Thursday, September 6, 2012
Unexpected side effect after losing a child
The biggest transition to occur in the seventeen (gross) months since Ailish died is that Malia has entered grade one this week. She is not quite six and has literally been my shadow for almost all the hours of her days. She has attended preschool for two hours a day over the course of the past three years but other than that she has been at my side as most preschoolers are with their mothers.
Transitioning to big girl school is usually more painful for the parents than it is for the children which is the case at our house. I really miss having her around chatting my ear off and challenging me at every turn. I expected that and I expected the worries and fears that the majority of parents have when sending their kids off to school, and most especially when we send our 'uniquely' challenged kids off. What came as a big shock for me was that first day of school was that I had to remind myself, as in consciously say to myself "the child is not dead, she is just at school"
That might seem crazy and overly dramatic and to that I say "who me? That's so unlike me to be crazy and overly dramatic!" The truth of the matter was it was really necessary.
After Ailish died and still sometimes to this day I would hear her, go to tend to her, start to say something to her etc etc only to be kicked in the gut when the realization hit that Ailish was no longer living. Never would I hear her, touch her, feel her again.
When similar things happened the first day of school regarding Malia I would feel that familiar blow to my heart which lead me to have to reassure myself the child had not died but was doing what all kids do that being starting school.
As I have mentioned often and feel most especially every morning....I am old. Having kids start elementary school is not new for me. As the saying goes...this is not my first rodeo. I can honestly say that though I missed my little ones as they embarked on their educational adventure, worried for them throughout their early days and thought of them often, I never once thought they were dead.
Just another 'bonus' of losing a child.
Death and grief are stupid!