Friday, September 19, 2014

a child’s mind A tragic loss is difficult for a child to grasp

Posted on Nov. 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 10, 2013 at 5:21 p.m.

Are there birthday parties in Heaven? My granddaughter Donyale died in a tragic accident Oct. 24, 2011, and her son Conner, now age 4, asks this question of his Aunt Anita. (I would need a box of Kleenex). Conner is a deep thinker and he must feel mom is there with him. What a loss for a little heart; I’m sure he waits for her to enter a door anytime. Is she really gone?

The mind of a child with a loss. When they dress, are they remembering the gentle way mom buttoned my shirt, put on my shoes, combed my hair? When a cold comes along, is mom there to comfort me? When we sing the ABC song, do we sing it the way mom taught me to sing, or isn’t the music quite right, or is the melody not the same or is the music entering the soul like it did when mom and I would sing it? Conner covers his eyes with his arms when he sings this song; perhaps he has visions of his mom.

When I cross over to the other side, I’ll ask, “Are there birthday parties here?” Conner wants to know.

The family gathered for a balloon launching at Mottville cemetery Sunday, Oct. 27, in Donyale’s memory. How do explain all this to a 4-year-old? Is it really too much to grasp even if his balloon said “I love you”?

Juanita Oldfield

Mottville, Mich.