And she danced – A guest post by Clairey Hewitt

Shaking off memories of some very bad behaviour last night at the Ford Top 50 Bloggers Party, so I am handing over WoogsWorld to one of my favourite Australian bloggers Clairey Hewitt. Go check her out. She looks like Gwyneth Paltrow.

I never really made a decision about if we should or shouldn’t tell our children about Lochie, my nephew who died in an accident before he turned four.

It just happened.

On his birthday I go to Macca’s and have a happy meal, it was his favourite. The girls come too and we say Happy Birthday Lochie.

We celebrate his anniversary with a candle lit all day.

I have some lovely photos of him and of course I tell them who he is.

But death of a child makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Grief makes people feel squirmy.

I’ve noticed adults look at Popps while she talks about Lochie, they are a little freaked out about it. A couple of now more distant friends made comments early on about how it is best to just let things go, leave the past behind you, move on, etc.

Lochie’s anniversary this year fell on Good Friday. We headed back to the country were my family is to be with them on this day, his eighth anniversary. Eight! He would be eleven if he was alive still.

I can still smell the ICU.

I can remember what my 2 year old nephew was wearing as I carried him out of the ICU so his parents could say a last farewell, and take as long as they needed while they did so.

Some friends have asked why I ‘had’ to talk about him to the girls, don’t they get confused. Is it necesseary? Doesn’t it upset them?

No, it doesn’t, but it does upset the adults. Kids can accept the truth about death, a dead ant, a squashed spider. It is dead, gone. Not sleeping, in peace or passed on. Dead.
The little Huey’s have a right to know about their family. All of it. Just as we would tell them stories about grandparents or other adults who had died, we also need to share the children.

At a shop before we headed to the family the conversation went like this.

Shoplady: “Is the Easter bunny coming to your place or are you going away for Easter?”

Popps: ” We are going to see my cousins.”

Lady:”That will be nice, are they the same age as you?”

P: “No, well, one of them we can’t see, he is in heaven. He died before I got here. I did see him while I was in the sky thinking of which tummy to grow in.”

Lady: “oh, that’s no good”. (squirming)

Popps: “We go to a place where all the dead people are, it’s a cemetery.”

Lady: “Ok, did you need anything else?”

She was visibly uncomfortable, not sure what to say, afraid of saying the wrong thing. That’s ok, she was making small talk to be polite and got told of a family going to a grave for Easter.

I took the girls to see Lochie for his anniversary. Popps loved the feel of the marble, Immy liked smelling all the flowers. We said we missed him and hoped they had chocolate in heaven.

Then Popps said she needed to do a concert. She had to do tapping so he could hear it ‘down there’ and swirling around so he could see her spinny skirt from ‘up there’.

She cleared us off.

And she danced on his grave.