As I dropped Ellie of for a birthday party last night she asked me, "Mom, what do I do if I get sad about Mia?" I told her the same thing I always do, "It's ok to be sad anytime and anywhere. If you are so sad you want to come home just call me." Knowing my Ells she would never want to miss a party, but is so conflicted sometimes with having fun and missing Mia. As she got out of the car she said, "OK mom, I'm going to try not to be sad, I will try to be happy the whole time." I told her I hope she has fun. She jumped out of the car then stopped, turned around, and with her freshly applied lip gloss she waved goodbye and blew me a kiss. She looked like such a little angel... worried about her mothers well being. Gone are the innocent days of going to parties without the task of trying not to be sad. Gone are the days of innocence knowing you will always have a little sister to play with when you got home... always waiting for you with a big hug and a kiss.
Ellie is forced to grow up, and experience such intense sadness at such a young and impressionable age. Her heart is broken every single day just like mine. She is forced to be wise and understanding about death. She told me something really sweet the other day about Mia that makes me feel like she is connected somehow... in a way I am not. She also blames herself for various things. She wants to know what she did that warranted Mia's leaving us. She thinks it is her fault.
Can you imagine as the mother feeling the exact same feelings as your seven year old daughter and desperately trying to convince her that she was nothing but loving to her sister? On top of everything else? In addition to feeling destroyed myself, it's imperative that I scrape together energy and a sound mind to help my children who are also hurt and devastated. Not the part of motherhood that should ever be in the job description.
This was not taught to me. Despite earning a degree in family and human development I am at a loss for how to counsel my children. This was not in any of the text books! If there was a class, no one in their right mind would take it! No one expects this to happen to them... no one. I know I can't take the angry approach that outshines any other coping mechanism I have. My rage is always on the surface and I do know that this is not the way to teach my child to deal with her pain. Mostly I just listen to her and validate her feelings, but as for a way to help her heart not feel ruined... I've got nothing. I don't understand why this is happening to any of us? I just don't get it!
On my way to pick her up, it hit me that I would never drop Mia off at a birthday party. I will never do a lot of things with Mia. Why does every little thought hurt so much!?!