My child, just like me, he’s grieving. Mourning, for his father, his idol, his best friend.
It’s difficult. For both of us.
I think about how much time I spend thinking, reliving, writing, processing… and I’m an adult. I imagine how much the same it must be for my little boy, at three years old… and I almost sob. Without the framework and resources I have, this child is adrift.
The very best i have got for him is love, and as much patience as I can muster.
He’s regressed in age, in so many respects. His attachment to his dummy has returned three fold, toilet training has gone out the window.
And it’s very much like twins, with my eighteen month old as his companion. His temper tantrums, always legendary, are now explosive and volcanic. He is anxious, stress about the tiniest things.
And the best I can do is love him, and give him words… words to replace the tantrums. Words to express, in some way that I can try to understand, what he is feeling and when.
Words like ‘sad’. ‘Angry’. ‘I miss Daddy’.
A lot of the time, my good natured, passive, day dreaming little boy is, I think, at as much peace as he can be, when his heartache is so fresh. He tells me, often that daddy is in heaven up with the stars, higher than the clouds, higher than the plane. Toohigh for us to go and get him, to high for him to come back.
And he tells me in heaven, Daddy has a purple house and an orange car and a copyof the PlaySchool Dinosaurs DVD, which my little man now refuses to watch. Because Daddy loved all of those things.
And other times, he is a ball of pain and rage and tears and fear. He tells me, alternatively, that he misses his daddy and wants him back, or tha he doesn’t want his daddy, doesn’t like his daddy.
Either way, it breaks my heart.
But I do my best to be patient, and wrap my child in cuddles and smother him with kisses. because I understand. I want to howl and cry and scream, most days. Most day, it is only the structure of social normality that sees me resisting the urge to play out my anxiety in public, and scream at people to shut that door, or stop looking at me, the way my baby boy does.
It’s difficult, and it takes every ounce of my patience and strength, especially living here, so far away anyone who will babysit… some days, I feel like my brain is shrinking and corroding to a soundtrack of PlaySchool and the Wiggles.
But I think they deserve it, my children,both of them. They deserve their mum, as much as possible,in a place where it’s beautiful and peaceful. And they deserve her to be peaceful, and patient, as much as she can be.
And how can I not be…? When I know just how they feel?
We are driving down a mountain, on the way back from the suburbs to Paradise, and I am going just over the speed limit.
“Mummy,” says my son from the back seat, “Daddy says slow down.”
And I do, of course… wouldn’t you?
And I round the next bend, and there’s a truck, and a car on the other side next to it, moving as slow as a turtle.
I just don’t know what to make of that.