I have mentioned my DD enough times (9yo, but developmentally younger and medically fragile) but am really having a rough time right now talking with her without breaking into tears.
Saturday evening, I got a call from DD's aide at school to let me know that one of her best friends had passed suddenly on Friday night. He was at school Friday, had a good week, so this has all caught us way off guard.
DD attends 2 different schools, a community school 2 days a week, and this hospital school the other 3 days so that she may access the therapy and additional support she needs.
Based upon her regular schedule, she doesn't go back to the school where her friend was until Wednesday - the day of his funeral.
We have talked about his passing, sadly, he is not the first of her friends to pass (real friends/playmates, not just "acquaintances because they attend the same school"). However, it has hit her very hard. There were several things they loved to do together, they have been in the same class for four years now.
I am really having a tough time holding myself together, though. This is a very strong reminder that she is living on borrowed time. She was referred to Hospice 3 years ago, but is living a life that no one expected - even though it is far from normal. I have also lost a child, so it is a raw wound for me.
We have talked about her friend, about heaven, and about how it is OK to cry. I have reassured her that her DB and Daddy and I are all OK, and that she is doing well, too.
Do any of you have other tips about how to talk with her?
Oh, its just popped into my head but when my mum was upset and trying to hide it she would put on a sad film like homeward bound and bawl her little heart out. I had no idea at the time that this was anything other than being sad about an old dog walking a long way to get home.
Heaven is a comfort and, to a child, makes dying less final. Even if you have doubts yourself, the old-fashioned view of somewhere we will meet again can help a sad and anxious child. Answer any questions and don't be afraid to cry in front of her. Drawing a picture for her friend's family is a good idea. Virtual hugs for you both.