Bedtime that night was very difficult. It's not that it wasn't difficult leading up to it, but once Lilly was alone with her thoughts she just couldn't let it go.

We prayed, we talked, I kissed her teary cheeks and she hugged me, rubbing my teary cheeks.

I wonder if I'm hurting her. By being so honest. By letting her in to my emotions.

Don't misunderstand. I'm gentle. I'm simple about it. I don't complicate it. But I'm honest and I use the 'real' words to describe things. Always making certain I justify those terms with an explanation.

But .....back to bedtime.

I was on bedtime duty and as we neared Lilly's time she continued to question and ask things. Sometimes a lot of the same thing, just phrased different.

But then I tucked her in. She asked for some very specific prayers.

L: "Momma, would you please pray that God gives me good dreams tonight. Dreams that maybe Zachy is in?"

I did.

L: "Momma, could you pray that I could fall asleep right away so that I can stop being sad?"

I did.

And then she laid her head, I snuggled in for a minute and left her to drift off to sleep.
Which didn't happen.....

She came downstairs to where I was working, looking sad. I think she really just wanted to see me again. I brought her back up and tucked her in. She said she missed him again. I said I did too. Kissed her cheek and walked out.

She yelled before I even got back to the stairs. I went back to her room. Sat on the side of her bed and began rubbing her wet cheek.

L: "Mommy, Why do I only remember Zachy when he was wearing his camouflage hat?"....she sniffled.

I tried to explain to her that he wore that darn thing a lot...and that we had several photos of her and Zachy with his hat on. I think she sometimes needs to make memories. She sees a photo or hears a story several times and would like to have that memory.

I tried to leave. She asked again....

L: "I wish I could know more about him. I wish he could know more about me!"

And this is where I wonder if I have done them harm. If I cry...they ask why. I say things like:
"I just am sad that Zach couldn't get to know you more.", or
"I just miss my brother."

Am I putting this in her head?

Anyhow, I sat there telling her a few endearing things about him and how I thought that these things would have continued with her had he lived. She like it and smiled. I walked back downstairs.

I was summoned several more times into the late hours on the night...and continued my patience as I thought to myself, "I have no idea how this must feel!".

The following day and a half have been no different. Ever time we pass a cemetery the children yell out, "There's a cemetery like where Zachy died.". I've give up on explaining the difference.

But Lilly is still the most interested.

As I mentioned there was a tragic car accident last weekend here, and the memorial on the highway is directly on our way...well...EVERYWHERE it seems. And each and every time we pass they ask why and what and how and who. And every time I try to answer with a bit more information.

Tonight we were caught behind a funeral processional....and the questions flew again. Why and who and where and what.

But tonight. Lilly threw it at me. It hit hard. She's 5. I don't like that she is realizing this at this age.

We drove past the memorial site on the highway, there were more flowers and now a very large cross stood there. Police cars. Flashing lights.

L: "Why is all of this stuff happening right now?"
M: "What do you mean?"
L: "All of these kids dying?"

I didn't answer. I didn't know what to say. I have answered it before regarding my brother. But it wouldn't have made sense this time. She would've have taken that as the full answer.

If only life could stay as simple as my baby turning 2 today and my 5 year old staying 5! The two children in between just being simple.


Anne said…
Alicia, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers - I can't imagine what you are going through. I remember being a little older - 8 to be exact when my dad's twin brother died - it was my first experience - I too asked a lot of questions - things were pretty raw still in my family and my dad did not want to talk about his brother - so I never asked - kept things to myself. I think talking about your brother is the right thing to do - I felt like I was doing something bad thinking or talking about my uncle. It's hard right now with everything that has happened in town, hopefully things will start to get back to normal soon. Anyways - just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you!
Miss said…
wow...I bawled again. I can not even begin to imagine what it must be like to still be dealing with your own grief and now having to help your (all to smart for her own good) daughter process too....I think you being honest is brilliant. I don't think you are doing them one bit of damage. You are an AMAZING mom who shines with honesty and delight. You are simply helping them learn about life (earlier than you would have liked? probably....but you are still doing an amazing job)

I also laughed out loud at her question of him always wearing his camo hat! =) haha

Popular Posts