Everyone else who stops by here that has never been through familial trauma, you can just go on to your next task for the day, nothing to read here.
OK, now that they're gone, it's just you and me. You've been there, I know. You've been left standing in the middle of a huge painful mess with no recourse that feels appropriate.
You want permission to fall apart but when you turn around to get that permission, you realize how horribly alone you really are.
You look at your kids and your heart breaks because this was never in your game plan. You were never going to be one of "those" families. One of "those" families that have their worlds fall apart and end up at the grocery store, juggling coupons, doing math in your head, looking at the balance in the checking account, and taking that second gallon of milk out of the cart. You were never going to be the mom that looked at her kids and wished she could afford a birthday present. Or a trip to the dentist.
You were going to be in charge of your life and you read all the parenting books and took your kids to all the playgroups and make macaroni art and hung it on the fridge. You told your kids how much you loved them and that you would always protect them and to never talk to strangers.
Now, when you look in the mirror, you wonder what happened. You search your eyes for a clue to the moment when it all went horribly wrong. Words echo through your head, words from his side of the family. Words that say "At least he didn't do this or that..." Words that assuaged their grief and told you that your children were merely bait, not worthy to have a father that didn't hurt them.
You're so tired. You're so hurt. You're so alone.
You need to take a few minutes, find a safe place, and fall apart.
Then, perhaps you can come back to your kids. Maybe play this lullaby for your whole little family.
And try to convince yourself that you did the best that you could.