On the morning of April 6th Heather and I woke up as part of a family. The next evening, April 7th, we returned home a couple. This was a cataclysmic shift in the dynamics of our home life, the kind of shift that, for most married couples, only happens after eighteen years or more when their children move out. Even then, however, that experience isn’t really comparable to ours. Those couples still have children who return home from time to time. Those couples, even if they don’t live under the same roof as their children, are still part of a family.

On April 6th just about everything Heather and I said and did revolved around Madeline. On April 7th Madeline was gone, and while our daughter was still, and always will be, an incredibly huge part of our life, there were now only two people in our home – Heather and me. This felt very overwhelming, disorienting, and not a little bit surreal. In many ways, we found ourselves living as if the preceding two years had never happened. Silences previously filled by talk about our life with Maddie now remained silent. Nights out together, nights that used to have to end early because we he had to return home to Maddie, now were free to extend into the night indefinitely. This new life was full of so much silence and time, silence and time that had to now be filled by us and us alone.

Statistics show that the majority of couples who go through an experience like ours eventually divorce. I certainly can understand that. Trying to find ways to fill all of the silence and time left in the wake of a tragedy like ours is very, very hard. Luckily for Heather and myself, we have slowly but surely found the ways. We’ve talked into the night, held each other and cried, and leaned on each other when we sunk to our lowest depths. We have found a deeper connection than ever before.

In February we will become a family once again. This is something I look forward to greatly, but I know that when we do, we won’t lose sight of the couple we’ve become.


Also, I just want to remind everyone that today is the last day to vote for Heather’s blog in thebump.com’s Mommy Blog Awards. You can vote as many times as you’d like, so vote over and over! If she wins, she’s donating the entire prize money ($1,000) to Friends of Maddie. $1,000 buys forty NICU support packs – enough to supply an entire NICU. So, please vote for her blog (voting is over, thanks!)!! Thank you everyone!