How do you explain death to a child? Any child? Logan realizes these people are ‘dead’. They aren’t coming back. They can’t talk to him or hug him anymore. He says “I miss her” and “sad” but he has never cried. He has never said more than those simple statements. I’ve tried to discuss it with him, and he just blocks me out. I know, like any other person, he is processing at his own speed, accepting on his own terms, but its hard not knowing how to help him. I am obviously there to support him, to answer any questions- but he doesn’t ask. He simply says “I miss her”. I wish I could get him into a flowing dialogue of what that really means. How it impacts all of our lives. I reply “I miss her too” and I am hoping that’s enough.
Our family suffered multiple devastating losses in a very quick succession. This is part of the problem. Us adults in the family haven’t even fully processed, absorbed, grieved. I guess that’s my fear- how can I help him if I am not there yet myself?
June2008 my grandfather passed suddenly. Joking, healthy, daily walks, Papa- Mayor of Joppa, gone in an instant, and it rocked our worlds. A silent passing, he died in his kitchen chair of a heart attack.
Left picking up the pieces, to help Grammy cope with losing her beloved Bill after a lifetime of love with him. We struggled.
March2009, 9 months later- Grammy is gone. Just as suddenly, just as shocking. After falling and breaking her hip, she went in for surgery and didn’t wake up. We were devastated, and once again picking up pieces- with our arms still full of pieces from Papa. Walking through a nightmare, trying to wrap our brains around this tragedy. Wondering how we’d cope – feeling as if it were a dream.
August2009, 5 months later- Grammy and Papa’s only son, their youngest child. My beloved Uncle Boo. Gone by his own hand. Grief, guilt, sadness.
Logan does not know the details of these deaths. Just that they are gone. He knows he misses them, and there are photos to remember them by.
Fast forward to this year. Logan’s beloved Nanny- my mother in law. One of the greatest loves of my life and my children’s lives passed in March 2012. This was different for Logan, as she had helped me raise him and his sister Abby. She was there for us always, to babysit, to help give me some respite, to offer advice. Seth and I were allowed to do alot that most young parents could not- because of Sally. We watched her health deteriorate, and it was heart wrenching. Her husband, my father in law Steve, as well as her wonderful daughter Linda, stepped in as care givers for the last part of her journey, while the rest of the family tried to hold it together, not sure where to turn. I tried to keep a balance of keeping Logan involved but away. He had a hard time. He wouldn’t see her for a few days and he would ask about her. We would go see her, then he would be withdrawn and sullen for a few days, trying to process what he’d just seen. It was a tricky balance.
He mentions her daily. I think of her hourly.
I dreamed of Papa last night and it pushed all of this into the forefront of my day. I think I will sit with Logan tonight and have a long talk about these angels. Love you and miss you every single day.
Logan and Nanny
Logan and Papa