Posted by: Kathy | September 27, 2011

The Feelings of a Child

My daughter stayed home from school today. She has a cold, which started Sunday and hasn’t gotten better. At first we weren’t sure if she had a cold or allergies, since she was acting like her typical nutty self and insisted on going to school yesterday. Nikki is in kindergarten, so for her school is fun. But seeing that she was worse this morning, we decided it was best to keep her home.

I work from home and Nikki has popped in and out of my room during the day to say hi or ask me a question. My husband is also home, so he’s really the one who is taking care of her today. A few hours ago, I saw her little body fill my doorway and asked Nikki if she was ok. She asked for a hug. I gave her one and asked why she wanted a hug since my daughter seemed upset. What she said next really surprised me. Nikki told me that she really missed Grandmom Angel, and then said that it wasn’t fair that Matt got so much more time with Grandmom before she died than she did. My daughter used her little fingers to show me how much time she thought she got to spend with my mom before she died compared with the time her brother had with his grandmother. As I hugged her, my daughter told me over and over how she wanted to spend time with her grandmom. For me, this was heartbreaking. I told her that I understood how she  felt and assured her that Grandmom Angel loved her very much and still does.

What I said seemed to calm Nikki down and she went back to playing in her room. I’m not really sure why my daughter was feeling this way or what “triggered” these feelings, as what she said seemed to come out of nowhere. One minute she was playing in her room, the next she was upset and asking for a hug. Nikki knows that her brother is 7 years older than her, so even at age 5, she can figure out that Matt had more time in years with my mom than she did. Nikki was almost two and a half when her grandmom died and probably doesn’t remember anything from that time. As I’ve written before, her memories are mine, as I keep my mom’s memory alive for my children. I know that Nikki doesn’t remember telling us that she had seen Grandmom Angel several times shortly after my mom died. And I truly believe that my mom did visit Nikki and still does.

For the first time, I felt my daughter’s pain regarding the loss of her grandmother, and the intensity of her feelings was unexpected. She was upset that she didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my mom, and I could sense how deeply she wanted to be with her grandmom again. Even though my daughter was so young when her grandmother died, her feelings of love and loss are real. Nikki knows just how special Grandmom Angel was and how much she is missed by all of us.

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