Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Grief

Today the three younger kids and I were in the kitchen doing something they enjoy sometimes. They like to decipher the strange words that I use for various people/animals.

Let's go back in history a bit to make more sense of this. One of my brothers and I have always had a way of speaking/writing to each other. Kind of a baby talk thing, if you will. I took that further and have always had an odd compulsion to turn names into...I don't know what to call it. Nonsense sounds. That then evolve into nicknames. Started when I was a kid, sitting in the barnyard with my beloved animals. It appears to happen when I feel a great deal of love and affection toward something/someone. I had these funky names for a few dogs and cats and then have had ones for my kids. I have no control over it, it just comes out when I am near whoever it is.


The only other person I have had one for is my baby brother. Not my husband, other brothers, nieces, nephew, anyone. I am and always have been VERY close to my nieces and nephew. We have a tight bond, so it is odd that I don't have any of these nonsense word nicknames for them. I think I may have for a few of my foster siblings, but I can't recall. It appears to have to be someone that I spend a good deal of time with. Although, I spent a lot of time with my oldest niece and my nephew when they were babies/toddlers. I did NOT spend much time with my baby brother since he entered the family and was adopted after I was married and left home. So maybe that theory is not correct.


Regardless, today Princess noticed a photo on the fridge of one of the cats Stud and I had before we had any kids. She asked her name, etc. I said the freaky name I had for her and one of the boys overheard and came running and wanted to guess the "real name".

We went through the names of various pets I had owned as a kid and the boys (Clown and Jock) got every one of them right. Pathetically, they were beaming with pride and seemed to want to teach them to their little sister. She has heard them before, but any second language is hard to master! LOL So I asked if they knew what I had called David. Jock and Clown got quiet and then Jock said it (or tried to. Lots of times certain syllables go high pitched) and I said that was right. There was an awkward silence, because the boys don't like us to mention Davy. I don't even know where that came from or why I asked them that.

Princess said "Mum, can I talk to you in my room??" Of course we went in and I knew what she was going to do. We sat on her bed and she crawled in my lap and started sobbing. She said how she thinks about him all the time and keeps on talking to him and asking him to come back. Especially if she is alone. She said anytime she is alone, the first thing she thinks is how now she will talk to Davy. She said she begs God to bring him back, even though she knows God won't and that He took him for a reason. She said that she cries all the time and usually goes in her room and under her bed to cry by herself because she does not want her brothers to get mad at her. I am the only one she will cry around, because I don't get mad about it and I cry also.

Then she said something very interesting. She said, "Do you think we get more upset at each other and the boys are madder because Davy died?? It seems like they get more mad at me and are a lot meaner since he died."

I was floored. I had not noticed that but found it very interesting that this was her perspective. We had an appointment with their counselor right after lunch and I was planning on only taking Jock. I asked her if she needed to talk to Dr. B about this and she said yes. So she came along also.

It ended up being a crying session for ME! LOL I have not talked to anyone really since my brother died. I mean, the first few months, I would sit on the phone with my parents and we talked and sobbed. The first few times I called home was horrible. Not only because they were in such pain, but because normally when I called home, I would talk to my precious little brother. It was just WRONG to call and talk to them and not hear him making his precious sounds in the background. He was supposed to be letting Mom or Dad know that he wanted to talk to me so I could ask him about his day or whatever. I don't know what stage of grief I am in now, but I have not even talked to any of them (except I guess one brother, right R??. Oh, maybe I have talked to you, eh, S??) in over a month. I want to talk to my parents but...they remind me of Davy. They had such a tight bond that...talking to them makes me miss him even more. Which is not fair to them, I need to call them soon. I just get in such funks that I don't feel like talking to anyone or being around anyone.


Anyway, we talked about him for about 45 minutes. Dr. B pointed out to Princess that maybe her brothers get annoyed because she cries a lot or cries over things that aren't that important. So then when she is crying about Davy, they don't realise it right away. We tried to make her see that if she would not scream and cry so much, her brothers would have more patience with her.


