You are going to be SO happy you came to my blog today, because nothing says “entertainment” like grief and sorrow and mourning, am I right?

You know how sometimes you and your spouse make plans to get it on after the kids go to bed, and you spend the day flirting with each other, building the anticipation, fantasizing about the delightful 7.5 minutes that will unfold later that evening, and then you finally put the kids down, and you’re just about to get your groove on when, suddenly, you hear a noise that, upon further investigation, turns out to be the sound of your child spewing forth the contents of his or her stomach, and instead of knocking boots with your spouse, you spend the night cleaning vomit and holding a bowl under your child’s chin every 15 minutes so he or she can hurl without soiling the bed again, and there’s no nookie in sight, and you wonder what you did to deserve this sort of punishment?

OK, now imagine that, instead of spending the day flirting with your spouse about getting lucky tonight, you spent months psyching up your entire family (not to mention yourself) for a long-contemplated move to the state in which your spouse’s family lives, and instead of 7.5 minutes of carnal bliss, you were all fantasizing about the many fun times you’d be spending together in the years to come after you relocated to your new home, which is five miles from your in-laws’ house, and instead of being about to get your groove on with your honey, you were about to finally have your spouse’s parents be a part of your life on a regular basis, something you’d envisioned for years — and six hours after you arrived at your in-laws’ house to begin a weeklong vacation that would serve as the segue to your subsequent relocation, your 67-year-old father-in-law, who largely was the cornerstone around which all of your own personal idyllic visions of life in a different state revolved, went to the gym and died of a heart attack.

And suddenly, the sick-kid-and-sexual-frustration scenario I described back in that first paragraph seems like a trip to Club Med during Glitter & Cocaine Week.

But I’m fine, thanks. And you?

I don’t want to write this entry. Writing this entry means further embracing a truth that I still can’t wrap my head around … but I won’t be able to write anything else until I write this entry, so I’m going to write it, and it’s probably going to be a fucking train wreck (if it isn’t already), and I don’t care, because I just want to get this shit over with.

My wife and I spent years — YEARS — debating about whether we should move to Pennsylvania to be near her family. Like, a full decade. And we finally decided to go for it, for a number of reasons (not the least of which was 10-years’-worth of talking with her folks about all of the fun things they’d like to do with us if we lived here; we figured it was time to take the plunge while they were still relatively young).

But the main reason why, after years of waffling, I chose to go all in, and uproot our entire world, and leave behind my extended family, and start a new life 350 miles away was this: I knew that it had hurt my wife to be so far away from her family for all these years. She never made an issue out of it, and never complained about it, and never pressured me to move … but I knew that, despite her best efforts to suppress her longing for home, the simple fact was that she was unhappy. And once I realized that, I knew that there was only one way to give her the happiness that she had struggled so mightily to live without.

Now, before you all go, “Awwwww…” and gush about what a great guy I am, let me be clear: Ever hear the expression, “When Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy”? Well, let’s just say that my motives weren’t entirely benevolent; I knew that providing my wife with the key to her happiness would mean more sunshine and rainbows for the rest of us, too … and by “the rest of us,” I mostly mean “me.”

Of course, a few months after we’d made the decision to move, I started wondering what the fuck I had done, because our old house wasn’t selling, and I had gotten laid off in the midst of an economic crisis that laughs in the face of those seeking employment, which threatened our plans to buy a new home (a misnomer, really, since there was nothing “new” about the homes that were within our price range … that is, unless someone recently changed the definition of “new” to mean “totally shitty”).

And then, all of a sudden, things started clicking like you would not believe. First, our home sold for more than we anticipated. Then, we found a home that we fell in love with but couldn’t afford … until the sellers miraculously settled for our insultingly lowball offer. And, finally, on the eve of our planned annual vacation in Delaware, I accepted a full-time gig located a short drive from our new house, the salary for which is a five-figure improvement over that of my previous job.

So now I’m thinking, “Hot damn! This huge leap of faith I took is paying off! It’s all coming together! This is what our life is supposed to be! A great house, an excellent job, a happy wife, and an extended forecast of joyful times ahead with my in-laws, who are beyond-elated about our move!”

