Last week there was an author visit to #1 Son’s school, so I purchased the two recommended books for her to sign. Sadly, due to the damn inclement weather they didn’t arrive in time. But, he still has them, so at least he is not left out when his classmates read them. He picked the first off his story book shelf tonight:I knew roughly the premise – it’s to help children deal with death. But I should have read it first. Halfway through I was choked up, and by three quarters in I was full on ugly crying. This is a truly apt description. The book is both haunting and heartbreaking and truly beautiful. Both in story and in illustration. What I had prepared for was some questions, but I had honestly hoped that the subtext might fly over his head
Things like this often do
But sadly, no such luck. He asked some very hard questions.
What will happen to me when you and daddy die? You are big and I am small. I will be all alone.
God my heart broke when he asked that. I think I handled it okay. We didn’t gloss over it, nor did we hide the truth. In fact, daddy went into quite a lot of detail about burial and cremation when #1 Son asked what happened to Ida after she died. (There is a reason I get him to help with the bigger questions). But there was a side effect we didn’t expect. A complete outpouring of grief regarding his former school in general, and one friend in particular. Floored me and his dad completely. But he was so distraught we are endeavouring to see if we can put them back in touch with each other if we can. I did also send an email to his class teacher, school counsellor and his own personal therapist outlining the above as well. As we say online: this is well above my pay grade!