Friday, 20 July 2012

The Loss Of A Good Mate

Every Friday we visit Mum and Dad. The kids have rituals that they NEED to complete each time we visit. They always have Granny cheese (block cheese sticks), they always have a spa, and they always feed the pigs with Grumpy and visit Snowy.

Snowy has bowel cancer, and is not going to make it past the weekend. He's in palliative care, and really, I don't know how to tell Andy. He knows what death is because of his bug catcher, but when it comes to human life, how's he going to cope? Andy will vocalise his feelings, but Joey will feel the effects internally.

I'm unsure to tell Andy now, and prepare him for his death or do I wait for Andy to ask about Snowy? I'm leaning toward waiting. I'm sure he'll ask today. Do we tell him Snowy's very sick and in hospital? I don't want to scare Andy about being sick. Do I explain that he's old and has cancer?

Snowy's the boys mate. He taught them how to shake hands, and about cows (and cow poo). He give the boys jelly-beans when they visit, and lets them water his plants even though they make a big mess. I'm thankful for Snowy. He's the only elderly person the boys see regularly and I think kids need that.

I'm grateful for the short time the boys knew Snowy. I wish there was something we could do in the end for him.

Snowy passed away Tuesday 24th, and we waited for a time to tell Andy where it was appropriate. So, Thursday morning while only he and I were up, I told him that Snowy had died.

Andy cried and said that he will miss him. We spoke about how sad we feel. Then we spoke about thinking of all the nice things Snowy and Andy did together, and that he would watch over us always from the moon. (We went with the moon instead of the stars, as the moon is easier to find in the night sky). 

Andy asked if Grumpy was sad. And of course I said yes, and Andy cried some more.

That night we went and said goodnight to Snowy on the moon, and Andy went happily to bed. 

Friday, the day they usually see Snowy, was also difficult but Andy had come to terms with it. 

He also asked tonight, how he died. I told him he died of cancer, but not everyone who has cancer dies.

I think we have gone about this the best way. I hope that Andy feels he can come to us and talk about his feelings and that he isn't scared of death, hospitals or "getting sick". Sometimes the truth is best for kids. Sugar coating this for Andy may have confused him more than helped him.

Snowy's funeral is on Monday. 

No comments:

Post a Comment