Friday, December 23, 2011

What to Tell Ava


One of the things Daddy struggles with is trying to explain your death to your Big Sister in ways that she will understand and are appropriate to her age level. So far, Daddy thinks that he and Mommy have done a pretty good job with this, but at the rate she is growing intellectually, the task is going to become more and more daunting. Will she resent Daddy and Mommy for you dying? Will she become obsessed with death? What happens when the first kid teases her about having a dead brother? How will she react? What happens when she really comprehends what death actually is?

Daddy could type a million other questions since every day brings a new one (or twenty) in regards as how to make sure Ava understands and accepts your death. You see, since you died, the protective instinct has gone from typical Dad wanting to make sure his children avoid any sort of pain in their lives to wanting to make sure nothing bad even comes close to touching his one living child. Daddy knows that this is unreasonable and unrealistic but does not really care. You and your sister are the world to me and since you are no longer physically here to protect, Daddy is damned sure to not fail Ava. It just is not an option...never really was, but the determination has just been turned up a notch or two, and I hope when she gets older that she realizes that Daddy did his best and continues to try to do his best throughout her life.  Hopefully you somehow know that I did my best for you too.

I love you!


  1. We struggle with this ourselves. We aren't Christians and don't ascribe to the Christian idea of Heaven and angels. However, if that's the path that Sam wants to take in the future then we will support that. In the meantime, we've had trouble explaining our belief system to him. It's so much easier to explain the afterlife in terms of a "place." Most of our friends are Christian and pretty devout so we also struggle with the instances in which they tell Sam that Toby is in Heaven or that Toby is an angel. It's really confusing to him right now since we're NOT telling him these things. As he gets older, though, he seems to understand a little more. A year before Toby died our friend JIm died and Sam went to his funeral. When Toby died, for the first few months Sam would say that Toby was with Jim and we kind of left it at that for awhile.

    We've already run into the problem of other kids talking to him about his "dead" brother, and not in the nicest of ways. A couple of weeks ago his best friend was over and stood over Iris saying, "Toby died, he died, yeah, he died...and YOU might die, too." So for the past few weeks we've been having THAT conversation.

  2. I don't have any other children, so I have no kind of insight to share with you. But for what it's worth, I don't think Ava will resent you for what happened.