Of course when a six year old dies there is a lifetime of unfinished business. There is the promise of the person she would become but something I love about Kim is that she and I never lost sight of the person she is.
Elena was a giant personality. I’ll say more about the person she was in later posts. For now, I want to say something about parenting.
How often do you encounter someone after a death of a friend or relative and they say “I should have told them xxxx” or “I wish I hadn’t said yyyy”.
I am happy/relieved/unexplicably fixated on the fact that Kim and I have none of those. We told Elena how smart and beautiful she was every day. We celebrated her recent achievements as she turned the corner and became a reader. She loved stories and was just uncovering the magic of the written word. We learned from Montessori to separate actions from her self. There were things she did that we weren’t happy with – but we were never disappointed by her.
Kim told me a story that I found particularly heart wrenching. Each morning she would drop the girls off at school just a bit late. Maggie told Kim that as they ran to the school to get in before they were marked late, Elena would turn to Maggie each morning and say “Maggie, I love you.”
Please don’t leave things unsaid that you need to say and consider not saying those things that don’t need saying. As miserable as I feel, I am comforted by having followed this advice with my children.