Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Genuine sorrow...

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from my daughter.  She said, "Mom, Paige is having a really hard time about Papa and wanted to call you." Paige is 6 years old.  Between broken hearted sobs, Paige tried to explain to me how badly she misses her Papa.  "I just (sup-sup) miss him SO bad!  Nana, do you remember when we wrote notes and put them in balloons for Papa... and it was raining?  I just don't think they got to Papa.  I think they popped!"  Tucking my own sad heart away, I told her, "No honey, I watched the balloons go all the way up, and I know Father in Heaven made sure that Papa got our balloons and notes."  She then asked in a questioning tone, "You think so?"  "Yes, I do honey!" "Oh, she said, that's what my mom told me.  It's just that I miss him SO bad." 

I didn't understand when I decided to let the grand-kids write notes and put them in helium balloons to let go at the cemetery, that many if not all of them "literally" thought Papa would receive their notes. 

Angela tried to explain to her that Papa wouldn't want her to be sad right now.  Paige replied, "But how could he know how we feel, because he is the one who died and we are the ones missing him. It feels like we're the one's dying and Papa's alive. 

She makes a very good point! Sometimes the pain does feel like we're the ones dying!

I told Angela to try to explain that although we miss Papa, he is the one who left ALL of US!  He has so many more people to miss than we do. He would know how we feel. 

I know Alain had such a deep love for family... and he loved these little ones.  I feel confident that he is watching over us ALL and truly would want us to be happy!
(But that doesn't mean that we still don't miss him every single day!)

 Miss Paigie Waigie Puddin Pie...

This is Summer 2011 when we let our balloons go up to heaven!

These are the three little girls who truly miss their Papa!

Here are some ways you can help your children talk about death:
» Pay attention. Listen to your children's questions and ideas. Notice when they want to talk or ask questions about death. Do not ignore the children's questions. They are young, but they have questions now.

» Make sure you know what your children are asking. Sometimes you might want to ask a question in return to help you understand the child's question. You could ask, "What do you think?"

» Try to give short and simple answers. Make sure that your children can understand. Do not use too many words.

» Accept your children's feelings. Let them know it is OK to be sad, angry, or confused.

» Be honest. Do not make up stories or try to hide the truth. You may say that you do not know the answer or that no one knows.

» Share your values. Explain your religious beliefs. It is important to share what you believe, even while your children are very young.

» Do activities with your children to help them understand death.

» Talk with your children about the words used with death. Some of these can be confusing to your children. Some of them can have more than one meaning. For example, some people say, "I just died!" when they were embarrassed. You might say that you "put your dog to sleep." You may also tell your children they need to go to sleep. Help them understand the difference. Ask your children what words they know related to death. You could read some children's books to help find words to use.