As he's looking at the pictures, he says, "Mom, when I die am I going to be in the hospital and will Darth Vader come to fight me?"
I have so very mixed emotions about that. I'm glad that he remembers his brother, but I'm also sad about some of the things he remembers and how it impacts his life. He seems obsessed with death and dying lately. That's a difficult thing for me to grasp. I understand that as Caden grows older, his understanding of death will change, as will his grief, but that doesn't help in the here and now, when I don't know how to answer his questions. I don't even remember how I answered that question.
The hardest one was a couple days ago. I'm driving him to preschool, and he says, "Mom, will you miss me when I die next year?"
I'm not even sure how to describe the range of emotions I went through in a split second before answering him with "Honey, I will miss you very much when you die, but hopefully, that won't be for many, many, many years and NOT next year. Why do you think you're going to die next year?"
"Because my brother died when he was 5, and I'm 5 now."
Again, I don't remember the rest of the conversation. Later that day after getting home, he walks past Samson and says, "Mom, you know Samson's gonna die, right. Because he's 10 now and he should be dead soon."
"Caden, everyone will die one day. Let's just hope it's not anytime soon."
It hurts so much to hear him talk about death so straight forward when it is tearing me up. I just want to scream, "PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT DEATH & DYING!" But I can't. He's processing his grief the only way he knows how and I have to let him work through it, while trying to work through my own.
This part of the journey is almost as hard as losing Caleb. Here, in the aftermath, we are left picking up the pieces of our lives one a time. I try to be strong when Caden wants to talk about it. I try not to cry. I try not to change the subject. But, it's so very hard.
I am so grateful that I have someone to lean on during these difficult moments. I truly believe that I would have fallen apart long ago if not for my faith and trust in God Almighty. He hears the cry of my heart. He knows how much I hurt. He comforts me like no one else can. I couldn't make it without Him.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. (Psalm 31:10)
My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. (Psalm 38:10)
My eyes are dim with grief. I call to You, LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to You. (Psalm 88:9)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)
You are my strength, I sing praise to You; You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely (Psalm 59:17).
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy (Psalm 30:11)As we draw closer to the third anniversary of Caleb's death, I have to lean on Him more each and every day. I'm diving into Scripture for words of strength and comfort. I find it amazing how God has heard the cries of my heart and written those cries and the answers for them in His Word long before I was even born.
We still miss Caleb every moment of every day. He is always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and is loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond.
Angel, Richard & Caden