EXPLAINING DEATH TO YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN:
SIMPLE GESTURES TO COMFORT THEM
Your body truly gives you a miracle when your loved one just passes away, to feel complete and utter numbness. This is the body’s gift to you; I honestly see that now looking back on it all. Numbness to make it through moments that no person should ever have to face. From wills, to funeral arrangements, to watching your loved one be set to rest, it is a true blessing that in that time we feel complete numbness throughout our body, heart and soul.
The one truly painful of all is to have to bring your voice to speak the words to your child/children that their parent has passed away. Old or young this will never be easy to say or be heard. Having to say this to a little child is no different to a teenager or adult.
The final moments have gone by, the signing of papers to release my one true love to a funeral home. All I could think of was my little girl, how blessed I was that I had her, she was all of my reason to move forward. The only thing I could think of was to hug her, kiss her, and then I realized what it was I had to say to her. Her Daddy was the proudest Father of his little girl, now I was faced to tell her that her Daddy was no longer here, no longer alive. Thinking of ways to tell her this I remembered stories told to me by so many people whose parents that were not at all honest with their child/children like; “your parent is gone away”, “your parent left us”, “your parent is just asleep for a while”, “your parent is gone away to work for a while”, or to simply nothing at all. From these stories I remember that all that came from these lies was a life time grudge, that for their whole entire life they never forgave their parent for not telling the truth.
So as I was on my way home to my daughter I knew no matter how hard it was what I owed to her heart was to speak the truth, just as I have from the beginning. I made sure from the beginning of her Father’s sickness she knew that he may not get better, that he may have to one day go be with Jesus in Heaven, to be our Angel, that if he did he would always love us and be with us, not to be seen but through his love. Kids are little people they know, they feel as well as understand, they just need to be told the truth the best way that we can tell them.
Sitting down with her in a quiet room down to her eye level looking in to her eyes I told her, as hard as it was, as painful as it felt, in the best way I could, I told her. My daughter has always been good with talking to me, sharing her feelings with me. I always made sure she could do that with me. From that day forward she knew whatever it was she felt to just come to me, to let me know. If it was she missed her daddy, if she felt sad, angry or just missing him, she always did. No matter how hard it was I embraced her, I embraced her feelings. Even when the pain is so unbearable we have to let our child/children speak of their pain as well.
One day I decided that we should start letting go balloons with a note attached whenever she wanted to let her daddy know something. Something so little like this can bring healing to you even little by little. I noticed at the cemetery this little gesture helped tremendously, she smiled bright as the balloon went in to the clouds, it was at that moment I seen a sparkle in her eyes, that was when I knew she too was on her way to healing. That in her heart she was starting to feel the pain evapourate. It sometimes is the simplest of things that help mend our broken hearts.
Note to all: This blog post took all it had in me to relive. Many sentences left me with tears. We all have it in us to get through the toughest of times. If I did it right now, right here, you all can too.
A LITTLE RITUAL THAT HELPED TREMENDOUSLY: Each night before we would lie to sleep me and my little girl would always say our goodnights to him. Saying “goodnight daddy”, followed by a simple yet to the point prayer “I love daddy, daddy loves me, God bless daddy and God bless me. Je t’aime beacoup daddy”, since he was French and always said this to her before he went to sleep when he was with us.
Through the little gestures that work for us they seem so much more than little gestures that help us move toward healing, to help the pain ease up a little. Whatever it is for all of you find the little things that work for you.