Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Telling Colton and Ethan

Many friends and family ask how Colton and Ethan are doing. And they wonder how we told them our sad news and how they handled it. So I thought I would share on here.

We didn't want to tell the boys about Caleb and Lucas at the hospital. We wanted to be home as a family where they would feel the most comfortable. Dru brought the boys home on Friday. I was sitting on the couch with my pillow over my belly (protecting the c-section incision) and a blanket. Ethan ran in the house, told me hi, and then ran off to play with trains.

Colton ran up to me and immediately asked where the babies were. He knew mommy was supposed to be in the hospital until babies were born. We sat down with him on the couch and the following is what I told him.

"Colton, we have something sad to tell you. Remember how we talked about how the babies had to grow so much to be born? Well, mommy had Caleb and Lucas and they were really small. They were too small and we tried really hard, but they died. They are in Heaven now with Jesus. We want you to know that it is okay to be sad and cry. And we love them so much and will miss them. And it is okay to talk about Lucas and Caleb anytime you want."

Colton had this pained look on his face. A look no 4-year old should ever have. He wanted to cry, but looked as though he wanted to stay strong for his mommy. It was incredibly hard to watch him process. He sat with me for a few minutes while Willy looked up something on google maps. He then went in to see what Willy was doing, pointed at the map and said, "Daddy, is that Heaven?"

Willy grinned, told him no, but that we would see if we could find some pictures of what people think Heaven may look like. So we googled Heaven, clicked on images, and showed him some different pictures. One was of Jesus with rows of angels behind him. Colton asked if the angels were playing with the babies. We told him yes and he seemed pretty happy about it.

About 10 minutes later he came over to me on the couch and repeated what we had told him about the babies. He then asked when we were going to bring them home. I tried to explain that since they are in Heaven, we won't be able to bring them home. He had that look again and just hugged me. Colton and I still talk about the babies at least once a day. I am so happy that he has handled this so well, and that he wants to talk about them.

As for Ethan, a week after losing Lucas, my cremation locket came in. Ethan saw it hanging around my neck and asked what it was. I explained to him it was how mommy kept the babies close to her heart. I told him it was the babies' necklace. He looked at my belly, then gave the locket a kiss and said, "Love you babies." For being almost 3, he has done so well. He kisses the locket every night and once in awhile during the day.

Colton and Ethan are doing very well through all of this. Colton is very sensitive to my moods, which helps me keep it together sometimes. They play with the twins' monkeys often. I am so proud of how well they have handled all this. It's a tough thing to understand, even for adults. We've tried to keep it simple, knowing we can expand as they get older and ask more questions. I look forward to sharing with them as they get older. I want them to know that Lucas and Caleb will always be a part of our family.

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