For as long as I can remember having conscious thought, I knew I wanted to be a Wife and a Mom. That was my goal even as a 5 year old. Yes, I also said I wanted to be a Cop, a Lawyer, a Volcanologist/Geologist, and an Archeologist. In my mind though, those things were meant to be placeholders for my true calling. I had it all planned out: Get married by 21 or 22, start having babies, be done having my 3rd or 4th baby by 29 and go on and live a happy life (29 isn’t an arbitrary number – my family has a history of bad complications with pregnancy past 30 years old).
I remember the first time that those things seemed even remotely possible: I was 23, almost 24, and had just met Alex in person for the first time. I was already hearing my plans disintegrate by this point – after all, I was 1-2 years out from my plan set in motion time – and I was learning to accept that you cannot pre-plan life. I remember when I first talked to him on the phone and then when I first actually saw him: I knew right away that I wanted to be HIS Wife and I wanted to have HIS babies. It was a strong, weird pull/push sensation at that point because the plans I had made for myself didn’t actually have the other needed half of the puzzle – and suddenly they did. And not in the form I’d ever seen them taking. Alex was NOT the guy I “saw” myself with. Not even close. And thank the Gods that he wasn’t. Alex challenged my pre-set plans and pre-set notions in so many different ways just by existing in this world.
So first came Love – which for me didn’t take much time at all. And I don’t mean Lust, either. I mean love. I mean the love that we shared between us on the day he died was created on day 1 of our meeting each other. It never changed. It evolved, yes, but never changed or waivered. Next was Marriage – which happened on June 10th, 2011. Then was supposed to come babies in the baby carriage and I was almost 26 when we got married. As previously stated, this meant that the clock was ticking hard core because I was only 3 years away from hitting that magic number that would stop me dead in my gestational tracks and Alex was already 37 by that time. We decided not to “try” necessarily but to not take steps to stop it should it happen.
We lost 3 pregnancies over the course of our 7 years together – one of which was lost 2 weeks post our wedding, the last 4 months after my Dad passed away in 2013. I turned 29 in 2014 and by that point Alex was already getting very sick. We barely ever discussed it after that except in very uncomfortable passing conversations when neither of us knew how to bring it up.
The day before Alex died, we’d had that incredibly uncomfortable conversation and decided that after he was doing better, we’d actively try to have a baby again. I threw caution to the wind – already 30, almost 31 by this point – and said screw it. If having a baby meant that I was going to have to take some risks, so be it, because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Alex would be an AMAZING Father. I knew that when I first talked to him, when I first laid eyes on him, and when I married him. And I wanted to have the experience of watching him raise our kids with the same brilliance as he had in everything else. I had always wanted to have that experience with him. I considered it a priority to give him a piece of the both of us to send off into the world someday.
Then, of course, came the Loss of Possibility. I see people discuss this in grief groups and in groups surrounding traumatic events in general. Its a term used to describe the loss of a Future that you never actually had – or at least so it feels.
And it is the hardest part for me, if I’m totally honest. Its in the knowing and being able to see the different aspects of a Future that is now gone to me forever. Am I absolutely honored that I was Alex’s Wife? Without question and I wouldn’t have ever changed a minute of the time I had with him. Am I absolutely, appallingly aware of the “What Might Have Been” aspect of his passing? More so than anything. And its the part that hurts more than anything.
The Loss of Possibility represents the loss of the Unknown: The things you never got to build together, the conversations you will never have, the experiences you will never know. And its in that Loss and the knowledge of its magnitude that the true heartache lies.