Three Kids and a Dog

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Kids

Life goes on I know, and I will once again post regularly about our kids' latest antics, but right now I want to give you fair warning that my posts will probably be more about Adler and how we are coping without her. I started this blog and she was the focus of it so it only seems fitting that we continue to remember her here. Oh, and for those of you who ask if I am going to change the name of my blog, the answer is no. My family will always include our three kids and Adler. Even though we can't physically see her anymore, we know she is here and a part of us always. She will live on in our hearts forever.

Breaking the news to my two oldest about Adler's passing was one of the hardest things to do especially when you are so completely shattered and heartbroken yourself. But Tom and I agreed not to tell them right away as they were just waking up when Adler passed. We let them go to school and decided that after school we would tell them together. They both broke down sobbing and my heart hurt even more for them. I know they both understood the finality of her being gone but they still had lots of questions like where is she right now and what is cremation. That was a tough one. How do you explain cremation without mentioning an oven or fire so as not to frighten a child?! We answered the questions as honestly as we could and told them that Adler was in Heaven and that she would always be with us, watching over us even though we can't see her. We read a great book that I had by chance found at the library four days before she passed called "Up in Heaven." Maybe somehow I just knew her time was short, but the book provided some source of comfort to all of us. It is told from an old dog's point of view and how he looks down from Heaven on his family and sees how sad they are and how much they miss him. He doesn't want them to be sad so he sends them all sorts of happy dreams to ease their sorrows. I have read that book many times to all three of my kids in the 2 1/2 weeks since Adler's been gone. On the night she passed before bed, Austen asked me to read the book to him once again but to change the names of the boy and the dog in the book to him and Adler.

I've tried to do many things to honor Adler in the hours and weeks since her passing. The night she passed, we went out to dinner as a family and told stories about our favorite memories of Adler. I took the kids to the toy store the day after and told them that Adler had asked me to buy them a special gift for each of them to remember her by. I also framed a picture of each child with Adler for their rooms so they can always see and remember her. And, of course we carved her name into one of our three pumpkins for Halloween and lit a candle in it for her.

The kids have handled their grief so differently. Austen doesn't want to talk about it too much because it makes him sad. He didn't want to tell his teachers or friends because he didn't want anyone to feel bad for him. Peyton on the other hand talks about Adler nonstop. She has a deep understanding of our sadness and looks to us as to how we are going to react when she mentions her. The day after Adler passed, she came up with her own solution for not missing Adler so much. She took her stuffed Bernese Mountain Dog and her toy dog bowl and placed them in the exact spot where Adler would eat. That made my breath catch when I saw it, but I didn't have the heart to tell her to move them. They still sit there today, more than two weeks later.

They say that grief is the final expression of love. I hope Adler can see how deep our grief is and how much we all loved her - how much I loved her. I knew this day would come but I never imagined how deeply I would feel her loss.

"And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up." -- Charles Dickens



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