738 days before widowhood

‘Hauoli la Ho’omana’o’ is Hawaiian for ‘Happy Anniversary’.

Hauoli la Ho’omana’o to this very day which took place 4 years ago in 2015 on Wai’alae beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Back then, our wedding was probably the happiest day of my life before Margot was born.

Now, it’s just an anniversary without the happy. There’s nothing to celebrate. If anything, it would be the 738 days we enjoyed as a married couple. To celebrate the love for someone that I will always be grateful to have found.


Wai’alae beach, Oahu, Hawaii (2015)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to write something meaningful for today. I just haven’t found the right words.

Apart from deeply missing Katherine within each day of my life. The craziest part of days’ like these is the thought of not receiving a card containing her handwriting. It’s just something really sacred and personal we had in our relationship that I would really look forward to. She wrote the best cards with the most thoughtful messages. As much as I tried, I could never compete with her words of happiness for the love we shared.

Last year I decided I didn’t want to ever mark this anniversary for the reason that 7 days is all that separates it from my wife’s passing. However positive I try to be, it’s just been too hard.

I was woken up a little earlier than normal by Margot this morning. So I decided that before I went to work, I was going to spend more time than normal with my daughter. We played, chatted and had breakfast together. We enjoyed lots of special ‘squishy’ cuddles and I told her how much I love her. I attempted some light toddler talk to explain just how much she means to me.

You just can’t help but laugh when your child delivers a response like “stop being silly Daddy, you’re a good boy and I’m a good girl. We can both have chocolate eggs today, ok”. I guess we both wanted to start our day in jubilant fashion. We did eventually manage to set off to her Nana’s house with a chocolate egg, secretly stashed for later this evening.

After I dropped her off, I then drove to my place of work. I shuffled Spotify in my car and ‘Telephone Line’ by ELO started to play. I didn’t feel the need to press the shuffle button again. I just listened as I drove.

I hadn’t heard this song for a long time. Ironically, it made me think about just how much I wanted to speak to Katherine again, even if it was just over a telephone line. I even managed to make myself chuckle as I imagined just how much the phone bill would be.

I miss her so much.

I thought about the meaning of today and made the decision that going forward, Katherine’s birthday should be the date I mark with my daughter. A day to smile and celebrate.

Maybe one day in the future I’ll tell her the significance, but in many ways, today is just another day for now. And yet, when I think about it, today could also be a day that changes everything for someone else. I’m here writing about my thoughts on it. Sharing my reasoning and experience with other people. Possibly helping others that could be searching for stories to help their own life after the loss of a loved one.

Maybe this is something meaningful after all?

I always try to understand that my scenario of bereavement was totally out of my control. It can’t control me forever too. So for now, today has nothing to offer me but pain. It is definitely not about others behaving any more lovingly towards me or Margot. It’s certainly not about cards, gifts or gestures anymore.

  • For me, it’s about being thankful to have had the 738 days of marriage to Katherine.
  • For me, it’s about the people who came to Hawaii that are still in my life.
  • For me, today’s a day I give special thanks that Katherine made me a Dad to such a wonderful little girl.
  • For me, It’s about being the one who’s lucky enough to be able to spend another day with my daughter.
  • For me, it’s about dropping my daughter off at her Nana’s and she was happy.

6 thoughts on “738 days before widowhood”

  1. Mark today I read the article about your terrible loss of your beautiful wife. I clicked the link and just wanted to say your doing a fantastic job and you and your family are in my thoughts! I am a mother of 3 children under the age of 9 and I don’t know what I would do without my partner, I took a lot of things away from your blogs etc and one is I will never take the little moments for granted and make the most of every day on this earth. Sending positivity and love to you and your little girl 😊

  2. I’ve just read that with tears dripping down my face. Life is so so precious and you have just reminded me of that. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hugs

  3. I always read your blog. Such inspirational words. No one can imagine life without their wife / mother of your daughter. You are and have been so strong. Never forget xx

  4. Mark I have just read your story with such sadness.
    My brother died from ‘Brugada Syndrome ‘. SADS when he was just 41 and 2 weeks.
    He left a wife and two sons 18 & 16 and a 14 year old daughter.
    They desperately tried to resuscitate him even though his wife is a nurse but sadly it was not meant to be. I myself have been diagnosed with low risk Brugada Syndrome.
    Although it has been 10 years in August I struggle so hard to cope with my grief. I truly admire your strength.
    I live each day thinking my brother is at peace with his baby son who tragically died at birth in front of his eyes. Something he never got over. Ironically today my darling nephew would have been 25 years old. Very very sad.
    I want to wish you all the best and send my love thoughts and prayers to you and your beautiful daughter. God bless. Xx

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