Sunday, February 24, 2013

So Many Questions

One of the hardest conversations I have ever had in my life started this afternoon with my oldest child telling me, "Mommy, I just want to cry because I miss my baby Aaron so much."

I have posted several times in the last few months about how we have handled all of this with both girls and our approach has always been pretty straightforward.  Despite the honesty that we have maintained with them, we are still very careful that they will rarely see us cry about all that has happened.  It isn't because we want to hide the sadness or tears, it is because they are still babies themselves and we don't need to add any stress beyond that which is unavoidable.

So when Tori climbed into my lap this afternoon with tears streaming down her sweet little cheeks and told me that, I was caught a little off-guard.  Thankfully Chris and Abby were both nearby and we got to turn it into a fairly positive family moment, but it was a rough one.  I scooped her up, hugged her tight and told her that it was perfectly fine if she felt like crying because it's okay to be sad.  We let her know that Mommy and Daddy are sad too and sometimes we have to cry just like she does.  We also made it a point to tell her that it's okay to be happy too, because Aaron is safe in Heaven with God and knows that we love him very very much.  Abby was snuggled into Chris's lap and would occasionally come over to pat my cheek or look up and say "Heaven? God? S'okay Momma."  

I honestly can not remember the whole conversation or exactly how it went because I was so moved by her emotions and overwhelmed by my own - my intense grief over the loss of my son, but also the equally intense love I have for all three of my children.

We ended up spending nearly 45 minutes comforting her and answering so many questions.  She wanted to know if God was going to hold him and snuggle him for us, if he would give him kisses good night, and if God had a special crib waiting for Aaron in Heaven.  She wanted to know how Aaron got from here to Heaven and if someone had helped him get there -- then she said she thought that maybe Grandma used her wings to fly down and pick him up because if he tried to get there himself he might get squished by a car or truck when he crossed a road.  She wanted to know if Aaron could hear us in Heaven and wanted to know why we can't hear God talk to us but He can hear us talking to him.

We have tried several different times to try to explain what will happen at Tuesday's funeral and struggle with explaining the casket to her, but we've let her know that we'll be going to church to pray to God and ask him to always keep Aaron safe for us.  We've let her know that when people die, their angels go up to Heaven and we bury the box so their bodies can rest safely here.  (To this, she responded adamantly that Aaron was in Heaven, not still here.  So we left that one alone for now.)  She knows that the toys she and Abby got for him were sent to Heaven with him.  She and Abby both plan to release a balloon for him at the cemetery on Tuesday...Tori thinks he would like a blue one and Abby insists that he's getting pink. 

She also decided tonight that he needed something else to to snuggle, so we suggested that we could get him something and put it on top of the ground where we will bury his box.  She tapped her chin thoughtfully for a minute and informed me, " I don't think that's going to work.  But, we can do this - let's bury them in the sand next time we go to the beach when it gets warm and then Aaron and Grandma can come get them from the beach!!  But you have to put them in a box first so it doesn't get dirty!!!"  I have no idea where she came up with that plan, but it seemed important to looks like we'll be burying something on the beach next time we go.

She did eventually get settled down and we went on with our day.  There were a few more random questions since we went to purchase a crucifix and a rosary for Sunday's service, but overall she seems to be satisfied with her answers for now. 

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