And then The Universe, of whom I had historically been greatly mistrustful, but who had lulled me into a false sense of unbridled optimism and security by doing everything short of blowing me, bared its blood-stained fangs and hit me in the back of the skull with a lead pipe.

And the joyful light I had briefly seen emanating from my wife in recent weeks, whose glow fueled my giddily child-like visions of the new and improved life about to unfold before us, was snuffed right the fuck out. In its place is a black hole caused by the awful pain of losing her father — on the very day she returned to her parents’ house to start that new life, no less.

And now she’ll never know how happy she could have been, and I’ll never know what it’s like to be with my wife during a period of such happiness, and the entire complexion of our relocation has changed, because instead of the joyful event we were sure it would be, it is bittersweet, with a tremendous emphasis on “bitter,” and a barely audible “sweet.”

And, yes, I’m still very glad we moved, and I love the house, and I’m happy to be here, and I think it was the right decision for us regardless. And there is definitely some relief in the fact that I was able to take my mother-in-law in my arms on the day her husband died and remind her that we’d be living right down the street from her in a matter of days, and I’m glad the decision was made before he died, because now she doesn’t have to feel like we did it for her, which she herself has said would have caused her tremendous guilt. And, sure, I can’t help but look at the timing of our move as having been somehow predestined for reasons we could never have foreseen … but, as moderately comforting as that theory may be, believing it implies accepting that everything happens for a reason, which I’m having trouble buying, because I can’t think of a single fucking meaningful reason why my father-in-law died when he did.

Quite simply, I’m heartbroken. Heartbroken for my wife, who doesn’t deserve the unbelievably cruel timing of this loss. Heartbroken for my mother-in-law, who, instead of having years left to enjoy with her husband the wonderful life they worked so hard to build for themselves and the family with whom they so generously shared it, is now a widow. Heartbroken for my brothers-in-law, who always knew just how lucky they were to have such an amazing father, and who never dreamed he’d leave them so soon. Heartbroken for my children, who have been absolutely robbed of a grandparent who loved them both more than they’ll ever know, and who had so much more to offer. Heartbroken for myself, a guy who always felt beyond blessed to have found in my father-in-law not only a bona fide second father, but one who expanded my world in ways I never thought possible, who loved me like I was his own blood, and who guided me in a gentle and soft-spoken way that changed my life.

I thought that the time I’d spent with him while living so far away all these years was the appetizer, and I was positively thrilled about finally getting to the main course. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to realize that the meal’s already over.

Bethany Beach, 2009

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88 Comments

  1. Stephanie
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    ((HUGGS)) — I have nothing else I can offer.

  2. Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Train wreck or not (and I think not), I was glad to see this post. I’ve checked a couple times each day–looking to see if you’d updated anything on Twitter. I was starting to think maybe it should have been YOU who stayed off the highway between Boston and Philly that weekend.

    Jon, there’s nothing I can say that will take away the pain, but maybe it’s your time to be a mentor. I think he taught you well.
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: Labor Day Weekend- Part Three- Gratuities Cheerfully AcceptedMy Profile

  3. kathy
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    I hope you feel better after writing this, because it was a good post. I am glad to hear that you got a job and the move is over. The rest … well you found some good in it even if it does suck and will hurt for a while.

  4. strange one
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Even when you’re in mourning you’re good at describing things. I am sending happy thoughts in your general direction.

  5. Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers
    Ferngoddess´s most recent blog post: ALIVEMy Profile

  6. Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    There is never really anything good to say at a time like this. I’ve been thinking about you and your family, hoping you are all making it through this horrific time. This was a great post. I’m glad to know you’re still there. And that you’re starting to heal. Slowly. I think he would’ve been proud.
    ToadMama´s most recent blog post: It’s Only NaturalMy Profile

  7. Sarah M
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t really find the right words to say this, but your writing about this is incredibly moving and beautiful, and I want you to know that anyone who reads these posts about your father-in-law will have their their heart touched by your family. I told you I didn’t really have the right words…

  8. Kristine N
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful heartfelt post. I have been checking all the time hoping to see an update from you. Time heals – does not take the hurt away. As I read this visions of my own Dad and his loss brings tears to my eyes. And yes, there is a grand plan out there and you were put there for a reason – You will be the glue to hold the family together. Your family needs you now to be strong – Your father in law is looking down on you and being very proud.

