These are thoughts that I first put to paper after my cousin, a young father, died unexpectedly last spring. Lydia was still 3 and beginning to ask questions about why mommy was sad and why we were going on a trip. (She ended up sick and stayed home so we never had the conversation)
The events in Sandy Hook have hit me hard this weekend and I find myself revisiting this idea that someday I will need to explain death and darkness to my child. I'm not just not ready for either of us to be that grown up yet.
How do I even begin
and grownups who feel helpless.
About children who have lost someone
and children who have been lost?
How do I begin to explain loss in one family
without introducing you to the idea that there will, someday, be loss in our family?
How do I begin to reassure you that you are safe
when I am also frightened?
How do I wrap my arms around you
and still send you out into the world and allow you to grow?
I will not discuss it around you
because I have no words to give you
because there are no answers
I will avoid the news
and listen instead the sweet steady sound of your breath
While you are sleeping,
and unaware of the darkness.