My mom’s best friend of fifty years died Saturday morning. She was an amazing woman; generous beyond generous, kind, hilarious, completely loving, fiercely loyal, tough, and so much more. She died after a long fight with an auto-immune disorder that left her lungs battered and bruised and so, so tired.
I have felt so sad since I got the news of her death. Lots of tears. S and I made the decision to be upfront with M, so often, tears are in front of him. He is a sweet and sensitive boy. Usually when we cry (especially S), he wants to hug us and be close and tell us that everything is going to be ok. When he saw how upset I was and asked me why, I told him.
We have been trying to explain what ‘dead’ means without overloading him. I tell him that it means that someone’s or something’s body quit working. I can see his brain trying to process what that actually means.
At the local nature center today, M noticed the taxidermy owl and squirrels on the huge fake tree in the lobby. He asked if they were real. I explained that they are real, but their bodies don’t work anymore. I could tell he was processing, but not quite there, which is ok because he is still a baby.
In the next few days, we will head to San Diego to remember Nancy. M will come with me and will see his grandparents and everyone who loved her grieving. But he will also see us all laughing because that is what Nancy would have wanted. I hope that M will internalize that just because someone’s body quits working, it doesn’t mean they leave us. I hope he feels that Nancy is still all around.