I saw the clock each hour many of times since October. That’s when my wife Kellie and I had our 4th and 5th child. That is when our family in theory became complete.
The near 9 months since then has been a grind. I knew it would be. You don’t have 5 children, 2 of them newborns, 2 knocking on the cusp of teenage youth, and 1 with Autism , and forecast smooth waters. That’s impossible and a fantasy.
What I wasn’t anticipating was the loss of a dear friend who battled to his last breath in a courageous fight with cancer. The aftermath of his loss and how it affects those who loved him knocked the wind out of my sails.
As Sawyer would say to me, “Is Chris in heaven?” I would say, “yes.” However, in Sawyer’s world, heaven is a place where Michael Jackson, Joe the dog, and now Chris reside. Nobody else. Those are the only 3 people he knows who have died.
Sawyer sees things so black and white. Sometimes I wish I could see it just like him but that’s not me. And it’s a big part of what makes Sawyer who he is.
For Sawyer, life goes on. He is in his own world. He hears someone dies and he can repeat it. He can script a conversation that he heard to make it appear like he gets it. However, the true context to what reality is hasn’t hit him.
Maybe it’s his age? Maybe it’s his developmental delays? Though he closing those gaps that we see some behaviors that mirror that of a kindergartener rather than a soon to be 3rd grader.
Here is the thing though, Sawyer cries when he spills water. I cry when I lose someone irreplaceable. Explaining that to him may be a life long process. I suppose at age 10 it could make more sense? Maybe age 12? Maybe 15? Maybe this means more to me that this understanding needs to happen? Maybe I’m just scared that he will never understand?
I do know this that the loss of my friend hurts. It hurts because I didn’t think it would happen. It’s not fair and I’m angry about it even months later. I just don’t understand why it happened?
When I hear Sawyer asking if Chris is gone, It’s hard to converse about it. However, after a few months of not writing and spending time thinking, I have realized that a major loss can’t be healed. It can only be accepted.
I continue to accept Sawyer’s understanding of his world and I begin to accept the loss in mine. Once again, he teaches me when I least expect it.
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