The first dream visits from my daughter, after her death, held little joy for either of us. Confused and afraid, she asked me to “fix it” many times. Every time I told her I couldn’t, my heart would break more and we would just hold each other and cry. When Becca had been little, and had taken a fall, she would come to me and I could always make it better. Now, she came to me asking me to fix this biggest of falls, and there was nothing I could do. I felt like a complete failure at helping my daughter.
I’ve often written about how we continue mothering our children after they have died. Some moms start non profits, in memory, hoping the child’s name will be carried forward. Attempting to do the good work they know their child would have done had they lived. Others volunteer with organizations they know their child had been passionate about. Oddly, for a short time I felt as if I needed to “be” my daughter. She was a better person than I and I knew she should be here, not me. But that’s a different blog subject. For now, back to mothering our dead children.
This past Friday, Stacey and I were driving around and she told me that she had heard Mckenna crying in the night. She had woken up and heard her daughter say, “I didn’t deserve to die.” Hearing these words broke my heart for both of them. I had a stone in my chest listening to my friend share her experience.
No, Mckenna didn’t deserve to die. It wasn’t her time. Her life was stolen. Taken by evil. She was the most innocent of innocents. Stacey didn’t deserve to lose her daughter. None of the situation is fair to either of them. I know, for certain, if there was a way for Stacey to trade places with her child . . . she would in heartbeat and without hesitation. I don’t know a mother who wouldn’t. Now that is true unconditional love.
I asked Stacey what she did after waking up to her daughter’s cry and hearing those words. She said, “I talked to her.” Stacey soothed her child, as she had, when Mckenna was alive. With calm understanding words. With patience and love. With heart wrenching pain because she couldn’t scoop her daughter up and hold her in her lap. Kiss the top of her head and rock her until her crying ceases. Through her pain she gave her daughter what she needed.
While Stacey and I were talking, it dawned on me, we CAN still mother our children after they are gone! Not in the way that we put our time and energy toward good works in their memory. But in a very real tangible manner. We are connected to our children. Even death can not break the thin golden thread that stretches between us. It is everlasting.
I know it sounds odd to say we can still mother our children after their death. But I truly believe this.
The first day of school for Becca was traumatic for both of us. Well, truth be told, more so for me. But I remember holding her hand and kneeling down and telling her she was a big girl and I knew she was going to be just fine after I left. All she needed was that pep talk from me and the knowledge that I would be there when her day was over. She had the confidence to venture away from me because she knew I was the safety net beneath her. That is why she came to me after her death. This is also the reason Mckenna went to Stacey in the dark of night. Our children still need us to care for them. We are still their mothers. They are still our children.
I know everyone has a vision of Heaven. Some the same and some very different. I don’t know what it truly looks like but I have my own ideas. I do believe, it is different than here on earth. So, in the transition from one to the other, our children could still be afraid. Unsure. Especially if the death was traumatic and sudden.
I didn’t get to kneel down in front of my child and tell her it was alright to go. I didn’t get to kiss her cheek or wipe her tears away. Neither did Stacey. The chance to prepare them for something new and unknown was taken from us. They come to us to help them understand. To help them accept. And we do it, we mother them, just as if they were alive.
This truth is an amazing revelation to me. Becca isn’t here with me physically but her spirit is nearby. Many of the early visits, when I was asleep, were her asking me questions. After a while, she started to explain to me how things were “on that side”. Finally, I had a visit where my child was radiant and joyous and glowing. I believe that is when she truly accepted her death and wanted me to know she was just fine and would be waiting for us to join her.
Please, grieving mommas, keep being your deceased child’s mother!! Talk to them. Let them know you are still their momma and they can come to you. Your relationship doesn’t have to end! It’s been altered, yes, but it’s not severed.
Just imagine your little one on the other end of the golden cord.