I fully intended to put up a new post yesterday. I had it all mapped out in my head. It was going to be about wishes; wishing winter were over, wishing my kids would both grow up quicker and stay little forever, things like that. But then Matt and I found out that one of our friends had passed away, and suddenly my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. Instead we spent the evening trying to make sense of the whole thing.
His death was very unexpected for us. He and Matt used to work together, but then Matt transferred to a different department, his friend left the company, and sadly we ended up losing touch over time. Recently we’d re-located him on Facebook but hadn’t yet reached out and tried to rekindle our ties. We haven’t heard exactly what happened yet, but he was only 10-15 years older than us so it wasn’t something we’d been preparing ourselves for.
The worst part for me is knowing that he has a son who’s between Brendan and Cameron’s age. I can’t imagine having to help a child that small deal with something this huge. All I could picture last night was how sad my kids would be if their dad never came home again. Especially Cameron. As much as he loves his daddy, I’m afraid he’d never recover from the experience. Just playing that scenario over in my mind made me hug my children close all yesterday afternoon.
We didn’t tell Cameron and Kaylee what was going on. Their too young to really understand, and thankfully this will not impact them. We’d lost touch with our friend before any of the kids were really old enough to see him as a fixture in our lives. Cameron must’ve sensed some of my sadness though, because he got up in the middle of his nap and came to my bedroom. When I asked him why he was up he said it was because I needed a hug. He came and wrapped his arms around me tightly, then went back to bed without being told. He was right, I did need that hug.
We did go ahead and tell Brendan about it. Though it won’t impact him any more than it will the other two, he’s old enough to understand and it’s something he will have to learn to deal with eventually. I thought by including him, and letting him see how Matt and I dealt with our grief may help him down the road when the situation inevitably comes up again and it does impact him. He had some questions, which we answered, and didn’t seem too upset by the information. But I did notice that last night he slept in Cameron’s bed for the first time in a long time.
This isn’t his first foray into the topic of death. When we travelled to my cousin’s wedding a couple years ago we had the opportunity to visit my grandfather’s grave. Something we don’t get to do as often as we’d like since he’s buried in a different state. Up to that point we’d never talked with Brendan much about death. But when he point blank asked my mom where her dad was, we explained it to him and took him to the gravesite with us. I was worried that my sensitive little boy would be scared by both the subject and the cemetary itself, but he wasn’t. He handled the situation with calm and understanding well beyond his years.
The only thing my son has yet to experience is attending a funeral. We’ve been very blessed in our lives and the only loved one we’ve lost in his lifetime was Matt’s grandfather. But at the time Brendan was around 3-4 years old and still in the phase where he didn’t understand needing to sit still and be quiet, so we didn’t take him with us to that funeral. We won’t be taking him along to this one either. I’m sure he could handle the situation, but this is something that Matt and I need to deal with on our own and I’m just not up for answering Brendan’s many questions as we go to say goodbye.