I have been putting off this post because I knew that even with as much writing as I do, there was no way I would ever be able to express in words how grateful I am to have Ed in my life and why.
Neither of us was looking for the other, or for anyone at all, when we found each other. We’d met in passing ten years before and neither of us had given the other a second thought in the meantime. When we met again, if anything our relationship came at a most inconvenient time. I was in the process of ending a marriage, he was ending a semi-serious relationship, and we were in the boiler room that is the first year of law school. As my first marriage came to a sad but amicable conclusion after six years, I feared what fate lay in store for a 28-year-old divorcee. The very idea of having to introduce myself to anyone and explain that I was divorced made me cringe. Ed, having endured the ending of a marriage himself (as well as the death of his mother), was a good and true friend through this process. And as our friendship rapidly and very naturally turned into something more, he taught me so many things: how to laugh again when everything seemed so very sad, how to dream about the future again when the future seemed so bleak, and how to open myself to love again when I wasn’t sure if I would be able to. He made me want to be a better person at every moment, and with him as a partner, I began the slow process of becoming the person I’d always wanted to be. That process is ongoing, as I still have infinite room to grow and become an ever-better version of myself, but in the meantime, I’m so grateful to have him by my side cheering me on every day.
While Hudson’s death has caused me to question everything I used to believe about how everything happens for a reason and how things that are meant to be will be, I have no doubt that Ed and I were meant to find one another at the time we did. Had we met earlier, had we not endured the events of our twenties before we met, we would never have been able to appreciate one another in the way that we do now.
That Ed was an incredible father hardly needs mentioning—anyone who reads this blog regularly already knows that, both from what I have described and from the many photos that demonstrate the very obvious love and affection that Ed and Hudson shared. I don’t know the intimate details of how other men parent, but it’s hard for me to imagine a father more engaged, more knowledgeable, and more in love with his child than Ed. Even though I was the “primary” caretaker (given that I was breastfeeding and working part-time), Ed was every bit as involved in Hudson’s life and care as I was. He was always eager to feed her (we called her breakfast every day “Daddy’s special”—a delightful combo of plain yogurt, smashed fruit, and baby oatmeal prepared with much love by Ed every morning), bathe her, put her to bed, spend time with her—ours was as shared a parenting relationship as a couple could have with a breastfeeding mother and a working father. Ed knew Hudson’s schedule and preferences and how to soothe her just as well as I did. And boy, did she love him, again, as is obvious in every photo ever taken of the two. She was a very, very lucky girl and her siblings will be just as lucky to have Ed as their daddy.
And now, as our ability to endure suffering is tested beyond the limits of what anyone should ever have to experience, we are only growing closer and stronger in our love. Although it is actually a myth that most couples end up divorcing after they lose a child (a terrible myth that is irresponsibly perpetuated in the media and popular culture), I never once had any doubt that we would survive this terrible thing. We grieve very differently to be sure (that men and women generally do so is NOT a myth), and it’s often hard for me that I continue to feeling so very fragile much of the time (this is also hard for Ed, who hates nothing more than to see me in pain, particularly when he can’t take it away). But we know ourselves and each other well enough, and more importantly, we love ourselves and each other well enough that we can give each other space when we need it or hold each other close when we need it, with no expectations of any “right” way to grieve our daughter’s death. It is not easy, and there are no doubt many more hard days ahead for us and our relationship as we learn to parent again after this loss, but I can’t imagine trying to do that with anyone else.
I am grateful for my Ed. If he had not taught me early on that we can still laugh when faced with sorrow, that we can still dream when dreaming seems futile, and most importantly, that our capacity for love is infinitely expansive, I don’t know how I would have ever lived through Hudson’s death, how I would still be living through this grief every day, or how I would ever be able to mother another child.
I love you so much, my dear husband, and am so very fortunate to have you.