Every November Canuck Place Childrens Hospice has a `Remember our Children` event. We attented a few years ago. They do a beautiful tribute, though it is a strenuously emotional day, the lead up, the actual event, the drive home. Our boys attented the sibling bereavement program at Canuck Place, twice a month for the first year after their sister died. We went to a few ‘remembering events’ in those first couple years. But they take a toll, as much as we, her parents needed to know she was remembered it was hard on our boys to understand the grief we felt. So for the first time in over a year we brought our boys then six and eight to this annual event, knowing it would likely be the last. I have continued to attend on my own not wanting my sadness to affect their thoughts and lives on the regular. I realize in their little worlds, their short memories how far away five years ago is.
My youngest who was just turning four doesn’t really remember with the same sadness what happened though he still knows who she is/was and he used to talk about her (he prefers not to mention her now, I asked why, he said he doesnt want to have to explain). Our older son who turned six shortly after his sister died was affected much more. He was the one asking me for a little sister (he already had a brother) he was anticipating her joining our life more than anyone I think. And it has literally change the person he is today, though I will also mention not in a bad way- he is incredibly strong, as well as, he is always sensitive to others around him, he is always observing and taking note.
During the event the kids got restless and went out in the hallway and did memory crafts, as my husband and I sat and cried, listening to grieving brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers speak, listening to the beautifully orchestrated but also the saddest music we had ever heard (we both agreed) our oldest son came back in put his arms around both our necks gave us the gentlest, most sincere hug and went back out.
Later that night as I put the younger ones to bed. Lily’s little sister Hope was born 15 months after her. My oldest son sat with his dad and casually said- `do you know what I`m thinking about` Dad said no- our son says- `she was so beautiful. That was the worst day of my life.` Dad says -I know and it was a sad ceremony, but its good to always remember her even if it hurts.`
That is when, what my wise little eight year old boy says next just blows me away, he says, -`well she`s still here`, his Dad says ` yes, she`s always with us`, he says -`no dad she’s here she’s sitting on your head, and on my head, and on moms head, sometimes when I`m at school and I’m stuck on a hard math question she helps me, like she helps you and mom when you sad.`
Dad smiles, a sad gentle smile, gives him a hug while quietly wiping away a tear.
I thought. I like that. My angel is on my head. I too smile as I cry. Its a comforting thought to know my little boy has his angel, his sister to protect, guide and help him along the way.
A wonderful memory I hold in my heart.
Thanks for reading. I hope you can cherish your angel that sits with you.