A month without Ricardo’s physical presence in our lives, because he is present every single day of it, many times a day. Ian is missing him and keeps saying ‘I want Daddy. Now.’ We talk about it and he knows that I can’t bring him back but I mentioned that ‘I want Daddy’ should be heard as ‘I wish I could have Daddy back’ and he agreed with me.
During the weekend we had a very emotional evening, when Ian watched a movie Ricardo made in 2006 about four dear friends visiting us in Canada and said: ‘I wish I could jump into the TV and be there!’
And Alex, Nick’s youngest boy, said to Ian: I wish your daddy was here to see this… (The Legos they were building, showing us that even he was grieving.)
I cried when I heard this and Ian brought me one of the memory boxes we are making, to comfort me, so I cried even harder… But it was a good cry.
At the same time, we are receiving our book orders in the mail. First one was ‘I miss you – a first look at death’, by Pat Thomas. Great book with some explanation about grieving – perfect timing as Ian was asking me about this complex word and its meaning.
Then we received a fun book called ‘Don’t put mustard in the custard’. Ian liked the title and asked me to buy it. As soon as he opened it, he asked me: ‘Is this one about death as well?’ No, Ian, this one is not about death…
But the books related to death kept coming and at least one was ordered for myself: ‘The Next Place’, by Warren Hanson. This was the first book I read to Ian after Ricardo’s death. ‘The Next Place is an inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind’, explains the book flap. Complicated? Certainly it is for a five-year-old. I cried. He never wanted to read it again and three weeks later told me why: ‘I didn’t like The Next Place, mommy, because I didn’t understand it!’ Yep, he remembers the title and the book and I don’t blame him, as it is a beautiful book but too abstract for a child to grasp it.
The rest of the pack came last night and some of them we just wanted to have a copy of it, some are new to us and will get read eventually. ‘Badger’s parting gifts’, by Susan Varley, is one of Ian’s favorite and was suggested by Lynne, the wonderful social worker that comes every week to see Ian. Badger dies because he was very old and his friends got very sad. As time passes, they realize that Badger left a bunch of ‘gifts’ to them – good, happy memories – and instead of crying, they smile when they remember the friend. Another beautiful story.
‘Gentle Willow – a story for children about dying’, by Joyce C. Mills, is another great book suggested by Lynne. Gentle Willow is a tree that got very sick and even the tree wizards can’t save her. Very appropriate book for us. And another beautiful story about something so natural in our lives yet so painful.
‘When dinosaurs die – a guide to understanding death’ by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown is probably the choice for tonight. ‘Water Bugs & Dragonflies – explaining death to young children’ by Doris Stickney seems to be a bit too religious for me, but it may bring some comfort for my son. We never know…
”When I feel angry’, by Cornelia Maude Spelman seems to be very appropriate even if one is not experiencing the loss of a loved one. It belongs to a series of book called ‘The Way I Feel’ – probably exactly what I should read next!
And the last one is ‘Sad isn’t Bad – a good-grief guidebook for kids dealing with loss’ by Michaelene Mundy. Did you read good-grief? Yep! Apparently, grief can be good and that’s the path we want to trail…