Yesterday morning, I went to the bank. Not something I want to do or think about right now and honestly, I wish I could take a week off and stay home but because society and bills don’t mourn with you, it’s business as usual-which actually needs to change. Something needs to change. I was sitting with the banker and she was very uncomfortable, as some people are with death. “You will get over it, time to move on.” She repeated this a couple of times. I replied “I am not in a place to talk about this. My husband died on Wednesday and today is Monday.”
Really? Come on now.
She told me things I wasn’t prepared to hear about the mortgage and now the race is on to save the house I want to keep for the girls and myself.
I am keeping Izzy home with me this week. I am not ready for her to go back to school yet. I am not ready for her new life to begin and I am so glad KitKat is still at home with me. They both have a hard road ahead and it will last their entire lifetime. That road is rocky and cold.
I hope to help them on this road as best I can because it’s one I have walked as a child and an adult…now I walk as a widow. I hate the generic “I’m sorry” with so much discomfort and I have tried every angle to stop the discomfort but it never helps. Stop being uncomfortable! We are just conditioned to say it and it’s better than silence. I guess it’s just something I don’t want to hear. I want to talk about this more later.
Kids don’t know how to react and I don’t blame them. This isn’t suppose to happen at such a young age. Life is suppose to be easy and protected and safe. Death isn’t safe.
As parents, we teach our children about tough situations in life. We tell them to be safe and why, bad touches vs. good touches, we teach them how to cross the streets and not to talk to strangers. We teach them not to bully others. We even teach them about birth and sex. Death is brought up when a pet dies, they see a dead animal on the street or a grandparent dies…that seems so safe, so when something like this happens, they stumble. I stumble. How can they grasp such a concept? It’s huge and uncomfortable but it cannot be ignored and children need to learn that it’s “ok”. It’s ok to talk about, it’s ok to ask questions, it’s ok if they don’t get the “right answers”, it’s ok that we can’t grasp this hard concept, that people, even after a loss, will be ok. We also, as parents, have to talk about what to say and what not to say to people because death is formidable.
Easier said then done, I guess. On Sunday, when we had John’s music gathering, Izzy asked if her father would be there. Damn, I thought I was so on top of this. “Where is Dada?” “He is at his resting place and I know that but can he come out and join us?” “No, he is at his resting place and he cannot come out. His heart stopped working and he died.” Later on KitKat asked me “When Dada is done dying, can he come and eat Halloween candies with us?” “No, he died and he can’t come back.” They see me cry and sometimes they come over to be and hug me. Sometimes they leave the room. I want them to know that crying is a grieving process and we will all have our moments. I also stopped saying “I’m ok” when I am crying because at that moment, I am not. I can’t sugar coat anymore. I don’t want to. I want them to know that I am sad and I cry and that’s not a bad thing. So I say “I need a minute to be sad.” and they let me.
I know Izzy and KitKat will be teased, their friends will set them aside from time to time because they are different and mean comments will be thrown at them. It hurts that I can’t be there every second to stop this and shield them but for this week, I will keep them in my bubble and we will learn to live in our new normal.
There is so much more I want to say about conversations about death. This is a scattered post. I am not done with people and their reactions to death. Like I said, it’s a rocky cold road and we need to change this. Please.