  9. musingegret
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Your honesty in writing so candidly about the pain of your beautiful wife, your grieving mother-in-law and yourself is touching beyond measure. You’ve not attempted to present yourself as ‘bearing up nobly’ or any one of a variety of euphemisms normally employed to describe the immediate aftermath of a sudden and shocking loss. Your gift to us, your readers, is the courage you’re exhibiting in describing your naked, human emotions. Thank you.

  10. Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    This is your best writing yet. It’s too bad it is so sad and so painful for you to write and for us to read. You have my sympathy…along with my congratulations. I’m sure you know where to compartmentalize those. Glad you are back.
    Diana W.´s most recent blog post: YUM! Sept 6- 2010My Profile

  11. Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    What a lovely tribute to your father-in-law, and how incredibly painful. I know there is nothing any of us can say to make it better, or make it make sense, but I hope that you will all take some comfort in knowing that we’re thinking of you.

  12. Paula Clark
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I have been checking in on you for days. Knowing that you and your family were going through really tough times, but still wanting to hear a word from you. This is a very sad time for you all. I lost my parents many years ago and I sit here crying over my loss when I read about ours. Just know that people care and are thinking about you all every day. And you are all there for your Mother- in- law now. That can be the one good thing right now.

  13. StlShel
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The Scratches family is in my prayers.

  14. Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I know words like that don’t begin to provide comfort, but please know that they are true. I don’t know you from Adam, but I feel your pain and I wish there was something I could do to ease it in some small way. Life is a cruel bitch sometimes.

  15. Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Wow! Powerful writing, powerful emotions and powerful pain. I am truly sorry for the pain you and the family are experiencing. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be so. Blessings.

  16. Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry for your loss. Life can be so unfair.
    Sending virtual hugs to you and your family.

  17. JP
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Sometimes life really sucks. You are eloquent even through the pain and loss. I think being there for your mother-in-law is a precious gift, and it sounds like your father-in-law touched a great many lives and will be sorely missed.

  18. Lee
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Again, someone who only knows you through your blog, but this kind of pain is universal and we all feel for you. So sorry. Even though the decision to move didn’t work out like you’d hoped, in the years to come I think you will know joy as a result. And yes, you are noble for moving your wife back home, regardless of any benny’s you may eventually reap. There’s no coda that says a noble gesture can’t be good for the gesturer! (Probably because the phrasing is too awkward.) Thanks for letting us know you are not OK, but still hanging in there.

  19. Jen
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful tribute to a husband, father and father-in-law.

  20. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry this has happened to your family and I’ve been checking in every couple of days hoping for an update and I’m glad you’re back. Hopefully the sting of losing someone so close and important will begin to fade. Hang in there; we’re all thinking of you.
    Katrina´s most recent blog post: I cant get this out of my head so you might as well suffer with meMy Profile

  21. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    So very sad for your wife. As well as the rest of you.
    EG´s most recent blog post: BeachyMy Profile

  22. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    My dad died last year, at 66, of a heart attack, just weeks after I’d finally convinced him – finally! – to move across the country and live near us and his grandkids. In some ways, the loss of that future hurts more than the loss in general. In some ways.

    Anyways. I know. I know. Biggest hugs to you and to your wife, to all of you.
    Her Bad Mother´s most recent blog post: Summer Is A State Of MindMy Profile

  23. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Train wreck or not you wrote that piece eloquently and thanks for writing that. I know, the universe does play ugly sometimes. Maybe you were still meant to move so that your wife can be closer to mom? Sorry to throw in a cliche in there, but things happen for a reason. I do believe that. Onward and Upward.
    virginia´s most recent blog post: 5 on the 5thMy Profile

  24. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    This weekend–which marked two months since the unexpected death of my own father, who was just 64–I found myself watching Bridget Jones’s Diary. Not exactly the stuff great philosophy is made of, but this struck me as absolutely the way of the universe: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that as soon as one part of your life starts looking up, another part falls to pieces.”
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain better than I’d like to.
    In our case, I had just started a job–the first “real” job I’d had in years since having babies and then moving back to my home state of Montana–that promised to be an amazing opportunity. Three weeks after my career had finally started to come into focus, my father had an intracranial hemorrhage and died less than 24 hours later.
    I wish I could tell you that it gets better. So far, its’ not.
    Nicole Rosenleaf Ritter´s most recent blog post: Carl Albert Rosenleaf 1946-2010My Profile

  25. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    There are no words that can make any of this easier. It’s awful, it sucks, it’s completely unfair. I’m so sorry for your wife and your family. I hope that soon the pain will start to lessen – if even a little each day.
    Biz´s most recent blog post: DWIMy Profile

  26. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    That’s heart breaking. Letting go of ‘what could have been.’

