I wanted to do something with the kids for Dan’s birthday and they have been bugging me about making some cards so I thought that maybe I would combine the two. So, the other night we sat down to make some birthday cards for Daddy. It had been a wearing day for me already and I was quite tired (never a good thing in this state of emotional turmoil). Benjamin wasn’t interested at all. He was busy doing something else so I didn’t push it. The rest of them were soon happily involved with putting stickers on their card and drawing pictures and the like, but it wasn’t long till the conflict set in. They kept telling me that they wanted to give their card to this person or that person and I kept telling them they were making a card for Daddy. Turns out that none of them were real interested in making a card for Daddy. I guess they knew that it really wouldn’t make a difference. Daddy wasn’t going to be looking at it and saying “Ooo! and ahhh!”. Eventually we all kind of gave up. The kids wandered off to do something else and I collected what they had made and cleaned up the mess.
Boy, did that hurt. I know that kids are resiliant and that since mine are so young they are bound to forget a lot if not everything about their Dad, but I had no idea how quickly they would move on. Some of my memories are a bit vague and that bothers me, but to realize that their memories will be even more vague . . . they will know next to nothing about their Daddy except for what we tell them.
40-50 years down the road who’s going to remember that there even was a Daniel Thomas Ewing? If they forget their Daddy and my memories start to fade, then who will remember Dan? Who will try to fill the void that he left behind? I suppose you could argue that his job was done and therefore there is no need to “fill in the gap.” I feel the gap. And then there are the kids . . . it’s not like Dan didn’t leave his mark on the world. =)
It made me feel kind of alone in my grief. If even his kids, who lived with him, are ready to move on why can’t I? Who else will mourn him? Mine alone seemed so deep . . although I would guess that his Mom and sisters feel it quite deeply too. I don’t know, I’ve never lost a sibling or a child. Is it an awful mind numbing loss or something that cuts sharply once or twice a day as something reminds you of their loss (that reminder being less frequent than what I’ve been experiencing I’m assuming)? Is it easy to move on with life and just pretend that Danny is still in West Virginia?
I’ve been wondering just how deeply the kids would mourn the loss of their father . . how does a child process something like this anyway? Do they just accept it and move on until they are old enough to deal with it? Does it affect the way they think? What do I need to be looking out for? How will I be able to keep track of all these kids anyway?