Forgive me for my absence, but September is a bittersweet month for me. Back-to-School is an exciting time for me because I don’t get a break from the kids during the summer. I look forward to simple things, like being able to have a bath uninterrupted, grocery shopping on my own, and vacuuming without my youngest two fighting over who gets to help me first. But September is also an extremely difficult, extremely emotional time in my household and both my husband and I shut down for the first couple of weeks.

You see, September is full of reminders. Reminders of my Dad, reminders of my Mother-in-Law, and reminders of my husband’s uncle. Reminders that these people, who we loved so much, are no longer with us.

September 2007 my Father passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly. He had been fighting cancer, and apparently he was fighting successfully. We thought he was cancer-free, but the end of August he developed flu-like symptoms. I remember talking to him on August 31, and he thought he had the flu. I told him to get some rest, that I would call him the next day. He never answered his phone again. Ultimately, we had to get the police to enter his house where they found him in bed. He was already gone. Those scenes in the movies where someone falls to the ground screaming when they are told someone has died? That was my reality. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, and something that I still deal with every single day. September is the hardest month for me though, because its not only the anniversary of my Dad’s death, but his birthday is September 5th. He would have been 67 this year.


My Dad and Baby Me

He passed when Thomas was only 7 weeks old, and I’m sad every day that he isn’t around to watch my boys grow, and that my youngest three will never have any memories of him. You see, my Dad was the BEST Grandad, and without him there is a huge void in our lives, and in my heart. For the boys, Grandad is a wooden box who sits on a ledge in the hallway surrounded by candles, crosses, hearts and photos.

September 9th sees more pain as this is not only the anniversary of my Mother-in-Law’s death after a year long illness (2009), but it is also my husband’s birthday. Basically, Chris’ birthday has been voided and is now just a day of pain. It makes it difficult, especially for the boys as they really don’t understand. The beginning of September also sees the first anniversary of Chris’ favourite uncle’s passing AND his birthday.

So, September is hard. Some days it is hard to see through the pain, and the tears, because grief does not get better. The pain does not go away. It is always there, and some days it hits (sometimes unexpectedly) and its hard to breathe. September I retreat, I cry, I scream, I sleep, I soul-search. September is bittersweet, and I’ll be thankful once October rolls around.


Andrea resides in Calgary, Alberta, and is the proud mom to five boys between the ages of 7-23. Running mainly on coffee and sarcasm, in her spare time she enjoys listening to Canadian Rock, watching Calgary Flames hockey, reading YA Dystopian novels, and binge watching Netflix.


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