“Who would I be if he hadn’t died?” I often ask myself.

What would I be doing today if my life was not broken into thousands of pieces 10 years ago?

A husband, a couple of kids, living this life with its normal everyday things.

What if he hadn’t died?

This parallel universe would not have been here.

July 21st (yesterday) was the ten year anniversary since his passing.

Ten whole years of a parallel universe.

Sometimes, I wonder if there is another universe with myself intact from grief, where I am lucky enough to just complain about the weather, gossip about the neighbors and worry about what to make for dinner.

I can’t lie to you. Sometimes, I was jealous of all the people living their lives in such a casual manner. They didn’t worry about the nights.

The empty bed. The single parenting.

Their kids missing their dad.

They were young like me, but so carefree.

I lost a whole decade during the cancer and death years.

Sorry to be so blunt. But that’s what it was.

And my babies were so young.

I missed out on them being toddlers.

Don’t worry I am not bitter. I am just finally able to acknowledge for myself the many invisible losses that took place within that big loss.

People write to me to tell me how much harder it is to lose someone when you are older. Honestly, I’m happy to switch places with you.

So, I don’t have to lose so much so early. So, I don’t have to tell my girls that their dad is never coming back.

So, if you are planning to write to me to tell me that I was young enough to restart my life. Don’t do it. I don’t want to read it.

Not today anyway.

If I had to choose to experience unthinkable losses when I was 30 or 70 I would choose 70. And so would you.

40 more years without tragedy. 40 more years where my kids could have their dad. So he could be here with them when they needed him. What a gift that would have been.

People ask me how is it 10 years later.

Is it better? Is it different? Here is what my experience is…

You still wish you could tell them things that happen.

You still wish you could see them even for a few moments.

You still look for them. And yes there is sadness.

But there is no torture.

There is no daily physical pain.

You just carry them with you.

Every day. You still love them.

And you will always miss them.

That won’t change.

As a matter of fact I don’t think it should.

It is not meant to.

And for those of you who want to know if I am happy again.

Yes, I am very happy, but it is a very different kind of happiness.

I had to redefine everything for myself because he was not coming back. My innocence was out the door and my heart was in a million pieces.

I had to find a way back to life that did not include the old path. (Click to Tweet!)

Who you see here is someone who is part human, part something else.

I stand between life and another dimension every single day.

And so do you. And so do you.

With life,



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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • Grace lou says:

    What about losing your love when you are fifty? My daughter was 25, old enough to undestand what was going on. I feel old and totally alone, missing him every day, remembering his ways to care for me, for us, sometimes thinking about telling him simething that happened as if he were still here. Four years without him, feeling too old to start over, stuck in this life of sadness, wishing he would be here to give some meaning to this lonely life, to stop this pain

  • Amy DePretto says:

    My friend just sent this to me and i can relate. My sons father just passed june 25th. I mean we arent over the first part of the pain of the loss. But we are working on it. How hold where your kids when he passed?

  • Sandy says:

    You are right. Young, old, it never completely goes away. Lonely in crowded rooms, afraid to move ahead, afraid to stay behind. It has been almost 7 years since I lost him. Sometimes it seems like a hundred years, sometimes it seems like yesterday. I am middle-aged. Somewhere between young and old. Scared to find someone because I don’t want to go through another loss, but wanting someone special to talk to, to hold hands, to sit across the table from. I am happy to have found great friends who know what I have been through and I have a busy life. Just wish he could be part of this!!

  • MaryAnn Olleck says:

    I truly am sorry for your loss. It will be 1 year tomorrow (July 23rd 2016) that I will be without my mom. My closest and dearest friend, my ally, my biggest fan. And truthfully, my only friend, besides my husband, that I had left. The loneliness is deafening sometimes. I wouldn’t say it is harder, or easier, to lose someone earlier in life. The loss is just the same. The hurt and the ache is just the same. The only difference, losing someone later means you suffer for less years. I am 58 yrs old. Not a child, yet I still have many years without her. I find it painful to look forward. As I do to look back. I am in the here & now and that’s all I can see. Looking down and not seeing her footprints beside me. Tomorrow will be a very difficult day for me.

  • Leslie says:

    I don’t even want to imagine this sadness ten years from now. I too have young daughters who miss him daily. Everything you said is spot on for me too. Going on 3 years and suddenly this summer I seem to be experiencing anxiety attacks! I am not even close to who I was before. I was strong! Invincible! On top of my career and family! Only to be ripped apart and thrown in a corner like a rag doll. Finding my way out of the pits of hell and into that parallel universe seems so daunting and impossible.

  • John Fitzgerald says:

    Beautiful Christina! And absolutely spot on. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Elisa says:

    Thankful for your honesty. It’s been three years since my husband died. The torture for him ended and mine began. Today, I embrace life one day at a time. I welcome the happiness and joy in each new day. I still have a family to love on and make new memories with. Second Firsts has been a tremendous resource in my journey. I have learned through this experience that God will use my brokenness to help others. And there have been many, including my Dad (my dear mother died in February). Thank God for you, Christina!

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