"She is in a better place."
"She isn't suffering anymore."
"She isn't in pain anymore."
"I'm sorry for your loss."
And while they are all good and true, they don't always help ease the pain and loss of those still here.
Losing someone you weren't "supposed" to care about hurts too.
This last Saturday, my ex-husband's wife succumbed to her three year battle with cancer. She fought hard, but the cancer still won.
Dean and my ex-husband got married in February of 1999. They had two boys. One born in 2000 and one in 2003. I've watched these boys grow up and have laughed and cringed right along with their parents. After all, boys will be boys. My daughter benefited from the best of both of these worlds. At my house she was an only child, and at her father's house she was the oldest child. She has little brothers that she can mentor and torture and yet she also has a place where she doesn't have to compete.
When my ex-husband and I divorced, one of the very first things we agreed on was that no matter what happened between him and me, our daughter would never be a pawn. We would never bad mouth the other in front of her, and we would ALWAYS support each other in our decisions when it came to raising her. That meant, if she was grounded at my house but it was his weekend, she would be grounded there too and vice versa.
A few years later, Dean entered the picture. I believe it says a lot about a person's character if they embrace marrying into a "package deal". Not only are they now a parent to a child that isn't biologically theirs, but they also get the pleasure of an ex-spouse to deal with as well.
I won't lie. I know there are things about me that probably bugged the crap out of Dean just as I know there were things about her that I didn't necessarily like. However, the same rule applied to her as applied to my ex-husband. No bad mouthing her in front of my daughter, and always support. I remember the day I told my daughter that if she wanted to call Dean Mom, it was okay by me and I would not be offended or feel like I was being replaced at all. She was, after all, her mom also.
For 18 years this woman has been a part of my life, for better and for worse. We've help raise each other's kids. We've stayed under the same roof. We've been frustrated with each other. We've been a source of support for each other through loss of family, jobs, and health. We've laughed. We've cried. We've grumbled. We've hugged.
And now she is gone.
I was never "supposed" to care about you, but I do. I've been questioned more times than I can count why I did. "She is just your ex-husband's wife, why do you care?" I care because you're more than just my ex-husband's wife. You're the other mom to my daughter. You're the mom to my favourite boys. You are a beautiful woman with a huge heart willing to take in and love others. I miss you, and always will.
Rest Well, Dean