Diary of a Widower

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

When all you need is Mom

FRIDAY, June 18 – A stop along the French highway. We sit outside and order French fries (Eamonn), pasta (Sander), and salad (Papa). Elsa is lying at our feet, looking around a bit anxiously.

I notice a family of  four at a picnic table nearby.  She’s making sandwiches and he’s kicking a ball around with two little boys. Then the youngest takes a tumble. He starts to cry and the father goes over to him. The older brother stands there, smiling sheepishly. His father goes to pick up the little kid, but he makes a beeline for his mother, who scoops him onto her lap and gives him a big hug.  I remember Jenn doing the same thing. At moments like this, dads don’t even come close.

An embrace that offers security and warmth and love that ripened nine months through the umbilical cord. Is there such a thing as phantom pain in children?  Is the loss of a mother much worse than that of a father because the child still senses the presence of the familiar umbilical cord? And does its absence cause even more pain?

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