I didn’t think it was possible, but my heart broke a little more today.
Since the accident there are a lot more tears at our house, and not just from me. There is a deep sadness in our home even though there is true peace and joy here too. They coexist in all that we do, and take turns with their dominance in our hearts. When my tears come I am very much aware that my sorrow is rooted in the loss of my husband and daughter. It is much easier for me to draw that parallel than it is for the boys.
For the boys the tears and pain are expressed in much different ways. Not because they don’t feel all the same things that I feel in the loss of their Daddy and little sister, but because when that overwhelming barrage of emotions comes they can’t always understand what those feelings mean and why they have them. Those drops of heartbreak and sadness become disappointment and confusion. Not being able to undo a button on a shirt, being last into the car, grapes instead of strawberries for lunch, or a favourite toy is being used; the list of irrational reasons could go on.
I try my best to be understanding and patient during these times. Many times I fail, but in my heart I know that this is a long road, one that will eventually end up with them finally reaching an age of understanding. And then a new part of their grief journey will start. And together we will have to navigate these murky waters again.
And as painful as my grief is for me, there is an extra burden of having to watch your children suffer in so many ways. Knowing that you cannot do anything to remove them from their path.
So when I heard Benjamin sobbing upstairs while I was making breakfast I assumed the culprit would be an uncooperative sock or excessive toothpaste. And when he came down the stairs and I asked him why he was crying, I was not prepared for his response:
“I miss my Daddy and my Madeline.”