Registering for school means the dreaded FORMS. I hate them for the same reason most widows hate them.

For mother, I list my name.
For father, I write DECEASED.

I leave his phone, address, place of employment, and other vitals blank. He gets no acknowledgment. It's as if he means nothing.

Children with two homes or two sets of parents are given space to fill in up to four parents' names and two addresses. Mine uses up one name and one address.

What I want to write in that tiny allotted space is an explanation about who Bob was, what he meant to us, why he's missed, how my children and I never go a day without him in our thoughts, our hearts, and that a form is such a cruel slap to a family who's lost a parent or a child. It is a torture that repeats itself in many settings long after your loved one is gone.

I am not a single parent standing in line to register my child for middle school. I am her only parent. I hate it.