I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a while. I know every parent goes through it in their own way. For myself, being a bereaved parent and a parent to a living child the balance of love and attention for both of my children is a tough one.
This came up the other night which inspired me to finally get on writing about this. So the other day we had my cousin and her sons over to play with my daughter. My cousin’s oldest son is turning 10. He is 4 months older than my son that passed. My cousin’s other little boy is turning 8. Imagine how thick of thieves the 3 of them would have been together. ❤ They play wonderfully with my daughter who is now 4. More than wonderful. They are so patient and loving and the 3 of them are thick as thieves. It makes my heart so full watching them but I know there is one missing.
I was talking to my husband about this the other night. I said that I glanced over once thinking of our son not being there but should have been. The children were sitting on the couch together and it was right in my face obvious that there was one missing. I didn’t want to dwell on my son not being there because I needed to be present for my daughter but I didn’t and don’t want to NOT think about my son because then I feel guilty for not thinking about him. We were talking about it being a struggle because our daughter is here and we never want her to feel second best to our son; that she isn’t enough but we also want our son to know we think of him each and every day.
Holidays are a good example of what I’m talking about. We are internally very sad that our son isn’t here. Some holidays are quite a struggle to get through but it’s not something we want to show our daughter because we never want her to grow up thinking she wasn’t filling our hearts. The flip side of that is we don’t want to not think about or mention or honour our son because he is still a big part of our lives. Forever missed, forever loved and definitely forever remembered. The balance.
We reserve 2 days a year just for our son. His birthday and the day of his passing. Well actually 3 days, because the day before his passing was also a very hard day. Again, the balance, he deserves more than 3 out of 365 days of the year to be honoured. Our daughter deserves for us not to be sad and dwell on the passing of her big brother for an extended period of time over the year. That’s how I feel.
This is one of the reasons I try not to say too much at my daughter’s school about having 2 children. I don’t want school to be anything but about her. On the other side of that I found that not being truthful about having 2 children when asked “just the 1?” was making me really sad and feeling very guilty. The thing is, people aren’t comfortable hearing about a child passing away. I understand that so I feel sometimes that if I tell people about our son it alienates me from parents and in turn will alienate our daughter from other children to play with. I don’t know if I tell teachers about our situation and I’ve decided that unless it is an issue I don’t need to. I don’t want the passing of our son to be my daughter’s story through her schooling. This is proving to be a tough one as she gets older. I will figure it out as I go but this is a tough balance.
Most days I’m fine but on some I’m conflicted. Like any other parents with more than 1 child. It’s just a more complicated one (I think) to be a bereaved parent and parent to a living child(ren).
the balance … the struggle is real