Kids talk about death and remember: "hearts have telescopes"

We've received lots of wonderful stories about Sasha over the last week including this contribution by Matthew, Sasha's cousin, shared by his mom Alisa.

"Okay it was a little eerie that I sat down at the computer thinking of a conversation with Matty in the car this morning about Sasha (the first time since the Shiva that he has asked us about her), opened the blog and saw your message. So, for what it's worth, here's what he said:

From the back seat of the car (in a complete non-sequitor)-

Why did Sasha die? I repeated exactly what we told him the first time [added below]and he repeated it part by part (to process it?)
Can we still say her name? Yes
Can we still think about her? Of course
Can we imagine what she is doing? Of course
That's good 'cause we can't really SEE what she's doing...but our hearts can because hearts have things like telescopes to see very far away.

From the mouths of babes (or 3 year olds). Anyway, I liked the idea and wanted to share that there was a big impact even on little ones that rarely connected in person - she is clearly in his thoughts - even on the way home from the mall this am."

Alisa then recounted to us what they told him the first time:

"We were warned not to say that the reason she died was because she was sick - he gets sick, he goes to Sick Kids etc. We had told him on the way to the birthday party that when she was born there were parts inside her bodythat were broken and that the doctors were trying to fix them (he is only concerned with blood and bones in the body right now so he asked if that is what we meant and we left it at a vague 'yeah something like that') and that is why she might have bandages on her arm and not feel much like playing. So after she died we just sat him down and said that the doctors and auntie Pamand uncle Johnny had tried very hard but they couldn't fix what was broken and that her body had stopped working and that she had died. Did he know what that meant. We explained that we would never be able to see her again and that was making everyone very sad. He asked if we could blow her an imaginary hug and kiss goodbye and so we did. We then had to explain that also since he had been asleep Mia had been born. He had a harder time understanding that the two things were not related andI think that he still does. Especially hard for him was the idea that people would be very sad that Sasha was gone and very happy that Mia was here. He couldn't understand how you could feel more than one emotion at the sametime. We knew that he got it because he apparently told teachers and kids at daycare that day about both things. We tried to revisit it later in the week to check if there were any questions, we had gotten him a book about death, but he wasn't interested - in his case just a short conversation seems to have been all the explanation he wanted."

Thanks Matthew for showing us how you see and empathize.

Thanks Alisa for sharing this with us.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:37 AM

    Children are so amazing how they process things. Thank you for sharing these. Even though we never knew Sasha personally our Jordan talks of her as we told him all about her. In recent weeks we have been in touch with a new mother of an AGS baby here in Australia and he wants to so meet with them which prompted him to again speak of your beautiful Sasha. He loved getting to know her as he loves what you share about her. Thank you for being our guiding light. Stay strong - our love, thoughts and prayers....