|Photo credit: Ann Smart|
Last Thursday my boys' school held their Remembrance Day assembly. I have always wondered what the young ones really understand and get out of the experience. This year William (grade 2) must have learned a lot as his little mind was spinning when he returned home...
Jut before dinner the conversation began this way:
"Mommy, at school today our teacher told us to think about someone who died. I thought about Claire. I miss her. I wish she was here."
And then at lights out time it became a much more intense conversation. A flood of questions that I could not answer however they came so quickly out of his little mind and mouth I hardly had time to respond anyway. He had put a lot of thought into this day.
"Mommy, if Claire was here would Lucy be here?"
"I'm not sure, William."
"Oh, 'cause if she was here and Lucy was here that would be crazy! I would have 2 baby sisters?! Imagine if they were both named Claire because you like that name? We would call Claire and both would come and then we would have to say no not you Claire, you Claire! But mommy, if Claire was here and we didn't have Lucy, umm, hm, I would miss her. Mommy if people die can we make them come back to life? Because if we did I would want Claire to come back. And then I would have 2 baby sisters. And mommy how do people die?"
"People die for all sorts of reasons but in the end their heart breaks and doesn't pump any more blood."
'So you burn them to ashes? Or bury them in a graveyard? Why isn't Claire in a graveyard? Daddy said she is ashes 'cause she got burned. Maybe she is in a graveyard at the hospital?"
"No baby, she's not."
"Well, I wish she was because you know those flowers we got at school? I would bring it to her graveyard and put it in her grass. Because that is what you do with them. Is the graveyard by that big place where people go sliding? Can we go there? Can I see it?"
"That's really nice baby and yes, I will take you there to see it one day."
"Okay, mommy, goodnight."
10 minutes after he was tucked into bed he came out of his room:
"Daddy? Can people have a graveyard in their yard?"
It just kept spinning...
Oh. my. heart.
It's taken a week to write this post because I am still so sad about this conversation. It stirred up a lot in me. I too have been spinning.
I wish we had a resting place for her.
We were given the choice to send her wee body out for an autopsy but if we did we would not be able to have her returned to us. We wanted to know what happened so we sent her away.
The results gave us no answers... so it almost feels as though we sent her away for nothing and we got nothing in return.
And what gets me is that I know of others who had their babe sent away and sent back... why not our baby? I hate to think of what became of her little self. It eats away at me more and more, especially now that our children are starting to question.
What answers do we have to give them?
We don't know?
We don't know.