Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

So near and yet, so far

TUESDAY, February 2 – So near and yet so far. Solitude, loss, the gaping hole. I wander the streets of Amsterdam in the rain without a clue where I’m heading, looking for her, getting drenched in the process. Where are you?

I have to run the whole show on my own: organize everything, deal with the snags, make the decisions.  E’s arrival was meant to be an extra pair of hands but today I feel as if I’ve gained a daughter. She doesn’t have a clue. I have to explain everything, step by step, with the patience of a saint which I sometimes find difficult to muster.

Now the moment has come to entrust the children to her care. She will be taking over part of my role, which means she’ll be responsible for their well-being while I’m at work and that will be more often and for longer periods than at present. She’ll pick them up from school and I won’t be there. For three months I was their sole guardian, and now there is also our au pair.

It feels unnatural – as if I’m the only person the kids can (or should)  trust or fall back on. It seems there’s no alternative. That’s the way it is. It only serves to increase, retroactively, the immense admiration I had and still have for Jennifer as a mother. She was a fantastic Mom and the tears come when I think about the cruel termination of that role.

So tired. So far away and yet so near.

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