My 3rd and 4th daughters were born years after Dan passed away. They don't know him more then what they have seen in pictures and heard from stories, but if you didn't know that you would think they have years of memories with him.
The girls buy him a rose from the school Christmas Shop, they ask alot of questions about his life and occasionally ask if he is their stepdad, uncle , cousin or friend. Their age and innocence is always good for a laugh.
A long time ago, I made the decision that talking about Dan was going to be part of my healing. Back then I didn't know if it would help, but I knew how much I loved talking about him and hearing strories. Initally I would see people's faces look uncomfortable, nervous and even unsure if they should engage with me. I kept reminding myself, this is my husband, our stories and my mental health. If I want to talk about him, I am going too.
As the years went on , talking about Dan out of the blue became the norm for anyone close to us.
When my littles came along, they were curious. They wanted to know who this guy in the pictures throughout the house is. Who is Delaney and Addie's daddy? So, we told them. We told them who Dan was, that he was my husband, he was a great dad and paramedic, a really funny guy and that he would love them too if he was here.
From then on they love to talk about Dan....all the time! I am super proud of them for this.
At a young age, they know how to love someone's memory, they are becoming emotionally confident children. This will benefit them as they grow up and face the heartbreaks of the world. They know how beneficial it is to talk and express their feelings.
No matter how many times they bring up Dan, try to make us laugh with a story we told them or watch for tears when they ask about how he died, I'll never tell them to stop talking about him.
Putting words to our thoughts and feelings will only benefit us on our healing journey. When children and those we love see us able to talk/ cry and contintue to move forward, they too will learn how to work through grief.
Want to learn more about how you can release the pain associated to a loss? Schedule a call with me and let's being your journey.