    My mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer the year my first daughter [her first grandchild] was born and subsequently died eight months later. People were like, ‘Yeah, but isn’t it great she got to meet her granddaughter?’ Which felt a little like saying, ‘You smashed your finger in the car door. It could have been your whole hand! LUCKY!’

    It’s wonderful that you all can be near your widowed mother-in-law during this time, although the whole thing must hurt more than a smashed finger.
    BuenoBaby´s most recent blog post: Hiding in a closet for two hours isn’t as fun as it soundsMy Profile

  27. do2na
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It’s been 10 years since I lost my father. I wish I could say it gets easier, but I can’t. You just learn to live with the loss and keep him in your heart always. We’ve all been waiting for this post – I hope it helps you, even in a small way, deal with your tragedy. My heart aches for you, WW and your family.

  28. Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    This is a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law and your family. I hope that you find at least a small piece of that happiness you were seeking – just in different ways. You have a lot of readers who are sending healing thoughts and prayers your way. Hearts and hugs from this one.

  29. Amber
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve been checking every day to see how you are. You are an amazing father and husband. Your FIL can rest in peace knowing that you are there, being the mentor and protector that you are would be the best tribute and gift to him. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you and your family

  30. Jim
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I lost my father a little over a year ago. It never gets easier. I just miss him more everyday. It’s my daughters though that have suffered the greatest loss. They will never know their grandfather. It’s my duty and privilege to keep his spirit alive so perhaps, in a way, they will know him. Stay strong

  31. Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    This post has made me swear, cry and laugh all at the same time! Give your wife a hug from me and here’s to all the good memories of her father and to a good future in your new house. Hang in there guys!
    Deanna´s most recent blog post: Crater LakeMy Profile

  32. Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    There are no words to describe the pain associated with the loss of a parent. Yours come very close. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I hope his memory will guide and comfort you as you build your new life. Praying for you all.

  33. Rhonda H.
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    My mother died in her sleep of a heart attack at the age of 43. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my first child and her first granddaughter. We buried my mother on my 25th birthday. I cannot feel your pain, nor feel the anger for the hand you and your wife and children have been dealt, but I can commiserate with you a bit. Know that there are others that you can lean on at this time. I’m sorry you’ve been dealt such a shitty blow just when things were looking great.

    Rhonda

  34. Posted September 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re back.

    Sending you such hugs, sweetness. This was a lovely tribute to an obviously amazing man who touched you and changed you and will change the way that you deal with your family and your children. He’s still with your family through what you’ve learned from him.

  35. Sue V.
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    So glad you are back (you have been missed), and so sorry for your loss. Having lost my mother at the age of 22, I can relate to the crater that is created in the soul. The one that can never be filled, and the patches never seem to hold. No one could ever say anything to me that would help; but after a few months I went out on my own and searched for some understanding. I found a little book full of quotes from people who had dealt with loss. “The Comfort Book For Those Who Mourn” from Harold Shaw publishers. It helped.

  36. Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    hugs and prayers to all. I am so sorry for your loss.
    watercolor´s most recent blog post: Far HorizonsMy Profile

  37. Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I was just thinking about you guys, wondering how you were doing. I wish that I had something decent or meaningful to share…all I have are my thoughts and prayers as you continue to move through these difficult times. Hugs.
    Kelly, The Glass Dragonfly´s most recent blog post: This and That TuesdayMy Profile

  38. Jackie Hall
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I know the pain you are feeling. My brother died at 30. and we have lost both of my hubands parents and my own mom. My dad is now living with us with a terminal illness. Not to mention grand parents and great grand parents and a cousin that was 31. My heart is broken for you and I could cry rant and rave with you if I were closer. It’s not fair. But, I thank God that you are living close to your wifes mom and family. You all will all have each other to hang onto and be able to comfort each other as well as rant and rave and throw fits and know you will still be loved no matter what. I have nothing but thoughts and prayers and best wishes for you to work throught this awful time.

