Friday, March 11, 2016

When You Wish Upon a Star

Peanut -

I'm sure you've been hearing your name around the house a lot lately. And, you've probably noticed how your little brother, Pickle, has taken to calling you "his Connor" or "Baby Connor" even though you're his big brother. You are so much a part of our daily conversations and a source of many, many difficult questions that Momma is really struggling to answer.

The other night Pickle and I saw an ad for Walt Disney World, which immediately sparked his interest since we are planning our first trip there this spring. The background music was, "When You Wish Upon a Star" which has always been one of Momma's favorite Disney songs. However, this time around I realized how potentially dangerous the lyrics are to a young child's ears and understanding. The line, "anything your heart desires will come to you" resulted in Pickle turning to look me directly in eyes and declare, "Mom, my heart's desire is for Baby Connor to come back. Can I wish upon a star tonight and make that happen?"

Uh oh.

My quick response was to give him a big hug and share that having you come home was one of my heart's desires too. And that we keep you alive and with us every day by talking about you, sharing stories and looking at your pictures. I went on to share that we will all be together again someday in Heaven.

Fortunately, that answer seemed to satisfy him. This time. However, the concept of Heaven is still somewhat nebulous and confusing to Pickle. Where is it? Can we go visit? Take a plane? In addition, he is now fixated on the concept  of death, how people die, why they die, when they die.

Bottom line: Momma is failing at this whole conversation.

Peanut, you know Momma. I'm a voracious reader and researcher and I've searched high and low for resources that address how to talk to a subsequent child about the sibling he or she never got to meet due to death. Sure, there are beautifully illustrated books that talk about nature and dying leaves and flowing streams, or pets that go on to another place but the fun we had when they were alive is magical. Books and articles that extensively cover the death of a parent, grandparent, classmate, or a sibling who was an active part of the child's life. I thought maybe books that discuss miscarriage could be relevant but the topics are far too different to really be of help.

So, in the meantime, Momma is making this up as I go. Scary.

I keep telling myself that one way or another we will get through this. As we have every day since you died. It won't be perfect, but what is? And maybe, just maybe on the other side I will have gained some mysterious wisdom that I can pass along to other parents struggling with similar situations.

Until then, the goal is to continue to keep you alive through stories, dancing, songs and memories. That joy will far outweigh any stumbling Momma (or Dadda) might do when asked the tough questions. Your magic, your Peanut Effect will continue to transform our family as you walk by our sides, sit on our shoulders, whisper in our ears, and watch us from Heaven.

Peanut, I still miss you so much every single day. But, I also find so much happiness in sharing you with Pickle. I can feel your presence and it is...simply magical.

I love you so very much my Peanut. How much? You know! To the moon - and back.

- Momma

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