A Planned Life
Many people have a plan for their life. We think that we will fall in love with our soulmate, find a job we love with an excellent salary, and start the perfect family. In most cases, things don’t go as planned, and we are forced to adapt and make new changes in our lives. This is the case with a man named Chris Martin from Melbourne, Australia.
Chris was single, and he was ready to share his life with someone. Because of this, he agreed to go on a date with his good friend’s cousin, Renee. Chris and Renee met, but they didn’t click right away. Chris realized that there was no chemistry, so he moved on. Years after Chris and Renee went on a date; they kept meeting up at the same parties. It felt like fate, and one night, the two had their first kiss.
Chris and Renee realized after their first date that they were meant to be. They started dating, and things were amazing. They couldn’t bear to be apart, and they enjoyed ever second they had together. They were so happy together that they knew that the next step was to get married. They had a beautiful ceremony, and shortly after the wedding, they found out that they were expecting a baby. Renee gave birth to a baby girl named Grace, and in 2011, Renee found out that she was expecting a baby boy. Things were going exactly how the couple had planned.
Renee and Chris’ fairy tale life came crashing down when Renee found out that she had kidney cancer. In just a few minutes, the couple went from getting ready for their son to planning how they were going to tell their daughter that her mother was very sick. It was a devastating blow. Chris says that he remembers sitting down with Grace and telling her that they didn’t know if they could beat the germs in her mother’s belly. He told his little girl that if they couldn’t beat the germs, that her mother would die. For Chris, it was the worst conversation he ever had in his life.
In 2013, Chris had to have an even more difficult conversation with his two children. By this point, Grace was 8 and the couple’s son, Albi was just two. Renee had died, and it was up to Chris to tell them that their mother had died. Renee was just 39-years-old.
A Single Dad
Chris was devastated. He was now a single dad, and he had to pull himself together for his children, but he was also struggling with the pain of losing his wife. He felt that his grief and responsibility was going to drive him insane. When he first lost Renee, he missed everything about being a couple. He missed the companionship, the shared load of duties, and simply being around her. He said that it was the little moments with Renee that he missed the most. He had to find a way to heal for his children, but he didn’t know how.
Chris says that his children kept him going. They gave him a purpose beyond himself and kept him focused on the present rather than the past that he had with Renee. Although he was getting by, he still felt helpless deep down. He had a massive void in his life after losing Renee, and he needed something more.
Just a Dad
Three years after losing Renee, Chris started a blog called, Just a Dad. The blog was therapeutic for him, and it gave him a chance to explain how he felt to his friends and family. He had no idea that his blog would hep single dads everywhere cope with the loss and grief that he experienced. He wrote often, he raised his children, but he never forgot Renee. As the years passed, the sound of her voice became a memory, and he was trying to live the life he was meant to live.
In 2018, Chris was writing a blog called Mourning Guilt. He wanted to find some information, so he logged into Renee’s email account. While going through her emails, he found an email chain that Renee had started about planning a surprise party for Chris’ 40th birthday. Even though she was dying of cancer, she still wanted to celebrate her husband. 5 years after losing his wife, a single dad uncovers an email detailing her secret plan. He says that as he read, he could almost hear her voice speaking out loud. As he read the emails from her, detailing how much she loved Christ, he was finally able to express emotions that he had suppressed over five years ago.
Guilt and Closure
Reading Renee’s emails brought up great feelings of guilt for Chris. He felt guilty that he was still here living his life, and Renee was gone. He planned to post the details of the email in his blog, but first, she sent an email to Renee. He knew that she would never see it, but it was cathartic. As the typed, he felt lighter. He told Renee all of the things that he wished he could say over the years. Chris says that he will always love Renee, and true love never dies. The email that he found was proof that for her, true love never died either. The email helped him realize that his bond with Renee was so strong, that not even death could tear them apart.