Wow, I have been gone a long time......
I want to start by thanking everyone for their comments, prayers, cards, donations and love. It has been a very hard month but we have been so appreciative of all of those around us (near and far, real and virtual). I apologize if I have not returned your emails yet, called you back or been to your blog for awhile.....I will. I have been trying to catch up around the house, spend some quality time with my family, write hundreds of thank you notes (no exaggeration) and continue to keep my beautiful sister in-law's memory alive through the websites I have created for her. It has been a bit overwhelming but we are doing our best.
I wanted to share with you now the difficult task of telling Z that his Auntie Kiki, his godmother, had passed away. We took the advice of a good friend and did not tell him right away (thanks Sey). This ended up being very good advice because he initially went with me to S's parents house for a few nights (we were in a hotel) and then left us to spend the weekend with my parents at the lake while we attended the wake and funeral. If we had told him right away, it might have been very difficult for him to leave us for the weekend. It also gave us time to chat and figure out the best way to tell him.
Over a week a half had passed before we told Z. We were successful in shielding him for that long from most comments and conversations. On Thursday of last week, somebody said something in front of him and he looked at me with a look of confusion. I called s and told him that we had to tell Z that night (we had hoped to wait until the weekend) and so that is what we did.
Right before dinner (the baby was in bed) we called him over to the couch. Still unsure of what we would say (even though we had done so much reading and talked with a therapist) we sat him down. We reminded him of the book I had read to him about cancer (it was for children and compared the disease to weeds in a garden) and discussed his Auntie's sickness. We then talked about Noni and how she was an angel in heaven and told him that Kiki was with Noni now because she could no longer fight the weeds in her garden. Z looked worried, sad and puzzled and I began to cry. He asked if she would be able to come back and we told him that she would not be able to come back as a person but she might be able to visit us as a butterfly, bird or dragonfly. We said that the next time one of these beautiful creatures is hanging around us, it might be Kiki (I have a post about this for another time). At this point S was choked up and I was sobbing.....then the lights went out! They quickly came back on and S and I knew it was Auntie Kiki trying to lighten the mood :) She was successful and we went on to answer Z's questions without the tears. (Thanks Kiki!!)
After lots of hugs, we went on to eat our dinner. Z asked if he could say grace. His usual grace goes like this......
"Thank you for this food, please help Kiki get better and please help find Buzz Lightyear"
He started his grace off in the same manner as always but when he got to the Kiki part he stopped. He looked at us and we told him that he could still pray for Kiki and that he could say that he hopes that she is happy up in Heaven. He added this in and then prayed for Buzz.
Since this night, he has had some nightmares, some worried moments (he thought that I might die because my back has been hurting) and some interesting questions. Despite all of this, I am so much happier now that he knows because we can openly discuss our feelings and talk about Kiki and how much we miss her and share all of the wonderful stories we have about her. This past weekend we were down visiting S's family again and Z was given a Batman stuffed animal that had belonged to Kiki. He now treasures this toy and tells everyone who will listen that it was his Auntie Kiki's.
He is a special boy and we will make it our mission to help him remember his wonderful auntie.