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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New stages...

Jacob dropped a bomb on me Friday.

"I want to die."

My first inclination was to say, "Don't say that!!!" but I don't want to shut him down. At all. I'm so thankful that he can, and is willing, to express his thoughts and feelings to me - especially something like this.

So after a brief moment of thought, I replied,

"What?? Why would you say something like that?"

He said, "I want to die so I can be with my daddy."

Wow. I had no idea that a five year old could come up with something like this.

I said, "I know just how you feel, sweetie. I felt exactly the same way. We're all going to die someday eventually, but we don't want to have it happen anytime soon. Daddy would not want us to die - he wants us to live and be happy and have fun. He went to college for a really long time because he wanted to be a good example for you and Sydney so you guys will go to college someday. We have a lot of living to do yet. I'm really glad that you can tell me what you're thinking, Love."

I have no idea what a five year old could be capable of. He doesn't seem depressed or consumed by thoughts of death, but you can be sure I will be calling a counselor tomorrow.

If I was to analyze Jacob through his artwork, I'd say he's a relatively happy kid. His drawings usually consist of smiling faces and hearts. The other day he brought home a few pages of artwork, but one in particular worried me. It was red and black angry scribbles and felt dark and different than what Jacob usually produces. I asked him what this was a picture of, and he said, "I don't know - I didn't do that one." Ha! What a relief!

I'm constantly amazed by his memory... during his bath yesterday, he poured the water over his head to rinse his hair, letting the water go over his face. He has never been comfortable with getting water in his face, but he told me he got used to that because that's how his daddy did it. No wonder he's been challenging himself more with that lately.

We talk about Matt all the time. I work him into our everyday activities and conversation... For instance, I'll say something like, "Daddy would/wouldn't have like this" or "do you remember when you and Daddy did that?" or any other way I can work him into our daily lives. I don't want Jacob to forget, I want Sydney to learn as much as she can about her wonderful daddy, and I want to remember everything, too.

If anyone out there knew Matt and is reading my blog, I would really love it if you would leave comments with your memories of Matt when you think of them - significant or not. That would be such a great gift to me and his kids.


Anonymous said...

I wish I knew you as I would jump at the chance to provide your children with memories - I asked the same on my blog but didn't get many responses, sadly - so I hope you have better luck.

It is amazing the small things that they can remember and it's so nice to hear. We often share a happy memory each night before bed, and always 'talk' to Daddy and tell him about our day and all we did or how we felt. For some reason Eibhlin has not been up to it much the past few days, but I try not to pressure her (even though it makes me a little sad) and also encourage her that she can talk to him 'in her head' instead of outloud if she wants to.

For Sydney, if you don't mind a suggestion - I gave both the girls a locket with a photo of Elias on one side and their photo on the other. Caia was not much older when Elias died than Sydeny was when Matt did, and Caia LOVES her locket. Many times throughout the day she'll grab it and say 'Dada. Me'. She loves to open it and give it kisses. I love to see how much it means to her.

And great response to Jacob - not easy, but you handled it so well. I'll have to remember that if it comes up around here . . .

Rick said...

My prayers are with you, Jacob and Sydney! Great response to that "bomb".

My fondest memories of Matt are from hockey at the GOW school. Afterwards I would walk out with him and Rick and we would just talk about life in general. How he broke a stick a week for awhile there and how he kept his truck spotlessly clean because my car was always pretty clean.

The email he sent me before Maxine passed away is one that I have kept and actually read recently that always makes me smile......

Cammie said...

Andrea, you are such a blessing for those kids to have .... You handle yourself so perfectly with them. Your strength continues to amaze me

Shannon said...

I do not have any advice, but I can assure you talking about him each and every day helps the children keep him close at heart...and you too! As for Jacob, I am sure he is not actually having "thoughts" of killing himself, it's just that it's the only way he can think of communicating with his daddy. It's actually a pretty impressive way of thinking for as young as he is. Maybe the counselor can talk to him and get more information out of him. I wouldn't be too cautious either. Good Luck with that part. How about you sweetie? How are you holding up? Always worrying about everyone else, how about Andrea? Please take care of yourself. Take some time for you.

Danielle said...

I think that you handled that perfectly as you seem to handle a lot perfectly. I am constantly amazed by your strenght.

The Gumdrop Tree said...

love you, Andrea. And the kids.

Boo said...

Andrea, I have only to deal with my own grief. You have to deal with yours and your son's ... yet you do so admirably :-)

I am no counsellor, but I'd like to think that Jacob simply understands that he would see Daddy if he died ... and that he perhaps doesn't quite "get" death, i.e. that he couldn't then pop back and be alive with Mommy?

Al Bella said...

Hey Andy, I have soooo many memories of Matt that I have been waiting to share with you. Remember the camping trip with the hungry racoon? Or the wheelie that Matt crashed and Robyn got a perfect shot of him just before he hit the ground!!!!! And I will never forget the day when we all found out the hard way Matt didn't wear underwear!!!! There are so many more fond memories. But, I will never forget the day when he called me and told me he finally found the perfect girl.

For almost 20 years he was my friend, I miss him so much.

lisamarie said...

hi Andrea. I am so happy that the new house and neighborhood are proving to be a good fit for you. You and the kids deserve nothing but happiness going forward.

I know we have had this conversation, but when Sydney was born, I was your buddy as you had been for me just 2 months earlier. Matt called me to tell me the news and though I had never met him, he talked to me for like 20 minutes about you and the kids and the difficulty you guys were having coming up with a name. Since I had just gone through that naming Molly, I told him that it would come to him and whatever you guys named her would be the perfect name for her. He was so genuine and proud of his family.

Anyway, lots of love to you and miss you!!
Love, Lisa

Connie said...

Andrea, what I remember about Matt is that he was always willing to offer help like when he came to help John with things around our house and when he made that beautiful bookshelf that is in Alexia's bedroom. I don't think I ever mentioned this but when Matt sent us a thank you card for his graduation gift that we gave him, he wrote about how he was looking forward to spending some alone time with his beautiful wife. When I read what he wrote all I could say was "Aww, how sweet." Love and miss you, Connie

Andrea Renee said...

This is WAY late, but I wanted to thank you guys for chiming in with your memories. They truly mean the world to me! Thank you SO MUCH.