It was kind of funny, she actually determined this on her own. Dr. B asked her why she thinks her brothers get upset when she cries and she did not even hesitate. She just said "Because I get really upset and scream and yell at them and cry all the time. They hurt my feelings a lot, so I need to cry about it." So we are working on her calmly coming to me to talk about things or trying to discuss things with them before she freaks and gets them all worked up. Another reason they get upset is when they know she is crying about Davy, they immediately want to protect themselves and don't want to go there. Easiest way is to act annoyed. They don't actually SAY anything to her, but she knows by their body language and faces that they don't want anything to do with it. So she just goes away from them or comes to get me. I have learned that also. The first few months after he died, I was pretty much in tears constantly. They got really upset and would tell me to stop. So I am better at hiding it also. I guess part of me wants to protect them too. If they are all happy and going along enjoying their day, why should I bring them down???

Princess said something today in the counseling session that I did not know about until then. She said this past Sunday, when my friend J was watching them while Stud and I went out, that she cried for Davy. They were in the Rec room talking about him and then she asked if she could go to her room. J said yes, so she went and crawled under her bed and cried for her Uncle. I can't stand the idea of her being alone and hurting like that. I told her J would have understood and cuddled her and she said she knew, but needed to be alone. Which I can understand of course. It still makes me sad to think of her that way. I asked her later how Davy came up as a topic and she said "Because I started talking about him. I told J how I loved him and how I wish he was back and that he did not die."

My parents sent me some books about kids and grieving and I need to get my act together and read them. The kids know they can talk about him if they need to. I make that clear. Maybe there is more I need to be doing, though.

Oh, another thing that got me crying was Dr. B asked Princess who she thinks misses D the most. I thought she meant amoung she and her brothers. Princess did not hesitate. She looked up at me and put her little arm around me, started stroking my arm and said "My mummy. She misses him the most out of us." I told Dr. B about all the other family, who got to see him all the time and my oldest brother's kids who grew up with him and they were like siblings. They all really miss him and are struggling, I know. I said how S wrote the eulogy and obit. and how B delivered the eulogy and how I was with R when we found out and how he told me. I have tried to avoid thinking about that, because it is so traumatic. I remember him shaking and grabbing me and saying those horrible words and then I just remember darkness. It was like I was falling backwards into a dark hole. I said how I gave such guilt about how I told S. I was HYSTERICAL and could hardly talk or get any air and I just was screaming on the phone even though I had told myself I would be calm because he was all alone and had so far to go to get to any of us. I told her about my Dad finding Davy in his bed that morning. For a long time I could not get the picture of my parents climbing into bed with their 13 year old son's body and just crying and hanging onto each other out of my mind. I could tell she was trying not to cry. She is so sweet, I am glad we can go talk to her. I guess I needed to talk about him a bit. Also writing in here sometimes is kind of healing or something. Who knows. There is much more coming, I am sure. I need some kind of outlet. If I talk about him to anyone, I cry too much. This way, I sit by myself and cry as I type. Easier somehow.

So there you have it. My poor baby girl. I need to work on the kids letting her grieve when she needs to. My brothers could be very mean to me, but I know they would allow me to cry and grieve for someone. My baby girl deserves that too.

So there you are, maybe something more up beat will be posted soon. I was just amazed at her thinking everyone is mad since he died. Hopefully we can fix that. Amazing how looking at a picture of a kitten on the fridge can lead to all of this.

2 comments:

clairesgarden said...

it is ok to cry, it is ok to be upset, it is ok to be angry.
healing takes time

FarmgirlCyn said...

You recently left a comment on my blog concerning my dad passing away last month, and I had to find out who you were. I came across this recent entry, and just wanted to share some things with you. My only sister passed away 3 years ago, and my mom 7 years ago. (my parents divorced when I was 5, sothey obviously were not married to each other at the time of mom's death...she had re-married 25 years before)What has helped me get through this, number 1, is, both my sis and my mom were born-again believers. (my sis left 2 married children, my niece and my nephew)And, also,number 2, I began talking about them. Just remembering funny things, or crazy things we used to do. (my sis was bi-polar, manic-depressive,so trust me, there was a lot of stuff I didn't talk about!!!)But, I wanted her kids, (and mine) to remember good things about her. I have many regrets concerning my sis, but I don't want their memory (nor mine) of her to be about the negative stuff in her life. So, we laugh together about her, and we cry together about her. I bring out photo's I might have recently come across, and I make copies of them for her kids. NOT talking about her hurts more than talking about her. And, it gets easier with time. I know that sounds so condescending, but it is true. The longer they have been gone, the easier it is. I pray the same will happen with my dad's memory. That, it too, will get easier with time. Hope this helps.
Cyn