Monday, February 04, 2013

Dead babies at the park (burying pine cones)

At the park today I watched Eli and his friend bury pine cones.  They were at it for a long time, burying pine cone after pine cone.  I finally pointed out the obvious, "Hey Eli, so you are burying pine cones huh?"  His response:  "Yeah.  They are all dead babies.  They were all born to the same mom and they died so we are burying them."

My heart dropped.

I had thought of some cute game they were imagining with these pine cones.  But no.  They were burying babies.

This experience has been on my mind all day.  It is so sad to me that Eli's playing involves death and graves.  I've mentioned that we visit the grave often.  It is normal to the boys to see a fresh grave.  How sad is it that part of their experience involves conversations about babies dying?  I wish this wasn't a part of their experience.  I realize though, that if it weren't this, it would just be something else.  My friend for instance, is going through kidney failure for the third time.  I thought how if that was our experience instead of a baby dying, Eli might be pretending to have dialysis.

Life is hard.  And sad.

8 comments:

The Duke said...

Yes, life is so hard and sometimes very sad. I think, however, it's healthier to play and talk about it than to bury it deep inside. Maybe that thought isn't correct, but I would want my child to feel he could talk about it rather than "bury" the emotions or thoughts he's having.
I'm sorry.

chelsey said...

That's a tough one. Hang in there.

Michelle said...

He might need to talk to someone outside the family to help him get through his feelings. There are so many great family counselors around. Hopefully you can find someone he can talk to.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Michelle, I don't think Eli needs to talk to a counselor. Of all of us Eli has adjusted the quickest and the easiest--perhaps because of his age. He wasn't trying to be gruesome or inappropriate. His normal experiences involve the death of a baby sister so to him, he was just pretending something that he thinks is normal. He doesn't realize that babies dying isn't normal. It was very innocent. Now, if he had said to me, "These are all babies. I stepped on them and killed them so now I'm burying them," then I's be very concerned and would take him to talk to someone. But for him, his baby sister was born and then she died and our lives went on in a mostly normal way (as far as he is concerned) and part of our normal activities involve going to the cemetery twice a month to visit his sister. When we arrive, it is fairly common to see a new grave and we all talk about how sad that is that another baby died (Laila is buried in a row reserved for babies so he thinks that a lot of babies die and get buried normally). Anyway, I'm not concerned about his behavior. I'm sad about it because I wish he didn't ever have to think death of a baby was normal. But, this is what our family has to experience.

Michelle said...

He might have adjusted at that time and now might be questioning why things happened? Your family went through a very hard thing and a very traumatic event and being open to counseling never hurt anyone, just helps us all heal. It was just a suggestion. I'm not suggesting in any way that he is being gruesome or inappropriate as you write. I'm just saying, "He MIGHT need to talk to someone outside of the family" There's nothing wrong with counseling. If more people believed that then I feel the entire world would be a better place.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Michelle, I don't have a problem with counseling. I've been to counseling myself and I also took Isaac to counseling. I do appreciate the concern--I am not upset by your comment. I just don't feel like he needs to see a counselor at this time. If I ever feel like he needs it, I won't hesitate to take him. I agree that too many people think they can solve all their problems on their own and so they don't take the help available to them. After Laila died we had a family counselor from the SIDS foundation come and visit with our family and talk to the boys to evaluate if in her professional opinion she thought we or the boys needed to see a counselor. She told us she thought the boys were adjusting well and that it wasn't necessary for them to see anyone. But, we have her contact information and can use her if things change.

Marcy said...

Our kids play Barbies who get divorces or who are divorced or whose parents are divorced. I think you're right. That's a part of how kids process the things going on in their lives.

Jess and Jason said...

I think it is healthy and pretty darn normal for a little boy. Maybe not all little boys will play that exact game, but that doesn't make is strange or morbid. He is playing and processing his life's experiences. And he is thinking about his little sister and keeping her in his thoughts as he plays.