Friday, October 26, 2012

3 Reasons and 5 Memories

I was 14 when my dad died of lung cancer.

The only grieving time we got was from that day until his funeral.  After that we were supposed to be ok with it and move on.  You know, because it was God's plan and you don't question God's Plan.

That's one topic that drives me nuts and I'll never understand.

Once the funeral was over we were expected not to talk about it.  We could grieve in our own time, but we weren't supposed to talk to it with others.

This was one thing I hated.  I needed to talk to someone.  I had questions I didn't have answers to.  My mom took us to therapy but that didn't help because he didn't have the answers I needed. It was many years later before I finally told my mom I needed answers.  Even then I decided to go to therapy.

I never learned how to cope with death, and having many people I love, including Sugar Pea's twin sister, die, I didn't know how to cope with it.  I felt like I had been ripped in two.  There was the part of me that was supposed to be normal and pretend everything was ok, and the other part of me was floating in the background wanting to close down and never start back up.

I have questioned a lot of things, especially my beliefs and faith.  I still have many questions and anger in that area, but I'm slowly working through them with the help of a local pastor.

When Tin Man died I did have some family members step up and try to tell me that if we don't talk about it and focus on other things it will be easier on the kids.  How?  I flat out told them not gonna happen.

I told the kids right away that if they needed to talk that I would always be there to listen.  If they had questions I would answer the best I could, and if I had to, I 'd find someone that could answer it for them.

One thing I started with them was when they came to me crying, we cried together.  Then I'd ask them for 3 reasons they were sad.  These reasons could be they missed their dad.  Something they were going to miss about him, or sadness because he wasn't going to see something in the future.  Then I'd as for 5 memories.  By the end of the memories we were laughing at all the memories we thought of.

Now I've started writing the memories down.  I bought them each a journal and when they give me memories, I write them down in their journal.  This way they can look back on it in 5, 10, 15 years.

I've learned that memories do fade over time, so being able to write them down while they are still fresh in their minds, I can get all the little details.  

Sugar Pea has asked if we can start a scrapbook using her memories.  Warrior thinks its a little girly, but I've decided I'm going to do one for him too.  He'll regret not having one when he's older and has kids.

I hate that I can't fix this.  I hate that I can't make their pain go away, but I will do what I can to help them through this the best I can.

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