Navigating the waters of grief after the loss of Mikail has been tricky. These waters are unfamiliar. Sometimes calm and filled with beauty. Sometimes stormy with angry white caps. Navigating the waters of grief in a two year old is also uncharted waters for us.
Olivia has an incredible vocabulary for a two year old and we are now truly thankful for this (mostly~ha). She is able to express her feelings with words that in most two year olds would come out as behaviour challenges. Believe me, we still have behaviour challenges~she is two years old after all, but her grief is not coming out as angry behaviour for the most part. Olivia is able to tell us when she is sad and that she misses Mikail. She is able to tell us what she misses about him and we can steer conversations to the many wonderful memories she has of spending time with her brother. She is able to cry and weep for her loss.
We are dealing with a lot of separation anxiety with her and trying to be mindful of the importance of reassuring her that we will not leave her. It is important to her for others to know that she misses Mikail. If we have to leave her somewhere, she does a lot better if the child care provider knows about Mikail and the fact that she misses him. Her two year old mind remembers EMS being in our house and she thinks that an ambulance took Mikail to heaven. Whenever she sees an ambulance she asks if Mikail is in it. If we are sick or she feels sick, she asks if we will die and go to heaven too. Such big questions for a two year old.
One thing that is new for us is the physical pain her grief is showing. She complains of her upper back hurting and oh how tight her little muscles are. We see our doctor every two weeks or so, to make sure we are navigating things okay, to have a listen to her lungs, and just to touch base. He confirmed our thinking that the pain she is feeling is grief related. Heat, loving massages, and cuddles always seem to help during this time. She needs that close time with us where we cuddle, rub her back, and just talk. The most difficult time of ‘back pain’ comes at nap time and bed time when our thoughts seem to run away from us.
I deeply understand the physical pain of this grief. My arms physically ache to hold Mikail. My heart is often squeezed so tight it hurts. The physical pain of grief is very real. I never understood this, but now that we are in this boat, it is all very really.
Oh what uncharted waters we are in.