it appears that we live separate lives, but we really don’t. Every couple has to find what works for them and what works will change as the relationship does. 
   Losing a child changes and puts a stress on a marriage that is completely unexplainable to those that haven’t experienced it. In the beginning, especially immediately following our lose, I relied on him more than I had ever relied on anyone. He did it without hesitation. I already felt horrible about myself since at that time, I truly blamed myself for what happened. I started to feel bad about Nathen too. I was taking all of his energy, physical and emotional. I knew he was hurting too and I wanted more than anything to help him, but I barely had the capacity to care for myself.  I know he felt helpless. He’s always able to fix things that go wrong. He couldnt fix this. His could I fail my husband in such a big way? He had done so much for me through this. He took care of the decisions for Wyatt’s burial and did the obituary all by himself. He removed the baby seat from the car before I went home from the hospital and took down the bassinet when we got home. During Wyatt’s funeral, which was a Catholic mass, he knelt for me even though he isn’t Catholic only because he knew that I couldn’t. When I told him that he didn’t have to kneel, he said “I’m kneeling for you.” Seems simple to some, even trivial, but it is something that I’ll never forget. As time has gone on, we have our moments where we don’t talk and share like we should, but it doesn’t mean we care any less for each other. I think we both experience this grief so differently and in different ways. Neither of us want to burden the other. When it all finally comes out, there is this release because it is finally off our chest but then we realize that what has been racing in our minds and hearts were the same. 
   We still have a long road ahead of us, but I’m confident that we will be fine. In the short decade we’ve been married, we’ve survived me going college, finally getting a grown-up job, Nathen moving up in his career, buying a house, dealing with infertility, having our oldest child that is full throttle from sun up to sun down, burying a child, and now expecting our 3rd child. We have always said to each other “love you more.” It’s true; we do love each other more than we did before. 
  When you say wedding vows and get to the part “til death do we part,” we all assume we’re talking about one of us literally dying. That little phrase means so much more now. When part of your heart dies, do you part? When your child dies, do you part? I understand how the heartache of losing a child can implode a marriage. I’m just so grateful that our friendship and love for each other has held us together. 
With love- Heather 

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