“You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Loss is a strange thing. One day, that person is a part of your life and then they are gone. Leaving a void that will last a long time. That place cannot simply be filled by another and it be the same. Instead that space is left empty (despite possible attempts to fill it), and you learn to live with it, but the emptiness is always seen. Another strange aspect of loss is that it can be felt even if you weren’t originally affected by it. Sometimes, that person is gone and has left a void that you weren’t even aware of at the time but later experienced. This emptiness makes it quite possible to miss and mourn someone you never even knew.
On May 14th in 2008 a woman passed away unexpectedly. On that day I felt nothing and knew nothing of this loss. But a family was grieving the sudden loss of a sister, wife, mother, daughter and friend. The weeks that followed were filled with grief, mourning, and adjustment as they learned how to handle the emptiness that had been left behind. Less than a year later I was made aware of this loss, and even then didn’t fully understand how this loss would affect me personally.
Today this void and loss is titled as the loss of my mother-in-law. I daily miss someone that I never met. I didn’t know that was possible honestly. I constantly wonder what life would be like if she were still here, but at the same time I am willing to accept the fact that there is a very good chance husband and I wouldn’t have met and talked if he hadn’t been through what he had been. But it’s hard not to wonder if there could have been a way for her to be here and for me to marry him.
Everyone tells me I’m a lot like her and that we would really get along. I don’t doubt it from what I have heard about her that’s for sure. Sometimes I have questions I wish I could ask her or things I wish I could say, and definitely thank her for about a million things. So these are some of the things I would say to you today if I could, Daphne.
1. Thank you for raising such a wonderful young man. He loves me, respects women, loves and serves God, among so many other things. He truly is a rare find, and I am so grateful to you for raising him the way you did. Because of your actions as a mother, you created the wonderful man I call husband. Thank you.
2. Thank you for praying for him and for me. While no one has told me that you did, knowing the mother that you were and the way events have unfolded I am positive that you prayed for not only him growing up, but for his future wife, for me. Thank you for realizing the power of prayer and investing in it.
3. Thank you for the relationship you had with your family, especially your sisters. They have shown me such overwhelming love and acceptance and constantly tell me more about you. I can’t imagine what things would be like if you had had a bad relationship with them…but thankfully I can see how much they love and miss you each time they speak of you and I love getting to know parts of you through them.
4. Thank you for leaving behind a wonderful legacy. I look forward to learning more about and someday sharing your legacy with our children. Your love for God, family, and people will live on as we instill those same values in our lives and our children’s lives. While it’s hard not having you here, it’s wonderful to know of the life that you led and where you are now.
5. Happy Birthday Daphne. I miss you, even though I never knew you. I love you.
Husband and his mom probably early 2008 or 2007.