Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sharing the Loss of a Sibling

As many of you know, we are hosting another day of kindness for Violet on October 11. I asked Georgia what she wanted to do on this day as her act of kindness. As she was thinking she suggested asking her classmates to participate with us. After all, Mom and Dad have asked all of their friends....it seems only fitting that she ask hers too.

I go to Georgia's class on Wednesday mornings to help with whatever I can. Sometimes is crowd control....they are a chatty bunch. Today when I went to her class, we started off by talking to everyone about Violet. 

I was able to explain who Violet is to these kiddos without breaking down....that was the first challenge. They all became very somber when I told them that Violet died. They looked sad....and that is what I expected, it is sad when your baby dies. 

Then I started talking about our day of kindness and what we were asking our friends and family to do. We made sure that they got the concept by asking them what kind things they could do for someone else. They suggested reading a book to their siblings, cleaning their room without being told, helping mom around the house, delivering a meal to a homeless person, and so on. Georgia and I shared some of the things that we did last year. I think that was their favorite part....hearing about all of the little ways did random acts of kindness. 

During all of this, one little girl raised her hand. When Georgia's teacher called on her, she shared that she too had a little sister who died. Her sister's name was Hunter. Georgia's teacher asked if they honored Hunter's memory in anyway, she looked a little sad and said, "no." 

After all of the sharing, the class went on to do their reading assignments. I hung out with them until they left for music class. But before they left, as Georgia was giving me a goodbye hug, this little girl who also lost a sister came up to us. She told Georgia that she knew what it was like to have a little sister die. She said that her sister was born one day and then died the next. I told her that I was sorry that her little sister died. She told me that she was sorry my baby died. And Georgia and I both gave her a little hug. 

It was obvious to me that this little girl was in pain. I don't really know her....she was in Georgia's kindergarten class, but it's not someone that Georgia hangs out with much. So I have no idea about her family situation. I hope that her family has found peace with their baby's death. I hope that they have healed, as much as possible. I hope that they haven't pushed Hunter's life to the back of their minds....if they don't think about it then it didn't happen, right? I hope that this little girl was given the chance to process what Hunter's life and death mean. I hope that she is told it's ok to miss her little sister. I hope that she knows how unfair this is. I hope she is able to talk about her feelings. I hope, I hope, I hope. 

So, what can I do. Not much I'm afraid...not unless I'm asked. Who knows, maybe this child will go home and talk to her mom and or dad about our day of kindness. Maybe they will learn that they aren't the only ones out there living with this terrible thing called grief. And maybe, I touched this child's heart today. And if she isn't getting the support she needs to grieve the loss of her sister, hopefully she will remember Georgia and me today talking to her class and telling them how much we love Violet and how much we miss her. Hopefully she remembers those things and knows that it's ok for her to love and miss her sister too.