I have a lot to catch up on in the blog world and things that are worth note but perhaps the most important is the one I am currently dealing with. Introducing the subject of death and dying with kids traumatized by loss. My mother, who has been ill for years and has been hospitalized and operated on more in the last decade than anyone I know. Each time you hold your breath and hope all works out and you never give up the hope that there is fight left. I really thought after a kidney transplant things would be different. Well things are different but still not good.
I came to terms with the issue long ago that there was more than a substantial likelihood that I would not have my mother around for a long period. I accept the death and dying process as one of choice and a wonderful process to engage in. A process where one has to have the courage to support the individual, let go, and allow the person to happen to pass. It is a very difficult exercise in being unselfish. My mother recently announced to me that she was ready and wanted no more extreme measures and needed to back off some of her treatment. She started to make amends, baked Christmas cookies in May and put her affairs in order. There is definitive movement on her part. I am sad, but accepting of her decision. How do I explain it to my kids?
I must admit I have been in agony over how to approach this with Ben and discuss this in a way that is open and natural with no dogmatic approach and one that he can process and hold onto and learn. From my own background, people just disappeared to go home to Jesus. Who the hell is he to take all these people away from me and why did he not let them home for Christmas…..there was never an answer to the WHY, which in Catholicism I have never found. So, how do I prepare to answer the why, the what, the where and the when?
Terrified, I decided that there were some stories from my youth that could be used and I dragged them out from the past as well as things that I created which had become part of our family history and his consciousness. So last night, I told him that because he was going to be six that it was time that Daddy took on another role, as teacher and I was going to teach him the secrets that he needed to know. He listened intently. We talked about the angels he knew. Then we talked about the fact that they lived in three places, in the heavens, in our hearts and in our minds. Lastly, we talked about angels are made of the spirit of love, which last forever and can always be felt in our hearts and pictured in our minds.
With that, I felt as though I laid the foundation for what will be a larger more complicated discussion on the circle of life and the eternal web we all live and love in, to cosmos. I hope we can continue to grow and learn from one another and each time I face and issue with the kids, I learn more about myself and how my own belief structure and my own fears impact them. I am sure this will be a continuing conversation as there are many things to discuss and I shall learn and grow along with my children.