Sunday, March 5, 2023

3 years 1 month and 1 day 12 hours and 1 minute

Dear Sonzee, 

Friday was officially 3 years and 1 month that you left. It was also the day after our school community learned of a horrible house fire that at that time took the lives of the father and two children. Over Shabbos the remaining two siblings also died. 

It took me a second to process what I heard when I spoke to aba Thursday afternoon. I then saw an email from the school with the same information. Naturally I panicked thinking of your siblings. The amount of child loss they have experienced in their short lives is nauseating. The amount of sadness and loss in general makes me so sad for them. Auntie A and I didn't experience the type of loss they have had by their age; it isn't fair. 

I tried to intervene the news being told to them the way the school was planning, but I wasn't quick enough to school and each of your siblings handled it the way I anticipated they would. My biggest concern is always your older siblings because they don't react in an extroverted way. Instead, Tzvi will make comments here and there and just avoid any conversation about it. Laeya will bottle it up inside and slowly at night, always late, she will begin to share insight into her mind. Meena on the other hand was crying the minute she got out of school and ran into my arms. She spent the rest of the day an absolute mess. Her lack of ability to cope with all of the big emotions made my ability to cope with managing my emotions and trying to handle hers worse than zero. 

I sent an email to the head of school. I don't place any blame in how the information was given. I don't envy the position he found himself in, but I do feel (selfishly) that due to our family's specific circumstances surrounding child/sibling loss, I should have been able to intercept your siblings to discuss it with them and be there when the news was delivered. 

The one child who attended the school currently they all knew and spoke with a handful of times, and one of the brothers was in Meena's class during his younger years (she shared some stories over shabbat dinner with us). The challenge with this situation is that while most of the other families are horrified over what happened and can't wrap their heads around losing one child much less four (and their father), our family has lived the loss of one. It hits our family differently. It opens up hidden compartments in each of us that we have either openly or secretly been working on over the last 3 years and 1 month (and 2 days) since you left us. 

For me, my initial thought was relief. How thankful I was that this father didn't have to live with the loss of any of his children (and it would have been all). My heart doesn't want to experience that ever. My brain knows how horrific that would be, there is no need for me to have to imagine. It would be 4 times worse than what I experience every single day without you here, there wouldn't be a point to continuing life. I appreciate Hashem sparing this father that type of pain. I have spent the last few days processing everything. I found myself back in the stages of numbness. It is just horrible, despite the beauty of them all being together in Gan Eden. 

Tomorrow is their funeral. I debated going and was then told/warned that I even showed up I would be escorted out. (Sometimes I am thankful for the friends I have). There is guilt looming over me, but I also know that I am incapable of attending a child's funeral and not being sent back to day one in my grief. Three years, 1 month, and 1 day ago I sat in a surreal world not even comprehending it was you being buried. I spent the next year numb and in this weird denial position. (It was more of knowing you were dead but with an inability of blending that knowledge into everyday life). Those moments have (thankfully?) become less. Three years, 1 month, and 1 day ago I started a new life. One that would never include you again. I am afraid (although it feels so selfish) that I would be sent back to that time. I can't go back there. I can barely be where I am at now. There are other selfish reasons I cannot bring myself to go. As usual, with grief, your father and I are different, and he will be attending. He thinks it will be good for him. (Whatever that means). Meena also wants to go. Laeya hasn't decided yet. Whoever wants to go can and who doesn't won't and that is ok. 

I miss you a lot little bear! I'd ask for you to come and visit, but lately I feel like you've been blessing us with your presence in the form of water and I don't know if a flood of any sort is really necessary this week. So, maybe we can compromise, and you can meet me in my dreams? I would love that! (Plus, to this day it has never happened for me, and I am envious you went to aba).

Until next time baby girl!

Love always, 

The Mighty Contributor

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