I am not sure why it surprises me or makes me cringe all the same time. My younger son M has no fear telling people that he has a dead baby brother. Ever. He tells people like he is telling them the time.
We have two of the boys friends sleeping over until Friday. Last night as we we sitting in the kitchen, M turned to his friend and said “See that baby there (we have pictures of him all over the house)? That’s my brother, he died.” No sad face, not tears…just the facts.
How does he do it? I want to scream it from the roof tops that he lived, that he was here, that Xavier MATTERED…and he does it, no sweat, like announcing a dead baby brother is common and normal.
Telling people about him, talking about him, bringing up his short life should be OK. I shouldn’t wonder or worry how it will affect the recipient of this information. Is it shocking? A little, but his little friend didn’t seem to be concerned about this information. A lot of the time I am so wrapped up in how Xavier dying makes other people feel, that I just avoid the topic with friends.
M has managed to do the seemingly impossible, he has made Xavier a part of this family even in death. He includes him as a topic of conversation and signs his name to cards. He talks about him like even though he isn’t here, it doesn’t make him any less important. He is generally the topic starter of the “What would Xavier be doing now” game and has no fear in telling new friends or visitors to our home about his baby brother. He is my new hero.
As a small aside…I crocheted an urn cover for Xavier (is that weird?) and I asked M to bring the urn down so I could “size” it (ok…really sounds weird even to me), as he brought it into the family room, he was shaking it like he was making a martini (oh God I am going to hell) and as he shook it, the dog went BANANAS! All I could think was that if there is any truth to spirits remaining…M was surely affecting him and the dog was letting us know!