A question I've dreaded since the day Zac passed away. The question from Evan asking where his twin brother is.
Zac's name is spoken in our house. I include Zac's name when talking to Evan. His name has never been, nor will it EVER be, hidden or hushed. He is a part of our lives, and we will speak his name.
Last night while Evan and I were saying prayers I included (as I generally do) "and give Zacy a big hug and kiss from us and tell him that we love him!" But...for the first (and I'm sure not the last) time Evan got sad and looked at me and said "mommy, I'm sad. Where is Zac-y? Is he a baby? Does he crawl?"
It took everything in me not to break down in to tears. Everything in me to keep my smile on my face without sobbing. I've always wondered how I would approach this with Evan. The time when he is old enough to FULLY comprehend about his brother and ask questions. And last night was a small taste of the reality I've been worried to face. How do you explain such a harsh reality to such a little person? But, I refuse to ever cover anything up from Evan. I will NEVER hold anything back. I will tell him what I can, and honestly explain that I have no answers to the "why's" of what happened to Zac.
But last night, knowing that at the age of almost 3...Evan is still too young to totally grasp the full reality of where his brother is. So I simply hugged him and said "don't be sad buddy. Remember what mommy told you? Zac-y (we add the -ee to Zac's name for whatever reason). Zac lives with Jesus right now until we can all be together one day. And Zac is always with us and loves us, just like we love him! And Jesus loves YOU so so so very much, so he is taking special care of Zac for us."
He seemed to be content with that answer.
I know one day the questions will become deeper and more confusing. I just pray that I will have the right words to help Evan's heart deal with the harsh reality of losing his brother. It's hard for ME to try to grasp that reality. It's hard to think of a young child trying to figure it out, and feeling the empty spot of his twin brother. But I pray that he will feel God's presence and peace.
I can't lie...it makes me so angry that he HAS to deal with this. My boys should never have been torn apart. They should be together. But that is not the way life turned out.
However, they will be together again. We will be together with all our heavenly children again.
It's hard enough as an adult to try to grasp the reality of loss. No CHILD should ever be faced with trying to understand about such loss. I just pray that we as parents will have the right words and ways to help our child to try to understand. That our love will lather any pains that lack of explanation can provide. I pray for God's guidance as we help Evan walk through his questions and pains.
But this is also why I will never hide Zac from Evan. I never want Evan to ever ask "why didn't you ever talk about him? Didn't he matter?"
It may sting to have to try to answer Evan's questions...but I will be proud knowing that we never tried to hide anything from him.
But hearing that question and seeing his eyes at the tender age of almost 3...wow...I wasn't prepared for that pain. But I will walk through those pains with Evan and will always be open with him.
It seems so wrong that a child so young should ever have to try to comprehend the loss of a sibling...a twin brother...
But life has no mercy, regardless of age. It feels like it should. Like childhood should only ever be about innocence and happiness. But, it's not. Harsh reality has no age limits.
I just pray that our love and honesty will always carry each of us through.