Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Undertow...

Why is it that the weekends are so difficult?
Friday nights, basically the entire 24-hour period of Saturday and all of Sunday as well. There is so much more time to think. More moments of quiet. And all the holes that David has left in our life are more apparent as well. All the things he did. All the things we did together. All the beautiful moments that made up our life.

Weekends were not only the time to get the crap done that you never had time for during the week. They were also playtime. Time to do art, work on the house, play with Alec or just have a nice stroll through the park together. And now there are all of these holes. My life is like a wedge of Swiss cheese.

Today was tough…but Saturdays always are. But tonight was the kicker. As I put Alec down for “night, night” and we were talking about Sunday and what fun plans we had for the next day…he asked if daddy was coming back tomorrow. It stilled my heart. What the hell do you say? These moments come at you like an undertow. Sucking you down and smothering you. And you have to stop the horrible heartbreak and tears that want to come. And you have to calmly explain to your son that…”No, he’s not honey. Daddy died, remember? He won’t be coming back again. His body just couldn’t fight the Cancer anymore and his body stopped working. He loved you so very much and wanted so much to stay. But he just couldn’t. So he won’t be coming home again. But he loves you so much. And daddy is here, watching over us. Although you can't see him, his presence is always here…with us. But I know it’s not the same. And I know that you miss him. It’s ok to be sad honey. I miss daddy too.”

And to see the sad little look on his face. It just tears my soul out. He just doesn’t understand the permanence yet. He is too young. But at least I’m grateful that he has begun to talk about daddy again. He talks about David’s favorite Backyardigans character or what he liked to eat. He’ll point him out in pictures and he’ll talk about how much fun daddy was or how much he loves him. And I try to bring David up in conversation regularly. Showing Alec that it is ok for him to talk about David and ask questions, as well.

And he smiles when he talks about daddy. Which is a big improvement from just four weeks ago, when he would not refer to him at all and wouldn’t even say the word ‘daddy.’ And if David was brought up in conversation…a shadow would come over Alec.

But he is doing remarkably well considering. He is confused, scared and sad. Which is completely normal. And if he wasn't, I probably would be even more worried. Not to say that I am not constantly worried about Alec and what this is doing to him now and in the future. But all I can do right now is love him, be there for him in every capacity possible and continue to keep the lines of communication open with him as he continues to process all of this, which he will…just in small doses his little body can handle. The main thing is to be there for him. Talk to him. And listen. And hope like hell that I'm doing and saying the right things to help him heal as well...


At October 20, 2008 8:47 AM, Blogger Satine said...

I can't imagine how hard it is to endure unexpected moments of memory--such as when your son brings something up and you know you have to tell him something responsible and help him to cope and understand... and yet, at least you were both as close to Dave, because you're in this together *hugs*

At October 20, 2008 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but break down reading your post. Although I knew David's passing would be hard on you Skye, my heart ached so deeply for Alec. I dreaded thinking about the conversations explaining to Alec that David was gone. I felt the pain in your heart having to tell him that his Daddy wasn't ever coming back. What you said was amazing - I applaud you for staying strong and explaining the best way you knew how. I have no doubt when Alec is older you two will have a strong bond due to you telling him the truth and with as much love as one can possibly imagine.

I'm sorry Skye you are going through this, I'm sorry you have to be strong while your heart is breaking to tell Alec about his Daddy. As you are trying to heal it probably almost feels as if your heart breaks over and over again as Alec begins to talk about his Daddy.

These are the days when I think about the gray areas of life and the why's. As much as I think there is a cause and effect in life these are the days when I don't know why bad things happen to good people. I keep searching for answers but am crushed as I never find answers.

I'm sorry - I'm just sorry that you have to go through this...stay strong, as strong as one can be in this situation. Alec will be proud of you Skye. Embrace all those little pieces of David tonight as you hug that little boy and put him into bed.

At October 22, 2008 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to help in some way..if I can.
I will offer up a referral to "My Good Mourning Place" located on about 43rd and Oklahoma. It was created with children in mind and offers FREE berievement services, modeled after a unique center in Washington state. My friend Connie Taylor is the creator of this very special place. The website is
maybe just check it out for now, and having known Connie for over 4 years now I can tell you the woman and the place are compassionate and passionate about making a difference for children dealing with the loss of a loved one, be it parent, grandparent, friend or sibling. I highly encourage you to at least take a peek. While the children are attended to, the parent also receives attention as well ..all this to the degree of your choice.
My Mom was taken care of also by Vitas Hospice and they also offer an ongoing service you will find out. I think not as specific for children however. This time is one of processing a lot...a lot...of things, feelings, reminesnces and the wont always be identifiable as "grief"..more as "growth" and moving forward and in this process healing begins. Love to you and Alec Jeanne Schwartz

At October 23, 2008 10:05 AM, Blogger Satine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At October 23, 2008 10:07 AM, Blogger Satine said...

I have read and I also believe that we store our grief memories so that they can be easily reawakened by fresh reminders, in your case, the relatively fresh grief due David's death. And that it is important to understand that grief and grieving are normal normal and healthy responses to the experience of loss.

I continue to encourage you to talk about your feelings with us, your family and friends. I've learned that a strong support system, close family ties or membership in spiritual organizations are key to coping successfully with any loss. It is also important for you to recognize - and for those around you to understand - that there is no "normal" time for working through your emotional response.

Beyond that, I take Dr. Andrew Weil's philosophy to heart: eat well and exercise regularly and try to counter anxiety and stress with relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, visualization, or guided imagery.

If you need a sitter so that you can do any of these things on your own, or if instead you're ever interested to take a class with someone instead, I'd be happy to go with you to a class such as yoga, or babysit, or do whatever is necessary to help allow you to achieve these things too.


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