    Jackie

  39. Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I too have been watching your site, hoping you would find a reason and the ability to pick up your blogging. I hope this post is as beneficial to you as it should have been. It’s like a pressure cooker – you have to let off some of the steam from time to time, or else everything literally blows up. And writing about it seems to work for you.

    Very nice photo. The mutual appreciation of each other is obvious.

    My best hugs to WW, her mom, you, and your kids. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The pain doesn’t magicaly “go away”, but you do assimilate it. You just have to let this new life form around all of you. You WILL laugh again — just let it come in its own time. It’s part of the healing.
    Jan´s most recent blog post: new blog home for JanMy Profile

  40. Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderfully written tribute to what sounds like an amazing man. Sounds like he left a great impression upon you. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss, Jon. Best wishes to you and your family as you grieve.

  41. Posted September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Jon, your tribute was far from a train wreck; it was a fabulous love letter to a second father and your amazing wife. I have written a few tributes myself this past year to my own Dad, and trust me, it truly helps to share your father-in-law’s good karma with the world, And now we know a little more about him.
    Glad you are back!
    Meg at the Members Lounge´s most recent blog post: Help WantedMy Profile

  42. JB
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m so, so sorry. I’ve had similar painfully ironic things happen, and just….I know. It sucks.

    We call it “The Club That No One Wants To Belong To,” and well…now you are one of us. (We’re thinking of getting matching letterman jackets). (No).
    In all seriousness….I’m so sorry.

  43. Posted September 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Damn, Dude. That made me sob. So well written and I’m glad you did it. Not to get it over with (though it is a teensy bit therapeutic) but because you shared him with us. You were truly blessed to have a man like that in your life and I bet he was thrilled to have you as a son-in-law, you had such profound respect for him. It shows through your pain.
    I’m glad you made it to PA and I’m looking forward to running into you at strange places (like the mall and grocery) or at bloggy gatherings. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
    The Domestic Goddess´s most recent blog post: I’m Baaaaaaaaack!My Profile

  44. Posted September 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    My heart broke for you and your family when I first heard the news. My heart broke for you and your family all over again after reading this post; which is a tribute to (what sounds to me) like a wonderful man. And the world is a little darker without him here. But it sounds like you’ve learned a lot from him and you can carry him forward. Many hugs and good thoughts headed your way.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: A long- rambling post and new shoes – everybody wins! UpdatedMy Profile

  45. Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I wish there were some magic words I could type that would make you feel better, but I know there aren’t. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  46. Mary Lee
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry. I do know that bittersweet feeling so well. We lost my dad during my first pregnancy in 2006, and my mom during my second pregnancy last year. Here we are, having babies, buying our first home, and my parents were gone. The sweet ends up outweighing the bitter somehow, just barely some days, but it does.

  47. Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Hugs. Lots of them.
    Ally´s most recent blog post: Yellow TapeMy Profile

  48. Pamela
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to see you back, like others I have been checking frequently to see if you had posted. Putting your thoughts out there for everyone to read brings the hurt even more to the surface. Having said this, those raw emotions can somehow heal us in ways we cannot see at the time. Hang in there, be strong for your family. Peace be with all of you.

  49. Posted September 9, 2010 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    I found your website by trying to figure out why I had so many referrals through Daddy Scratches on my analytics. Turns out my story “I’ll Show You My Balls” was listed on your blogher pub network. And I’m so glad it was because WOW! I am blown away by your blog. I absolutely love it and will follow. I am sorry for your loss and I wish you and your wife sincere condolences. What a difficult time. Thank you for sharing it though so beautifully and authentically. Seriously great.
    Sarah Maizes´s most recent blog post: Lost lost tooth- Oxymoron Or just moronicMy Profile

  50. Anna
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry. I have been thinking of you and your family quite often since you posted that your father in law had died. My dad died very suddenly 7 years ago–he was 58. I hope that in time, you all will be able to reminisce happily about your times together and that you will be able to find a new happiness with your family and loved ones. I will continue to think of you and will keep you in my prayers.

