There were many instances after Brittany’s death where Chris considered ending his life. It was hard to imagine living when your only daughter was buried under mounds of dirt.
Chris had seen the devastation Susan felt when they lost their first daughter. So, when it was confirmed that they needed medical treatment to conceive again, Chris talked to his insurance provider to cover the costs of their fertility specialist. After the approval, Susan went through artificial insemination, which started the pregnancy, leading them to their apple of the eye, Brittany.
The First Look
Chris was in the OR with Susan, dressed in hospital scrubs, while the doctors cut open his wife and took out baby Brittany. When they handed her to him after cleaning her up, Chris could only stare at the miracle baby in his arms.
Chris was a present parent during the early years of Brittany’s life. He was there when she took her first step and first called him dada. When Brittany first started speaking, Chris named her little lamb because he thought she sounded like one.
The family liked to travel around the country; even though Susan did all the planning, Chris always went along. Later on, fighting his battle with depression, he started to hide within his shell and would no longer accompany them. Yet he eagerly awaited the pictures Susan took of their beloved daughter.
It was hard to explain that even though he loved his daughter immensely, he couldn’t find the strength to display it after battling his internal demons all day.
Britany loved dressing up and asking her dad how she looked. Even from a very young age, Susan and Chris ensured that Brittany was always dressed up in the house and while going out. When Brittany wore a new dress, Chris knew she was awaiting his approval. He would sometimes pretend not to notice, but then Brittany would start to pout, and there was nothing harder for Chris than Brittany’s sadness.
They had a pet cat named Nubia and Chris knew how much Brittany loved him, so he made a small cat box with a light bulb so Nubia could stay warm in the winter. Brittany loved sitting beside the box, playing with Nubia.
The Troubled Teens
As Brittany grew older, she started growing less dependent on her father. This was hard on Chris, but he knew somewhere he was to be blamed for the rift between the two. Chris’s brother loved Brittany like his own daughter. Chris used to envy the easy and casual relationship they shared.
He wanted the same easy-going relationship with Brittany, but too much time had passed, and Brittany was no longer a child. She had sensed that her father would instead be shut away in his room or at work, so she started doing the same to him.
The Final Goodbye
Everyone grieves differently. When Chris heard the news of Brittany’s passing, he forgot how to breathe. It took him a long time to realize that Brittany was gone. During her funeral, he leaned over her casket, took a long look at his daughter, and whispered, “Goodbye, little lamb.”
Brittany appeared in Chris’s dreams to assure him that she was okay. Chris believes only Brittany’s visits, signs, and validations have kept him alive.
Read more about how Brittany has kept a connection with her family, even from the other world only in “The Scent Of Roses” by Susan Young Oskey.