Monday, August 17, 2015

How much loss can Little Ones take?

This past week was rough, not for me but for Big Sister. I got word Wednesday that their grandmother, my late husband's mother, had passed away. She is in school now, 1st grade, and I was unsure how she would take the news so I waited to tell her until Friday after school. I knew she would be upset, but I don't think I was ready for questions and her fears.

Let's rewind for some back story... When Little Sister was born, my mother-in-law had moved in to help with Big Sister while I adjusted to the new baby. She actually was there a couple months earlier because I had been put on bed rest. Even though it wasn't the plan to begin with, she ended up staying for a year. Big Sister got very attached to her and even after she moved back to her apartment, almost 3 hours away, the girls loved to visit and were always sad to leave when we had to return home. After my husband passed, she was diagnosed with cancer. She went through Chemo and beat it, however she during that time she also suffered from a busted ear drum. I can't even begin to imagine have to live in a state of constant dizziness. She went through Physical Therapy and did very well, at one point she was even back to driving again. She had a scare where they thought her cancer was back, but it wasn't, however she busted the other ear drum and was back to square one with the dizziness and Physical Therapy again. She was placed in a Nursing Home to go through through Physical Therapy again. This brings us up to recently. The girls went to visit her while she was in the nursing home, unfortunately while there she had difficulty breathing and was taken to the hospital. The girls were traumatized and Big Sister even asked her if she was going to die. They were able to visit her in the hospital when she was stable and doing much better. It reassured them a bit, but they were still upset to leave her.

Well, she got pneumonia and went down hill in the hospital. Next thing I hear is she wasn't going to make it through the day and then the call came in she had passed. I decided to tell the girls separately so that I could be able to comfort them completely without having to divide my attention between the two. Big Sister was the first to be told the news.  I began by telling her that her grandmother had done worse in the hospital and before I could even get the words out Big Sister asked if she was dead. I desperately wanted to say no but I couldn't lie, but I had to pause for a minute before I said yes. She cried and cried. Once I calmed her, it was time to tell Little Sister. I was surprised when I got absolutely no reaction from her. I don't know if she just doesn't know how to process death, her sister was 4 years old when their father passed and had emotions toward that but here she was 4 years old and nothing.

We went to the viewing and again Big Sister was just completely in tears. She didn't want to leave the casket. She kept saying "I didn't want this to happen" and "I will miss her." I was also very shocked at how curious she was about it, asking why she was cold and hard. Its like she was trying to figure out the difference between someone being alive and someone being dead. And then she asked me if I was going to die. I try really really hard not to lie or even tell a half truth when they ask the tough questions. I told her yes, one day I will, hopefully when I am very very old. She asked if she was going to die, again I gave her a similar response and explained that eventually everyone dies when God decides it is their time to go home to him. She has asked me several times more after the viewing if I am going to die, each time I hate to tell her yes but I give her the same answer. Little Sister, on the other hand, had no response to her grandmother. Not one tear, reaction, or questions. She seemed to just accept it or maybe she just hasn't processed it yet.

This morning going to school I sent a letter with her for her teacher. I don't really know how well she has processed everything and I don't know how it will affect her while she is away from me. I have heard about children having behavior issues, or bowel issues when going through a loss so I wanted her teacher to be prepared for anything. I do expect her to be emotional sometimes, she has such a big heart and just LOVES everyone. I always tell people she is so special and how I wish I was more like her. I am pretty sure that God gave her to me more so I could learn from her and not so much for her to learn from me.

Well, it is about that time. Time for Big Sis to get off the bus. This is where I must leave you for now. Hopefully, I can continue to write on a more regular basis. Until then, please stick with me dear followers!


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