Saturday, April 14, 2012

Too close

Last night E woke from a terrible dream. She was clammy and whimpering and crawled into my arms. "Just let me hold you," I whispered. "You're safe. The dream will fade. Go back to sleep." I stroked her hair. I spooned her snug against me.

After five or ten minutes she sat up in the dark. It didn't go away. Can I tell you about it? Tears fell down her face as fast as words fell out, and she blurted out a vivid tale that left her alone and permanently apart from us. She knew she'd never see us again and in her sleep she shook with fear until she woke herself with her trembling. Only with an eternity of darkness shushing and promises of her safety and my proximity did she finally fall back to sleep. It took her an hour this morning to awaken past her tremulous memories of the dream, and she stayed extra close by my side.

This evening we got an email message that the father of one of her classmates died yesterday. We don't know any details, only that the little girl's birthday party, which was scheduled for tomorrow morning, is cancelled. I keep thinking about that little girl, her father gone forever and the idea of birthdays probably forever ruined.

And I keep thinking about my girl, to whom I have to tell this story tomorrow, and to whom I spent a midnight hour promising I'd never disappear.


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5 comments:

Ninotchka said...

Oh, man. I'm so sorry for the classmate's family an for your sweet girl. I've been there. Elle in particular had lots of tearful "what if's" episodes. I was just honest with her that, yes, sometimes people die prematurely and If, heaven forbid, that happened to me or Daddy, she had a huge family that would be there to care for her and that we would be in a good place with other loved ones who've passed to watch over her for her entire life and that nothing would ever separate our souls. Yes, that detailed but it really helped ease her fears.

Stacey said...

Oh my. I'm so sorry for that family. I had a similar dream/conversation with mine recently.

January Dawn said...

Oh no...that is so sad and such a difficult conversation to have with your daughter especially after the night she had. Good luck Robin. Big hugs.

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Oh my. So, so, hard for so many reasons. Best of luck. Lucas has been asking about/talking about when we will die and I always promise him that it is my intention to be around for a long, long time.

Hyacynth said...

Oh ... my heart. That hurts. I pray for healing for that family and for peace for your little one as she grieves the implications of this new knowledge.