Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Grieving chocolate

This week includes my late wife’s birthday.

She would have turned 37-years-old.

I have written before about how I don’t see particular dates, anniversaries and whatnot, as any different to a day that doesn’t correspond to significant events in my personal history.

I even forgot our wedding anniversary this year.

But that’s just me, and I appreciate that it isn’t the same for everyone managing grief, plus I have a responsibility to handle these dates, errrr, responsibly for my son.

Having lost his mother at just seven-months-old rather than being hit massively with it immediately, his grief and loss have actually grown with time, his age and understanding.

As a baby I don’t really think he had any idea what was going on, and in his early years his understanding wasn’t really apparent.

I am blessed with a brilliant listener, someone I find it very easy – albeit painful – to be open and honest with.

Max knows his mum died and isn’t coming back.

He knows she loved him.

He knows he loves her.

He knows she gave him the best possible start in life.

He knows she will always inspire him.

He knows she will always be part of him.

He also knows she loved chocolate.

As he is approaching seven-years-old he is making more of the decisions of how he would like to remember his mum. I like to assist and guide him, but generally what he comes up with is very sweet and definitely appropriate.

This year he thought he would commemorate her birthday by buying his mum her favourite flowers and chocolate. He spoke about taking them to her grave, but I pointed out that there was little more than symbolic significance to that action. Plus his mother would have been distinctly uncomfortable at the thought of chocolate being ‘wasted’.

Thus his slightly altered plan is now to get those things, but to have them at our house, and he will personally take care of the chocolate.

“It’s what mommy would have wanted.”

I’m not sure if moments like this help him, or ever will, but his very thoughtful approach to his missing mother is a tragically beautiful thing to be involved in.

He may not be four foot tall yet but the boy is an absolute colossus to me.