Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Remarrying after the death of my wife, Part I: The impact on my daughter

In the months following Aimee's death, my daughter told me that she hoped to have a new mom someday.

Well, she has a new mom.

Some parts of that process have been good. Others, well, not bad, but difficult.

I am one of those people who likes to try and determine the worst-case scenario, and then prepare for it. If something better than that happens, great. If the worst happens, then I was ready for it. And so, our situation is not unexpected.
Life is harder if you're not silly sometimes

In our case, things are not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's, well, normal. Sarah loves my daughter, and my daughter loves Sarah. But despite my daughter being completely on board about Sarah and I getting married, there's now this tension as she adjusts to not being the only other person getting my attention and affection. Plus, she's doing what children do - testing limits and figuring out her own dynamic with Sarah.

Sarah, for her part, had to jump into the deep end of the pool. As an employee of a school district, she has summers off. That means that when we got married in June of 2015, she went from being a single woman with her own condo to being a full-time stay-at-home mom (for a few months). The bonding time for the two of them was invaluable. But it also meant that neither got much of a break from the other, which I think would have helpful when making a major transition like this.

Things have been bumpy at times. My daughter went  into counseling for a bit. Then Sarah and I did. Then we all did some more. Daughter has recently started seeing a new therapist better suited to her current feelings. Sarah and I did another round.

No, it hasn't always been easy.

Now that we're more than two and a half years in, the situation has evolved. Our daughter (yes, I often say 'our daughter' now) is still somewhat jealous of the attention I give to Sarah, but it's better. The two of them are developing a nice relationship that continues to grow. And we all continue to grow together - sometimes with laughter and sometimes with tears, but always with love.