On a beautiful Spring Sunday afternoon, T brought flowers for his Auntie.

A few weeks prior, the memorial garden staff let me know her memorial plaque had been installed and with it, a vase for flowers.

At 8.5 years old, T has experienced a lot of adversity and loss the past year.

When I watched him sit on the grass next to the grave, looking at her plaque, I thought back to three years ago, when T first asked me about death.

I didn’t know how to answer it at the time and little did I know that T would get a first-hand experience in the near future.

Re-reading this post, I would still approach it the same way: with healthy openness and honesty.

Despite living with FASD, T is insightful and perceptive and, at his core, very caring; he can handle the truth in age appropriate doses.

Over the past while, when he wanted to role play a funeral, we would do so; when he wanted to talk about his Auntie as an angel sitting on a cloud, I’d listen.

We try to convey the message that death is a part of life and that’s why we have to enjoy life and appreciate each other while we can.

We let T know, a while back, the hubby and I have a plot in the same memorial garden.

We bought it a decade ago, after my dad passed. With our wills also done, it gives us peace of mind that we have things planned for T.

We also make it clear to him that we don’t want to move in anytime soon, but that it’s good to be prepared as parents.

After we visited my sister, we headed over to our plot on the other side of the garden.

I noticed during this visit that our future neighbour was born in 1883 and passed away 70 years ago!

“I’m going to be with you too,” T said.

“Oh no, this is for Daddy and I,” I said.

Then T got upset and said we were being rude.

I clarified that when he becomes a grownup one day, he will probably have his own family and may want to be with them instead of us.

“Well, they can all go in with us!” He said.

39 thoughts on “Flowers

  1. Oh, Ab this is such a beautiful post. It is such a hard teaching in understanding the impermanence of our physical life. As always, you have done this with your child’s needs in mind. I hope you are also being gentle with your own process in this loss. My genuine care to you.

    1. Thanks LaDonna. I appreciate the kind words. Given T’s age, I think he is doing great with processing and trying to understand this, so we could not be more grateful and proud. 😊 Exercising kindness and gentleness with myself is a work in progress and getting lots of practice through this experience for sure.

      Hope you and your family are having a great start to your summer!

  2. Hello.
    How heartwarming to see a child like T, who is only 8 years old, bring flowers to his Auntie’s memorial plaque despite experiencing loss and adversity at his young age.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Gary. Life works in unexpected and sometimes unfair ways. You are doing your best and doing amazing! 👍

  3. That’s pretty neat that your future neighbor was born in 1883. I did the math (with a calculator) and learned he/she lived to be 70. That’s rather impressive given the time. Good of you to have your affairs in order. Hubs and I should get on that. :/ I’m glad T was appeased with your explanation. His response was good too. 🙂
    BTW, in case you’re wondering, I came here from Wynne’s blog. 🙂

    1. Thank you. I look forward to the conversations I’ll have with our neighbour one day (hopefully not too soon! 😆). And greetings from Wynne’s blog. She is a wonderful blog community builder!

    1. Thanks Diane. I was marveling last night that T will be 10 in less than two years. Life just flies by. And yes, I’m thankful to record some of these life moments so we can look back on it together one day. 😊

  4. “We try to convey the message that death is a part of life and that’s why we have to enjoy life and appreciate each other while we can.” – I don’t think you can do anything more. It’s a tough burden to bear as humans – knowing of our own mortality (and those we love). The way to overcome is to live life to the fullest today. To pay attention to and love the people around you today. Then we will have no regrets when we get there. Reminds me of a quote by Kyle Idleman: “There is no life without death.” 🙏

    1. Thank you AP! Living life to the fullest is most certainly the way to go and a lesson we were reminded of so much this last while. 😔🙏💕

  5. It’s pretty amazing that you’re so open and honest about death. You’re absolutely right about how it can (and should) make us appreciate life and all of our relationships and connections with others. To be fair, I totally understand T’s reaction. Even if you do have your own family, it’s a nice thought to want to rest with your parents.

    1. Thanks Linda. I think we try to keep it open without being morbid about it, especially given what’s happened the last year. But there’s so much more world to see and experience still in the meantime. 😊 Hope you and K did ok with the wildfire smoke last year. Thankfully it’s gone now and hope it’s more of an exception than a norm in the future!

      1. Oh I know. We’ve dealt with hazy skies before from the wildfires, but last week was something else with all the smoke. Fingers crossed it was a one-off.

  6. Oh, the mind of a child! 😊 Do you remember some of the thoughts you had when you were little your current self would see them as silly?

    1. Thanks Bama. Oh the silly and pure thoughts of a child indeed. 😆 That would make a fun post to try and remember all the thoughts I had as a child.

    1. Thank you, Yari. He has challenging moments where he doesn’t seem sweet but yes at his core, he is a wonderfully sweet kid and we are grateful for this. 😊👍

      1. That’s pretty much everybody, though. I’m sure you’re not sweet all the time, either 😉 Heehe Mine recently learned to do tantrums, so that’s been fun 😅 You’re doing so great!

  7. What a sweet kid! I had never heard of role playing a funeral, but I can imagine that being helpful in processing a death. I don’t think I experienced death until my late-teens, but I can imagine how challenging that experience might be for a child.

    1. Thanks Erin. The roleplay has been a Godsend for him and us. It’s a great way to process his emotions and thoughts and we take his lead on where he wants to take it. It is definitely a lot for a young kid to experience and given the circumstance, he’s doing amazing. 🙏

      1. I’m so happy to hear that! He sounds like such a resilient kid, and I’m sure it make such a difference to have supportive parents to help guide him through the turbulent times.

  8. I love how wonderfully you let him role play feelings and listen to him. It seems like such an easy solution and yet I know how hard it really is. T has experienced a lot of adversity and loss in this past year. I’m so impressed at his resiliency. And I love the cemetery solution – what an awesome kid!!

    1. Thanks Wynne. We’ve had to host funerals for quite a few of his stuffed pets already but I think it’s been a helpful way for him to process the events of the past few months. We are very thankful for his resiliency!

      1. It’s brilliant! I read a book years ago about how to parent through play – it sounds like you could have written that book!

  9. This was very insightful Ab, I really love & appreciate you sharing your & T’s experiences. He IA amazing!
    I never thought about role play for a funeral, the idea came just in time regarding a way to help a friend. Thank you dearly!

    1. Thank you Tammy. The roleplay is a helpful tool for young children like T. I think they project a lot of what they are feeling and thinking into the play. So it’s good for them to process and good for adults to get an insight into how they are feeling. Good luck to your friend!

  10. Omg I love his honesty. I laughed out loud when he told you that you were rude lol. And I guess you will have alot of bodies piled in when its time lmao. Love it! Thank you for all your blog posts. Love reading them.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. He’s quite the riot isn’t he? 😆 It’s gonna be a full house, that’s for sure!

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