Saturday, November 15, 2014
Memories that are Not Their Own
I'm sitting here watching Miranda play with a piece of wooden toy railroad track. She's kind of fondling it and saying how sad she is about Evan. "I love him and I miss him. He's in heaven." And, "He's my little brudder." I say that I miss him, too. I tell her that I'm also sad that he's gone. Sometimes I remind her that Evan was her big brother, and that he would be 10 years old now. But that never seems to sink in. She sees pictures of a 2 year old boy who never grew up. He'll forever be her little brother, because he is forever a little boy. She never met Evan, of course. She was born a year and a half after he died. So, really, the only memories she has of Evan are from what we've told her, and pictures we've shared. I know of parents who never tell siblings about the brother or sister that died. My dental hygienist told me that she never knew she had a brother until she was an adult. And then it wasn't her parents that told her, but an aunt. Her parents had decided that their way of facing their grief was to put the loss in their pasts. Yeah, this seldom works. We've shared little memories with the kids about their big brother. They know he was sick and died, and how it still hurts us sometimes. I think it's wonderful to hear Miranda and Duncan talk about Evan. Their memories may not really be their own, but they feel like they knew him. And, in a way, they really do!