  51. Jamie, Mom of 3
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Also very moved by what you’ve written. It couldn’t have been easy. I hope in some small way, it helped you a little. I’m glad you are where you are now, your mother-in-law is going to need you.

  52. BeckieS
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law and all the hopes and dreams that died with him. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Words escape me at times like this.

  53. Posted September 9, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry for your loss, too. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  54. Sarah
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry that your family is making this journey. We lost my father in law unexpectedly on Jan 4, 2009. I looked at him as more of a father than my own father. I completely know how ripped and raw you must feel. I still cry on a fairly regular basis for the things my youngest children missed out on with their Pop. I hope you can find some peace in the kindness of others during this time and continue to be your wife and children’s rock.

  55. Posted September 9, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you wrote this, so that those of us who were having to learn via Twitter what was going on could get the backstory and the details. I’m not going to offer you hugs in the comments like others, but I’ll pat your ass and have a beer with you in 3 hours. How’s that sound?

    • Posted September 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      That sounds like a capital idea, my friend … especially the pat on the ass.

  56. NaysWay
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I was waiting on this post. After seeing the one before it, I was waiting. Didn’t want to read it like you didn’t want to write it because I knew, KNEW, it would make me cry. Damn. I’m so sorry.

  57. Posted September 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I only just entered your blog and I dont know you but this is horrible so *hugs*
    I have a lump in my throat.
    Saying ‘that truly sucks’ sounds hollow and stupid but I mean it and I hope that you get through this.

    xxx
    Jaz´s most recent blog post: rawr &amp randomMy Profile

  58. Posted September 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the support. Very much.

  59. Posted September 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    …thereby proving that the universe is an unfair sonofabitch.
    I’m so sorry to hear what happened.
    Didactic Pirate´s most recent blog post: Overheard at the Campus Starbucks- Episode TwoMy Profile

  60. Mimi H
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I had been checkin here everyday since August, so sorry for all this shit… i was dreading having my entire family at my house today (being Thursday and having to go to work tomorrow and stuff) eff that, i am so happy i’m going to see them today, ALL of them, gonna enjoy it very much and not take it for granted.
    Hugs from Texas.

  61. Liise
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…

  62. Posted September 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    i’m a new reader…*hugs* to you and your family (hope stranger hugs aren’t too weird)
    ndnspeechmom´s most recent blog post: Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  63. Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry that your family has to go through this. We lost a cousin just about a month ago and the pain defeats words. Here are some hugs from Canada. I would send you some beers, if I could.

  64. Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m truly sorry for your loss. I played cards with my folks one day, left their house at 4pm. My dad, who was my best friend, was dead of a massive MI at midnight. (He’d had a clean checkup the day before.) You’re right, you’ll never be able to get those “first happy” moments with your wife about the move; but others will come in time. I know it doesn’t seem like that now. It’s hard to think that anyone will ever be really happy again.

    It’s been almost 30 years for me now since my dad died. Some moments it’s still hard, never having been able to say goodbye. Just hold your wife tight and keep telling her that you love her and that you’ll be there for her. I can tell by your writing that you’re a great guy.

    Just hold on tight. The ride could get bumpy.

  65. Posted September 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jon,
    First the weird… I am a huge blog reader, its what I do. I read blogs in all of my spare time. I stumbled here, a few days ago. I read blogs with a blog reader, I don’t see pictures. I never put the pieces together. I am an eternal lurker. Then while lurking on Facebook, there was an audible click –snap– as my brain cogs slid into gear and I realized. Hey I know him… wait… I more than know him… that’s Jon like skip school, go to Jon’s house and watch super hero cartoons in high school Jon…. Jon… not that I ever skipped school.

    Second, the condolences. I lost my dad last year. Despite the fact that heartfelt condolences from a stranger will not take away her pain, please send my thoughts and prayers to your wife and wrap some around yourself. I am extremely sorry for your loss.

    So yeah that is it.
    -back to lurking

    Sincerely and Affectionately,
    Lisa (formally D’Alessandro) from skipping school.

  66. Marci
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my dad 5 years ago, and it was the most difficult, unfair, heart-breaking experience I’ve ever had. Sometimes life really sucks.

