Tuesday, February 3, 2009

explaining the unexplainable...

From the day Alice died we have been open and as honest as we can be with our daughter Minnie. We continue to explain that Alice Buttons was born too early and was too little and too sick to survive. We tell her that sometimes people die when they are little and there is nothing that we can do to stop this happening. We have read lots of books about animals and people dying. We have had conversations about all our loved ones that have died. Like her Opa and her Big Papa and my sweet friend Zoe and my dear Jackie's husband. And like all the other little babies that Alice is now friends with...

Minnie often talks about of Alice and plays games where Alice is the other 'character.' They play 'together' so sweetly in these games. Sometimes Alice is the little doll that Minnie carries around and tucks safely in bed. My heart is ever so heavy when I am sitting watching and listening to 'their' special games.

Several days ago Minnie caught me off guard when she asked if we could 'colour in this cardboard box to put Alice Buttons in the ground.' She was holding a little empty cardboard box and some pencils. Minnie understands that sometimes people die and are buried in the ground. I didn't know what to say to Minnie as Alice was cremated. I could not think of a way to explain this to a just turned 3 year old without terrifying her.

We coloured in the box and I wished that she wouldn't ask where Alice's little body was.

I never like to think about that.


Jackie said...

Oh Rach. Such difficult things to explain. Things I am sure you never dreamed you'd have to think about. I am so very sorry. Isn't it such a kick in the ass? You want to help and heal your child and wonder if it is possible to explain when you yourself is so broken.
I'm thinking of you, Rach. xoxox

tiggy said...

Oh Rach,

It is so very hard.
It bring back memories and mine were so much older than your precious girl. i remember just before Will's first birthday, Lily asked me if Will was just a skeleton with clothes now and I had to run to the bathroom to be sick. I just never entertained the thought until then but obviously she had.

Biggest hugs. These are hard days indeed.

Barbara said...

Children are so wonderfully painfully honest about death as long as they feel they can talk about it. I think you're doing an amazing job talking about Alice Buttons with Minnie.




ezra'smommy said...

I second what Barbara said...I think you are doing an amazing job being present with this loss with Minnie. Both Minnie & Alice have such a wonderful mama.

Poppy and Mei said...

Rach, you are an inspiration...XXxx