This post hits hard on a few levels. We have had a tragedy in our family that has rocked us all to the core. In my little household, it has hit our oldest the hardest. That is where the hardest part of grief comes in.
This past Wednesday my husband responded with his volunteer department to a call that he knew was a family member. He’s worked family calls before, but not like this. It was a call for his cousin’s six year old son. I will not go into details as this isn’t the time or the place. And it’s not my place to do so out of respect for the child’s immediate family. Long story short, the sweet boy passed away.
I have heard panic in my husband’s voice before and I’ve heard him on edge from adrenaline. His voice on that phone call to me was somewhere in between. It’s a sound I don’t think I will ever forget. I will probably even listen for it when he responds to any call from now on. He says he’s fine, but I still worry. Like he’s always been told, it hits different when it’s family.
I was at work when I got this call and left my class in a tizzy and in the hands of another teacher. It was dismissal time, so no instruction was lost. They may only be in second grade, but they know when something’s not right. At this point they knew more than my daughter did.
As I hid in another classroom crying, I managed to call my dad and get him to loop back around to pick her up until I could gather myself and our things. (I should also mention that my mother-in-law had our baby while my husband went to the call.)
I finally managed to keep my composure long enough to sort things out with administration and drive to my parents’ house. My daughter could tell something was off. I mean, Pepaw never picks her up and she not know the reason in advance. It was twenty questions from their house to ours where I met my husband and our other daughter.
Now came the hard part. We had to tell our 8 year old that her partner in crime on that side of our family was gone. I couldn’t do it. It brought back too many memories of me telling her about her father. My husband held her and comforted her as he explained what she would understand.
At first she clammed up and sort of pretended like nothing had happened. She had therapy the next day, so I explained it to the doctor. Still no talking about it. This brings us back to weekly sessions and close monitoring until we feel she is okay. Last night it finally set in. She cried and questioned, got angry that it happened, and even told me not to talk about him.
We were back in school today for some normalcy until arrangements are made. She had a rough start, but managed to make it through with a good report. My husband talked with his full-time chief and still feels okay. This post helped me as writing is my therapy and my family is my biggest concern.
Let me end this by saying I apologize if I step on any toes or make anyone mad. The title is based on my experiences with grief. I am fortunate enough that I’ve only experienced two traumatic losses in my 35 years. The hardest part for me IS watching the ones I love hurt and suffer. I wish I could take their pain and help them cope. But I can’t. With that being said, hug your loved ones a little longer, young and old. You never know when God will need them back.
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