    Your words are so touchingly true and honest, and your father-in-law sounds like a great guy — beyond great. I hope you and your family find peace and comfort. Hugs to you all.

  67. Posted September 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    it’s just so very unfair, this whole death thing. i just lost a (as you termed it) 2nd father back in november and the grief and the pain and the whole knotted surreality that surrounded the whole happening was a very defining experience for me. i hope you can find faith in the universe once again, even when it seems like she’s laughing through her fangs. i don’t think she is.
    i think it’s more likely she’s quietly urging you with that infinite mama patience…whispering through her deep eyes ‘you will continue to rise.’

    but, fuck, what do i know?
    sending you peace.

  68. Posted September 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow — your wife looks just like him. You can tell by his smile that he was a tender hearted man. Still so sorry for your loss.
    The Football Wife´s most recent blog post: Babycakes &amp Silky – Together… ForeverMy Profile

  69. Posted September 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow God sure knows how to throw a royal f*d curve ball. He does tend to use trajedies in ways he usually only can understand. Like when my Grandmother died a few days before my wedding. As human as we are I don’t think we can ever fully understand. I have just begun reading your blog and my husband and I have enjoyed it immensly. I pray that you will find comfort and guidance and remember to rejoice even in times of sorrow and pain. *more stanger hugs*
    CaptainCupycake´s most recent blog post: IdentityMy Profile

  70. becca
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been checking back here every day in hopes that you’d post again and let us know how you were all doing. You and your wife and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers.

  71. Jeff
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    My heart goes out to you & your family.

  72. Posted September 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I was so sorry to read your wonderfully written post. It’s never easy to lose someone you truly admire and love. No stupid little platitudes about how things happen for a reason, just sometimes life sucks and this is one of those times.
    Mirth´s most recent blog post: Never ForgetMy Profile

  73. Posted September 13, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Hoping your hearts soon begin to heal. More stranger hugs for you.
    Wombat Central´s most recent blog post: Five Question FrundayMy Profile

  74. Posted September 13, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I am truly sorry for your loss. There really is nothing to put it allin perspective except to say you were there, and you will be there, for the upcoming months of grief.

    My wife and I moved back to PA after Living in Florida for a few years just to have both her father and my father die in 6 months of our return. We look at it like at least we were there.

  75. Posted September 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Our deepest condolences to you and your family.
    PJ Mullen´s most recent blog post: Cruze-ing at the M3SummitMy Profile

  76. Posted September 14, 2010 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    I am so glad to see you post. I have been so worried about you and the family. Checkng every day. He is loving you from afar and watching over you all. XOXO

  77. Kim
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    eff…. tuff read.

  78. julie
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that was beautifully written. Tough to read but really poignant.
    Thank you for sharing this story. I was worried about you and yours.
    I’m glad you’re back. You have been missed (and much thought about) over these last few weeks.
    ~Julie

  79. Patty Harral
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I wondered how/if you were ever going to blog again. Beautifully, honest, simple, lovingly. Peace and love be with you.

  80. Posted September 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry for you and your family. I wish I could find something profound or comforting to say but really there are no words for such a tragedy.

  81. Posted September 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Your grief, in bare type, is a beautiful, wrenching tribute to your father-in-law. I’m so sorry. ~K

  82. TheOtherJennifer
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    That sucks. Hugs to you and WonderWoman. And Zan and Jayna. What a blow.

  83. Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    You write beautifully about your father-in-law. I do not know you or your family but I ache for you all the same. It’s a profound loss with cruel timing. I’m just so, so sorry.

  84. Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    If nothing else, please know that this post is an amazing tribute. It’s probably safe to say your father-in-law would have been very proud. Thinking of you and your family.

  85. Posted September 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh man I’m so so sorry.

  86. Janet
    Posted January 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Jon, I just found your blog and have been reading your
    posts. I know how you feel about 2010. It was a miserable year for
    me too. In a year of so many horrible events, I had just gotten to
    the point of “well, it can’t get much worse than this” when my
    husband died in November, just three days after our 32nd
    anniversary. Now our first grand children, twin girls, will never
    know what a wonderful, kind, funny, loving man he was. It breaks my
    heart. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.