Behind starburst eyes

Life without Joy

on March 3, 2014

I finally told Mr. N about his cousin Joy on Friday afternoon. I hadn’t told him sooner because I just didn’t know how to tell him. But when he asked me who the flower in the kitchen was for I couldn’t put it off any longer. I stumbled and swallowed and began. I told him the flower he saw was for him. It was his good-bye flower from Joy. He wanted to know where she was and why she was saying good-bye. A dear friend had told me what she had said to her daughter and I went with that. I told him that Joy was in the sky now, and that she couldn’t stay any longer with his Auntie and Uncle. He told me he was sad, and that he’d miss her. I cried then, I tried not to, but I couldn’t stop the tears from falling as I looked at my youngest boy so serious and sad as he said “But I can’t see her there” I told him I understood how sad it was to not be able to see her again, but that she’d always be watching over him and she’d always love him and that he could talk to her and she’d hear him just as she always heard his heart.

I know he understood because later on as day turned to night he became quite upset and when I asked him what was wrong he told me “It’s dark outside, it’s dark in the sky, Joy’s afraid of the dark” I promised him that where Joy was it wasn’t ever dark, it’s always bright and filled with love and light. He looked dubious, but nodded and walked away to play with his cars. He comes up to me at various times and says things like “I miss her” “I want to see her” “Why can’t her stay with Auntie and Uncle anymore?” I try my best to answer his questions, and offer him comfort, but I’m struggling to understand the answers myself. So mostly I just tell him it’s okay to be sad and I hug him.

Mr. C has known since the day she passed away that she’s no longer on this plane with us. He’s built a dozen or more snowmen in the backyard, and destroyed each one when the anger overwhelms him at losing her. He told me he does it because I say he’s not allowed to hit other people, and he doesn’t know how else to get the pain and anger out. He’s so much more somber, his quick smile is missing from his beautiful face, a shadow haunts his eyes at all times. He’s withdrawn into himself more, his natural exuberance just isn’t there. I can’t remember the last time I had to remind him to be more quiet.

For the last week my husband has been my rock, he holds me every time I break down, and lets me cry as long as I need, he never rushes me to feel better. He cooks and remembers to do the things my mind can’t seem to hold onto right now. He promises me that it’ll get easier, and that the wounds her passing have left will lessen, they will eventually become easier to deal with. But in just a couple of hours he has to go back to school. Reading week is officially over and I’ll have to do all the mom things I haven’t been really doing since we lost Joy. The idea of this makes me worried. I don’t know how to cope right now other than to push it all down as far as I can, but to truly block it out I have to block out all emotions. Because really, the only reason there’s so much pain is because there is so much love for her. To not feel the pain, I’d have to stop feeling the love, for her, and for everyone including my own children. But that’s not fair to them. So I’ll have to stumble through the pain and the love, and the moments of each day, cause one day it’s gotta get better if I just keep going through the motions long enough.

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