Our Sidge -- giving us a silly smile with one of our new turkeys a few weeks ago.
As my children are getting older, and can read, and as they have more opinions about what I do or don't share on this Blog, I have begun refraining from sharing quite as many intimacies of their lives. JB and I have toyed with the direction of this Blog off and on for the last two years. Ever since we came back to the States. Should I stop writing? Should I make the Blog private? I'm still not exactly sure where it will go, but I have decided that the tiny nuances of my children's lives should be their story to tell.
I have written previously about some of our Sidge's emotional stressors especially when it came to moving.) But I didn't bring them up when they began emerging about two months ago. I still don't want to go into all the nuances of what he's been dealing with, but I will say, that for the last few months, our sweet, passionate, emotional, incredibly bright little boy has been dealing with some things again. Each time this has happened with Sidge it has been stress-related. The first time was when we moved back to the States. The second time was when we moved to the farm.
But this time, we couldn't really figure out what stressful event had sort of spun him a bit. We attributed it to the abundance of guests at the farm and decided to slow that down a bit. But in the last few days, we have sort of smacked the side of our head and gone, "Duh ... Scrubs."
About five days before his death, Sidge and I went on a hike on the property and Scrubs, surprisingly, went with us, hiking the whole way. We stopped at the top to take a bunch of pictures of our doggie and us.
I have written a lot about grief on my Blog, but to be fair, I have not lost a lot of people in my life. I've been passionate about grief and letting people grieve, but I haven't had much practice it with it for myself outside of infertility. I've lost some people, but they were expected losses that I was prepared to grieve. Scrubs was, honestly, one of my biggest losses.
I thought that I was doing Sidge a favor by not talking about it and not seeing me cry. I know I had read differently, but he is sooooo tender hearted. He is so sensitive to the emotions of others around him that I just didn't want to make him sad. So I avoided it. We decided to get the new puppies and jumped right into that. It wasn't that we stopped talking about Scrubs, but we tried to avoid ever showing we were sad. We didn't want our sadness to be placed onto Sidge.
But we have realized that he needed to see my sadness. And he needed to talk about it. And he needed to grieve more than he did. It is just in the last week that he has allowed all of this to bubble to the surface, and JB and I are truly like, "Why didn't we realize that Scrubs' death was affecting him?!"
"I think I'm forgetting him," he told me. "And I really miss that soft spot on the top of his head." As he said this, I started crying which made Sidge cry even more. I told him that our friend Shane and his dog Bonnie were coming to town to visit. This made Sidge cry. Bonnie and Scrubs were best friends. Won't Bonnie be sad missing Scrubs? "I can tell how people are feeling by looking at their faces," he told me. "I can tell you are sad."
I explained that this is how we grieve together.
He seemed to understand that.
So this week we decided to grieve a bit together. I've brought up Scrubs quite a bit. I've talked about him. I've let Sidge see me tear up -- something I still do most days of the week. He and I went to the grave and repainted some of the rocks marking his grave and just talked about our dog and how much we wish he was still here with us.
JB has mowed a shortcut to Scrubs' grave, and the kids have taken to calling it "Scrubby's Way." Sidge asked if he could make a road sign. He came up with what we needed and told JB he could even do it completely himself. But they worked on it together and put it up this past week. I think it looks perfect. And it makes my heart happy to see it:
This parenthood thing is tricky business. I'm learning every day. But even though there are lots of things I don't know, I am pretty positive that this sign is a good thing and that it will help Sidge heal.