Thursday, March 2, 2017

Unexpected Grief

When Camille died, I expected I would be grieving in some form or other the rest of my life. I expected to share that with my husband and to some degree my daughters. We knew her and held her and loved our little Camille.

What I didn't expect was to have my sons, who were born after Camille passed away, to grieve over her loss as well. My sons know about Camille. We talk about her in our family, but not everyday. I still think about her everyday, but there are often long stretches of time when we don't talk about her.

So today, when my 5-year-old came to me with a sad face and I asked him why he was sad, his answer surprised me. "I miss Cami." His older brother pointing out that he never knew Cami didn't make Harrison feel any better. He said that the thought of her just popped into his head and he just missed her and was sad that she died.

I asked if he wanted to see picture of her. He said he did and climbed up on my lap as I started a slide show of photos and video we have of her. As pictures faded into other pictures all with her sweet face in them, I felt him turn a bit and wrap his arms around me. He snuggled his head more securely into me, while still able to see the screen. And he sobbed. He watched the pictures of the baby sister he never knew come and go and just cried.

After a good cry, he felt better and we got on with our day. But, I was left with a renewed awe of the eternal bonds of family. I know families are meant to be eternal units. Those feelings of longing and loss and love that accompany family ties, even to those members of our family we never met in this life, are evidence of this to me.

I look forward to that day when the longing and loss are gone and we are together again enjoying the fullness of Love that can be offered by Family.


--- said...

What a wonderful way you are teaching your sons. I love that not only did both you and he have your eternal bonds strengthened, but you are teaching your son that feeling, recognizing, and showing feelings is not just okay but good.

Nathan Toone said...

We have had this same experience with our 5-year-old who was born after our girls passed away. I think their grief is real - and I think the veil is thin enough for them that the younger ones "know" their siblings...probably more than we realize or think that they do.

Glad to know that others have the same experiences! It helps me to know and realize that these bonds we have with our children (and that our children have with each other) are real and eternal.