Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Long Will It Be?

I started writing this post over an hour ago, and I am just now getting to it. I am slow tonight! I had a few emails to catch up on, a thank you note to write, facebook to check. Lots to do! I wasn't planning on writing tonight, because frankly, I just can't do the grief thing day in and day out. I do know that that's why you're here, because it makes for a good read. And that's totally ok with me, please just be aware that I won't be "grief blogging" every day. I would say the majority of my posts will be about grief, but I've still got that Advent Calendar post to publish.


Today the youngest was very tired and overwhelmed. We were cleaning the house all day, and she didn't get a nap in. Naps aren't the norm for her, but once in awhile she will still take one. During one of her cranky fits, she was crying and crying and said "I want my daddy".

Just imagine me letting out the biggest sigh ever. The weight of the world on my shoulders.

All I can do for her is say "I know", and give her a hug and a kiss.

I don't know how to handle these types of instances. I know she is young, but how long will it be till she stops asking about him? All the kids have known is having Daddy gone for work, he started Trucking when the twins were just over a year old. And while he had a local trucking job for awhile, they were just 2-3, and E at the time was just brand new, and 1.5 when he started with his current job (well, it was his current job). So all the kids are used to him being gone, but the older three understand more. She doesn't. I want her to ask, I don't want her to stop asking, but I don't know how to explain to her about what happened, over and over and over. My usual response is something along the lines of: "Daddy's heart was sick, and the doctors couldn't fix it, and then daddy died. Now he lives in our hearts and we can talk to him any time we want" etc etc.

I thought ahead to Christmas, and her birthday, and wondered if she's going to ask about him then. Why does she have to be so used to him being gone? Why did his job have to be such a curse and a blessing that way? I can't help but wonder if she will forget him. I don't want her to forget! I am scared she will stop asking about him, and forget he existed, because she is so young. I know that it is our duty to keep him alive for her, to relay memories and tell stories, look at pictures and watch the few videos we have. And sadly, that is all we have now, whatever exists in our hearts and our heads, the jpgs in the computer and the few videos I have wandering somewhere around the house.

And if she does ask, what the hell am I going to say? How do I explain to her that daddy can never come back? It breaks my heart to break hers. How can I tell her that No, daddy isn't working, he died and now he lives in our hearts? As I said earlier, she is used to him being gone, she doesn't get the finality of the situation.

I just don't know what to do!

And while I am on the topic of grieving, I am wondering how to handle day to day life with the kids. I feel like we aren't grieving. OK, maybe we are, I know we all are, but around each other, we don't so much. I rarely cry in front of the kids. The boy doesn't like to talk about his feelings. V, the oldest, is always saying how much she misses him and does cry...she shows her grief the most. E, the middle child, is a lot like the boy and doesn't show her feelings very well.

It feels like we're just going through the motions of day to day life as usual. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is it bad that this is our life, having him gone all the time, and bad that we're used to it? I will be bringing this up at our next grief support group, because I think that some of the other parents can give me some insight on this. I personally, do not know what to do, because I want us to miss him, I want us to cry and be sad, but it seems like we just don't know how because we are so used to him being gone.

I know for a fact that I have trouble grieving in front of the kids. I do cry occasionally in front of them, and I know they have heard me at night getting upset and crying, but I feel like I have to put on a front for them and just be the strong mommy. The grieving wife side of me doesn't get to come out usually unless I am by myself at night, or during the day if all the kids are gone at friends' houses or school.

Does anyone have any ideas? I know you're all reading, so comment already :)

It's hard to believe I've been a widow for almost 7 weeks. It will be 7 weeks on Saturday.


Rina the Mama Bear said...

I don't think it's a bad thing to be keeping your day to day routine. That normalcy will help the kids, I think.


You are so strong. It's ok if the kids see you grieving once in a while, it's good for them to know you loved him that much and miss him a lot, just like they do (even if they don't express it well).

Tera said...

I think it is absolutely ok for you all do TRY to have a "normal" day to day life. The kids probably need that stability. But I also think it would be good for them to see you greive. They will want and need to know how much He is missed. Please do not think your "followers" come to read just about your greiving. I know myself, I am here because of the similarities we have..I am a 30 yr old SAHM of 5 kids. and if something this traumatizing happened to me, I would need others around for support. Sometimes family and friends just aren't enough when you might need to vent in the middle of the night or to someone who isn't going to give you that "look". We are all here for support for you in this situation, because I know I would need someone if I was in your shoes. Stay strong, but please do not be afraid to cry.

Doris said...

I think that you are doing everything right for you. Don't doubt yourself.

running wildly said...

I too think what you're experiencing is a totally normal part of grieving. It will ebb and flow. Joanna, you have enough stuff on your shoulders....why torture yourself with feeling guilt about not grieving a certain way? Give yourself permission to grieve through crying, laughing, screaming, hugging, jogging, taking a bath....whatever ways! It's about YOU and YOUR healing, and your kids. Take as much or as little time as you want.