Everyone asks me how the kids are doing. And I don't know how to answer.
I've noticed they are so very resilient, and have done very well during this time of adversity. But each kid grieves differently, even in our family I have noticed many differences between all four children. The older kids understand more than the baby does, they know he can't come back, but they are hurting too. They write in their journals about how they miss him. They write memories, but it's so sad. I hate seeing them cry because it just breaks my heart. Going back to school has really helped them though I think because they get to be with their friends. They crave normality, they want to play, run, jump, learn, and just be at school. This is also why I am trying to keep us busy. We're doing more things together. Today we went to a Halloween Party, and bought a new video to watch tonight. Tomorrow a friend is taking us to Chuck E. Cheese's and then we're going to a Halloween thing at the local book store.
I think what has really helped us through these last couple weeks is that my husband was gone all the time, so we were used to day to day life without him. They talked to their dad on the phone, and we saw him every 7 weeks or so. He was always home for a week, week and a half, and then gone again.
But with the youngest, she doesn't quite realize what has happened. She was a total daddy's girl, and ADORES her daddy. Yes I say adores, because she still does. She knows something is up though, and we have talked about it, and how daddy died. Today she asked my why he died. It hurts my heart to have to tell her over and over why Daddy died. In many ways she is so lucky because she won't remember the pain of losing him, but she cries for him every. single. day. It breaks my heart! I am just sick that she won't remember him though, and that all we have are videos and pictures, and OUR memories to share with her. How is she going to remember him at only 3.5? It's so unfair.
It hurts my heart, breaks my heart, and tears it apart to know that the kids have to grow up without their daddy. He loved them so much, he was so proud of them. And now they don't have him.
How am I going to teach the kids what their dad wanted to teach them? How do I step up and be mommy and daddy? Especially with the boy, how can I provide for him what he needs in a father? And the girls, they need a father figure too...but I just don't know what to do about that. I am thankful to have a wonderful brother who can be in their lives, but sometimes an Uncle just isn't enough. They need and deserve more.
I wish I could do it all for them, but I just don't know that I can give them all they need. I don't know how!
Why does it seem like everything has to be a blessing in disguise? Like the fact that I never took the kids to the hospital to see him before he died, so now all their memories are happy ones. Or that the baby is young enough to not remember how painful it was to lose him. Or the fact that when we purchased our van, we got that special life insurance on it *just in case*.
Edited To Add:
I wrote this post Friday night, but decided not to post it till Sunday.
Glad I decided to wait, because I have updates as of Saturday night.
Things I have noticed....regression in the 3.5 year old. She is sucking her thumb again and acting like more of a baby. She cries at the drop of a hat. And she is very antagonistic with her siblings. She just won't leave them alone! I think she needs some extra TLC, which I am totally OK with. Her and I have some fun activities planned for this week, including two story times at the library and a trip to the pumpkin patch.
And I found our oldest two girls crying in bed tonight after I tucked them in. I didn't want to disturb them, but I went in there and talked to them anyway. I started to cry as well with them, I wish I could just take the pain away for all of us. The oldest girl I knew would have a really hard time with it, and I was right. she was saying how much she missed her daddy. *sigh*
And there has been a LOT more fighting and bickering amongst the children. All of our fuses are short, but they just can't help themselves. I'm constantly hearing tattling, whining, screaming, and fighting from them. All the time. I don't have time right now, I am so busy still trying to close up Barry's estate, but I will be looking into counseling for them and SOON. I think we really do need it and soon. I've been given some recommendations by some friends of mine, especially about groups for kids only. There is also a 6 week course held at the hospital that started on October 7th that I wanted to go to, but it wasn't the right time. It starts again after Christmas, so I am going to register myself for that.
I wrote yesterday about how I was afraid to think about him. Tonight I made myself do something. I looked at some pictures, kissed them, told him I loved him. I listened to the music I had played at his memorial service. One song in particular is so etched in my mind that I can recall exactly what I was doing at that time. I was walking up to give my "speech" about Barry, and then I stopped right before I got to the podium to look at his face. Some of my friends were right though, I do need to look at the pictures and remember. I can't deny myself the pain. And you know what? I do feel a bit better. I can't handle it for long periods...I got about a half hour in tonight before it started to get to me. But hey, at half hour is a half hour, right? One thing I know I can't do right now is listen to his voice. That's not something I'm ready for. But at least I can look at his pictures once in awhile without being desperately afraid to do so.