Kids can handle alot more than we think, but there are just some things I don’t believe they have to face. Innocence lasts only too long, and my kids have been lucky enough to have those important to them still around. So when I realized Tinkerbell was in distress I asked a friend for help and sent them to her house so that I could listen to the Vet without distraction. Let’s be honest….I knew I was going to be a blubbering mess and my kids did not have to witness that. At least not yet….
When I got sent home from the Vet without Tinkerbell while they tried some medications I told the kids she was really sick. I told them I am not sure she would be coming home. I am lucky at that time they didn’t have too many questions. I called in my mother in law to be with them because I knew I wasn’t able to be a good mom to them at that moment. She was going to take them to my boys lacrosse game, and The Captain and I would go to the vet to find out Tinkerbell’s fate. I couldn’t think, I could barely breath. I already wrote about what happened at the vet…..we had to say goodbye. But there is so much more after that isn’t there? It’s those left on earth that are left to be sad. Those that are gone are at peace.
My little man ran in after his game and first asked about Tinky. He saw our faces and at first tried to quickly move on. He was in the other room when I heard his little feet running towards me and I then saw his tears. He crawled into my lap and cried. Tessa didn’t know what to think but knew she should be sad so she too crawled into my lap. I told them both it was OK to be sad and it was OK to cry. I told them Tinkerbell is no longer in pain…but how does anyone let alone a child understand that? Bedtime was even worse. The sadness and the questions continued. I help pretty strong for them. At one point he said “I’m so sad” to which I said “so am I”. He said “but you aren’t crying?”. I I said “trust me I did, but now I need to be strong for you.” I want my kids to know that emotion is OK and crying is OK, but I also need them to know their mom is a comfort. When they have seen me cry before in the past they get scared…I didn’t need to add to their sadness right now.
In the days that followed I got hit with a lot of questions I didn’t have answers to. “Are we going to visit Tinky in heaven?”, “Will we see Tinkerbell again when we go to heaven”, “how do you get to heaven?”. All good questions. Kids want real answers. Do adults even have these answers? We just say “they went to heaven” and move on. I answered the best I could and I think they were appeased, but I am still anticipating more.
A good friend of mine lost their pet and said the Rainbow Bridge poem helped their kids. I read it and wept. How will I get through reading that out loud? I went to the library and ran into a friend who suggested a book Dog Heaven . While reading through the parent section books doing my best not to cry as I looked at them I also found a book called Heaven . This one was a conversation between a dog and a kid about the dog leaving. I am thinking I can maybe get through these options.
I haven’t read them to my kids yet. The questions have paused, so I am taking this time to gather myself. Sometimes people will find blogs helpful because they offer them advice, but I have none. Is there ever really a right way to talk about death? It’s so final….
So I have my tools in hand now. I have read the books and am hoping that I can get through them and be there to answer more questions. I don’t have all the answers but I am hoping I have enough. What I do have to give is hugs, support and a I’m always there for you motto.