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Colin decided tonight that it was Scott night and we had to light a candle for him. Colin even did a toast for Scott. We were talking about Scott with Colin and what we thought he would like and what we think he would be asking for Christmas from Santa etc. Than somehow the conversation geared towards me asking, " Do you know that you are a brother?" I was shocked by Colin's response he replied, " No I'm not a brother." I realized than that I don't think Colin has ever put together that he and Scott are brothers. He sees siblings as kids who play together, live in the same house etc like his friends. So therefore in his mind Scott isn't his brother and he was not a brother. I explained to him that he is a big brother to Scott and that Scott is his little brother. I told Colin that Scott is part of our family and will always be that he just doesn't get to be with us here for us to see everyday. It broke my heart to realize that all this time Colin never understood that he has a brother. He knows about Scott, he's met Scott, we talk about him etc. None of us ever realized that Colin never made that connection. I wonder now if this is why Colin never adds Scott in his pictures when he draws our family? I asked Colin tonight if he would like a brother ornament to hang on the Christmas tree this year and said he would. I told him he can pick one out. Just when you think you have everything figure out with this new normal and than you realize that your son never realized he and Scott are brothers.
It's all so complicated - and especially when it comes to explaining all of this to little ones. I still find myself at a loss as to how to explain Marco to Lucia - but I just explain as we go and when it's appropriate in a way that I hope she can understand, and hope for the best.
I think it's lovely that Colin wanted to have a Scott night and light a candle for him (and a toast, so sweet), and that he wants a brother ornament for your Christmas tree. No doubt that Scott's love is surrounding you all.
It is hard for small children. My daughter who is 6 now, just started to realize about her angel sister. Even though we talked about her. Many times I took her to the cemetery to visit her sister, but since the cemetery is quiet new, not so many gravestones, I think she thought it was a big park to play, just recently that she read her sister's name on the gravestone she started talking more about her sister and drawing her in family pictures.... Give Colin some time to realize he has a brother, he will I am sure, but somehow I think it is difficult for them to realize death of a brother/sister, since it does not happen in "normal" life...
Libby is right. It is all so very complicated.
Years ago when I was in high school I worked as a telemarketer. I was terrible at it because I don't argue when people tell me no they don't want something. Anyway when someone would say no we had this whole entire binder full of rebuttals. Just phrases to help get a donation or whatever. I really really wish that child loss came with a binder full of rebuttals too. Especially for surviving siblings. The girls catch me off guard all the time with the comments they make.
I hope you share a pic of C's big brother ornament.
((Hugs)) I can't imagine how difficult this journey is. It's such a hard to thing to grasp, even as an adult sometimes. I think you handled this beautifully and the Christmas ornament is a lovely idea for Colin to connect with Scott. As Colin grows he will cherish those.
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